Bent Paddle, Bell Bank Paddle Pay It Forward for Youth & Family Well-Being

Fargo-based Bell Bank, with its new Duluth market location, and Duluth-based Bent Paddle Brewing decided to draw awareness and financial support to Amberwing through a unique fundraising campaign centered around beer. Bell Bank and Bent Paddle each host their own charitable giving programs that directly benefit local organizations and non-profits in the community. Combining forces to create the Paddle it Forward Pale Ale in November and December made perfect sense.

“Our values – being a family, treating our customers well, and making our community a better place – are at the core of all we do,” notes Tim McShane, President – Twin Ports Market for Bell Bank. “This beer is a fun way to get the community involved to benefit a great organization.”

The Pay it Forward Pale Ale released in early November 2021 and was a hit at the Duluth taproom. Drinkers described the charitable beer as an easy drinking pale ale with bright notes of kumquat, peach, and mango. The Pay it Forward Pale Ale won a bronze medal in the American Pale Ale Category at the 2021 Minnesota Craft Brewer’s Guild Minnesota Brewer’s Cup Awards. 

“We just wanted to brew a beer that would give back to the community,” noted Neil Caron, Pilot Brewer at Bent Paddle. “Little did we know that it would win a Bronze Medal!”

The last of the award-winning beer has been tapped, but the funds raised will continue to benefit local youth and families in the community via Amberwing. A check ceremony will take place at Bell Bank’s downtown Duluth branch on Tuesday, January 25, at 3pm. Both media and the public are welcome to attend. 

While Duluth is rich in culture, outdoor recreation, and history it is often forgotten that prevalence of depression in the twin ports town has been on the rise. A local non-profit organization, Amberwing, has noticed not only a rise in depression, but a shocking lack of resources for those in need.  Amberwing was created by the Miller-Dwan Foundation and combines community philanthropy and a health system to create a national model for effective health care. 

“We help children, families, and our community gain greater mental wellness by teaching the skills necessary to build hope, ensure recovery and increase resilience,” noted Traci Marciniak, President of the Miller-Dwan Foundation. “We are so grateful to caring businesses’ like Bell Bank and Bent Paddle.  The funds they raised with this beer collaboration will go a long way to support the mission of Amberwing”.

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