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“Under African Skies” Benefit with silent auction, storytelling with pictures and live music

Side by Each Brewery is excited to co-host a special event and benefit, “Under African Skies”, with WISE Zambia, a non-profit “born” in Maine. All profits from beer sales at the event will support WISE Zambia’s educational programming in the sub-Saharan nation’s Western Province. Bernie Vigna, well known locally for his African drumming, will perform on congas and balafon. A Silent Auction will feature Zambian crafts and paintings as well as items donated by local businesses and individuals. Stories and photos of the non-profit’s work will also be part of the evening. The event takes places November 21, 6 to 8 Side by Each Brewery and Pinky D’s Poutine Factory located at 1110 Minot Avenue, Auburn. The event is open to all. Everyone is encouraged to bring friends, enjoy the evening and be inspired by the stories. 

Owner/brewer Matt Johannes says, “Giving back and supporting good causes has been one of our core values from the beginning, and we usually keep it focused locally, but WISE Zambia is such a great program and really important to key people involved in the brewery that we wanted to help.” 

The brewery is creating a beer especially for the occasion. Ben Low, Side by Each partner with Johannes, says, “We had originally planned to brew a beer inspired by ancient brewing when we got our hands on some Maine-grown and malted Egyptian barley, and then as the WISE event came together it made sense to make the beer entirely from ingredients available in Africa. Under African Skies is a fun project unlike anything brewed before, and most importantly, delicious for the drinker.” Pinky D’s Poutine Factory on the premises has a special menu offering planned featuring a favorite food from Zambia. 

WISE Zambia is a 501(c)(3) NGO working in the poorest region of Zambia. By providing educational and community development programs, the organization empowers vulnerable women and young people, with girls at risk of early childhood marriage being the major target of their support. The goal is to provide scholarships for every student to achieve the pinnacle of her dreams and abilities, which usually amounts to a 9 year commitment —5 years of secondary school and 4 in college, university or nursing school. In addition, WISE Zambia expects and inspires all its recipients to “give back” by volunteering and to “pay it forward”, guaranteeing the sustainability of its mission. 

Auburn resident, Joanne Bollinger, current Board President of WISE Zambia, says, “After 7 years being a part of this organization—and with 8 trips to the project—I’m constantly astounded at our growth and increasing impact, the recognition we are now receiving from government agencies, and the potential for community development that lies ahead! We are so grateful to be partnering with Side by Each and looking forward to a great night. With increased awareness of WISE Zambia’s work, which in the end, benefits Africa and eventually the world, we hope that our Maine community will come to understand the value of WISE Zambia’s mission.” 

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