When he started reaching out to them with his idea to build a month-long brewery tour as a fundraiser for the Ulman Foundation, Brandon was taken aback by the positive reception. He had gained an appreciation for the services and community Ulman provides to adolescent and young adult cancer patients and survivors after supporting his dad, Robert, through cancer. Robert was in his 50s when cancer struck, and thankfully didn’t face many of the challenges younger adults commonly do; he had great health insurance, an understanding and supportive employer, and lots of family locally to help him get to and from treatment. Even still, Brandon was deeply affected by the difficulty of navigating cancer with his dad, and having been, himself, uninsured in his early 20s, it helped him gain great empathy for young adults his age who face the disease without a strong community of support. As he sold brewers on the idea of raising funds together, Brandon learned that many in his beer community had been impacted by cancer as well, and were excited to join him in giving back.
He also provided a unique incentive: the brewer who raised the most money would become the one to wield the scissors and, as Brandon named his campaign, “Shear the Beer’d.”