The Castle Rock Volunteer Firefighters Association will “take over” two downtown tap houses Oct. 12 to raise money for the family of late Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue Battalion Chief Mickel Zainfeld, who took his life on Sept. 19.
Crosscut Taproom and Wine Down Dog will donate $1 to Zainfeld’s family for every drink sold that evening.
The tap houses will also partner with Farmers Insurance agent Melissa Brook, who will give drink discount vouchers to individuals who get an insurance quote from her office.
All three businesses will host a raffle, with the proceeds going toward a charity to help those with post-traumatic stress disorder or post-traumatic stress injuries. The volunteer firefighter’s group will name the charity on the day of the event, said Chris Wills, co-owner of Crosscut.
Zainfield had developed job-related post traumatic stress disorder, and the state awarded him workers compensation benefits that now will go to his wife and children.
“One of the reasons for this (tap takeover) is ... to raise awareness for first responders and people in the (emergency medical services) community that are facing real struggles,” Wills said.
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A study by the international philanthropic Ruderman Family Foundation found that frequent and long-term exposure to traumatic situations causes a higher rate of mental illnesses such as PTSD and depression for first responders. The foundation also reports a considerably higher rate of suicide for first responders.
Last year the Washington legislature passed a bill recognizing PTSD as an occupational disease for first responders and allowing those individuals to make PTSD-related workers’ compensation claims.
The tap takeover was originally planned as a fundraiser for the Castle Rock volunteer firefighter scholarship, Wills said, but the recent loss of a local firefighter prompted the businesses to change those plans.
Wills said the businesses officially switched the fundraiser’s beneficiary last week after checking with Zainfeld’s wife, Kelly, that it would be OK.
“We wanted to make sure she was on board with it, and she was,” Wills said.
Wills said switching the fundraiser to benefit PTSD awareness and the Zainfelds felt “natural ... it was an easy choice to make.”
The businesses are working with the City of Castle Rock to close down a portion of Cowlitz Street for the event, and they are “encouraging people to bring folding chairs or beach chairs, if they so choose,” Wills said.
The tap takeover will run from 2 to 8 p.m., and there is no cover charge. The event is for people ages 21 and over only.
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