By Shannon Hicks
The Hometown Foundation, Inc host[ed] a benefit at Farmhouse Restaurant to honor the memory of fallen Navy SEAL and Brookfield native Jason Lewis. Mr Lewis was killed in combat on July 6, 2007, in Bagdad. He was 30 years old, and survived by his mother, his wife, and three children.
The event will take place on Monday, March 19, at the restaurant, 43 South Main Street. It will begin at 6 pm, and will include carving stations and passed hors d’oeuvres, wine and beer, live music by Ian Biggs, and an auction.
A special appearance by the Brazilian mixed martial artist Glover Teixeira is also planned.
Tickets are $75 each, or $125 for a couple. To purchase tickets, visit Eventbrite.com or visit Farmhouse Restaurant.
Among the items being offered through auction are four tickets to Boston Red Sox vs Baltimore Orioles, an autographed CC Sabathia home jersey, a foursome at New Haven Country Club, and a tasting for two at Hawk Ridge Winery in Watertown.
To help keep the Brookfield native’s memory alive, proceeds will be used to purchase a Police K-9 named after the special warfare operator first class. Proceeds will also cover the cost of a memorial bench to be placed at his favorite fishing spot.
“The night,” said Farmhouse Partner and Manager Michele Hanson, “is about remembering Jason, and it’s for his mom.”
Navy SEAL Petty Officer Lewis was full of energy and loved rock climbing, bicycling, and fly fishing, among other outdoor sports. He dreamed of being a Navy SEAL since he was in high school. Mr Lewis attended the University of Maryland and was assigned to a SEAL team based in Norfolk, Va. He was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal while serving his country.
Jean Mariano, Mr Lewis’s mother, said her son had “an incredible personality that would light up a room.
“He was never going to be a nine-to-five guy,” she said. “I couldn’t be prouder of the way he turned out. He had the right stuff.”
During a brief organizers’ meeting at the restaurant on March 2, Ms Mariano teared up, talking about her son.
“When someone remembers your son, or your daughter, it means a lot to a parent,” she told Ms Hanson.
Ms Hanson said the idea for the special event got started with the arrival of an Honor Brewing Company beer tap at her restaurant that featured the late Mr Lewis’s name. Honor works with families to put customized taps, featuring customized dog tags and into place within a 50-mile radius of where an honoree grew up. Once the tap is in place, the company contacts families to let them know where the Honor beer is on tap. Honor Brewing also regularly works with families to do fundraisers on their behalf.
“If it wasn’t for that company,” Ms Hanson said, “this whole thing would not have happened.
“We also learned that 16 percent of any beer purchased from them is donated to nonprofit groups they support, and 50 percent of all merchandise they sell is also donated to organizations they support,” Ms Hanson said. Among those organizations is Walter Reed Medical Center, The Wounded Walk, Warrior 360, Hope For The Warriors, Angels of America’s Fallen, and LCPL Cody S. Childers Memorial Fund.
For the Hometown Foundation fundraiser on March 19, Ms Hanson said, three Honor Brewing beers will be on tap.
The Hometown Foundation, Inc is a nonprofit, charitable foundation dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for individuals and their families in hometowns and surrounding communities where it operates. Based in Cheshire, the foundation honors and assists six key areas of interest: children in need, major illness, intellectual disabilities, military, emergency response personnel, and animal welfare.
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