Pittsburgh brewery launches fundraiser in wake of Club Q tragedy | Pittsburgh City Paper

Pittsburgh brewery launches fundraiser in wake of Club Q tragedy

click to enlarge Three people pose in rainbow Pride merch from Trace Brewing
Photo: Julie Kahlbaugh
Pride merch from Trace Brewing
Colorado Springs may be across the country from Pittsburgh, but in the days following a tragic shooting at one of the city's LGBTQ bars, a local brewery and event space has decided to step up in support.

On Nov. 25, Trace Brewing announced that it would donate 100% of profits from sales of its Pride merch to the Colorado Healing Fund, a Denver-based nonprofit self-described as a "safe, secure way for people to donate following an incident of mass violence, ensuring that the funds go to those directly impacted by the tragedy."

The Trace fundraiser will continue through Fri., Dec. 2, with sales contributing to a growing CHF donation pool for Club Q victims (it currently stands at over $350,000).

The CHS website says it is currently focused on the needs of those affected by a shooting that took place on Nov. 20 at Club Q, a beloved LGBTQ-friendly Colorado Springs nightclub. As reported by the Associated Press and multiple national news outlets, a 22-year-old person named Anderson Lee Aldrich entered Club Q with an "AR-15-style semiautomatic weapon," taking the lives of five people and wounding 17 others.

In the days since, authorities are seeking to bring hate crime charges against the alleged shooter, believing Aldrich specifically targeted Club Q's LGBTQ patrons.

Brooke Keane, who serves as the senior communications representative and "beer storyteller" for Trace, came up with the idea for the fundraiser as a way to respond to the tragedy.

"It’s so heartbreaking to witness these safe spaces becoming unsafe," says Keane. "And Trace is such an inclusive and community-focused space, I couldn’t help but think, ‘What if that happened here?’ I wanted to try to do something that helped in a small way, but also let people know that they’re heard, seen, and supported."

According to press statements, CHF has already dispersed $50,000 to support the "travel and immediate needs of families of the victims and individuals directly impacted by the shooting" and approved the release of $195,000 to the "surviving families who lost their loved ones and the individuals who were injured."

Colorado Governor Jared Polis even boosted CHF, saying in a statement, “We know that in the darkest times, the strength of Coloradans shines through. As we mourn the lives of those lost in this horrific act of senseless violence, we encourage anyone who is able to contribute to our community members in need by giving to the Colorado Healing Fund."

Trace Pride clothing and accessories can be purchased at its Bloomfield location.

Trace Brewing. 4312 Main St., Bloomfield. tracebloomfield.com