On April 4, the Houston Community ToolBank will host its annual fundraiser, Hammers & Ales, at Karbach Brewery. This casual event is an opportunity for ToolBank supporters to come together for a fun and lively evening of food, drinks, and music. The event benefits the ToolBank tool lending program, which equips more than 350 charitable organizations across the region.
To accommodate a larger crowd for 2019, the event is moving outside to the new Biergarten area of Karbach Brewing Co.
"This year, we wanted to take it up a couple notches," explains John Crabb, the ToolBank's board president. "The ToolBank has grown substantially in the past year, and I believe a bigger and more exciting Hammers & Ales is a strong way to connect with the community and support our mission."
To really ramp up the energy at the event, there will be live music from Eagles tribute band Already Gone. A local band that has sold out the House of Blues, Already Gone is known as the "South's premier Eagles tribute band" and has a loyal fan base in the area.
In addition to a selection of Karbach's draft beer and heavy bites, ticket holders can take part in a cornhole tournament, which will include up to 16 teams competing to win prizes. There will also be a raffle and silent and live auctions, with a wide range of prizes including gift cards to local restaurants, admission to museums, activities for families, and even a week in a luxurious vacation home.
The ToolBank hosts a warehouse of 250 tool types and over 20,000 tools, all of which are branded with blue paint to make them easier to spot on hectic project sites. Blue tools include everything from shovels, hammers, and utility knives to generators, power washers, and high-quality power tools to tables, chairs, and PA systems.
"Tools seem like such a simple thing," says Erika Hornsey, ToolBank's executive director. "But for many of our members, especially organizations that are working on long-term, complex projects, they can really make for a stronger project. And a stronger project means a stronger community."
Since any charitable organization can borrow, the blue tools serve a huge range of missions and projects. Member organizations are not only mainstream nonprofits but also schools, faith-based organizations, neighborhood associations, and many others. The charitable sector is notorious for tight budgets and limited staffing, and blue tools allow organizations to refocus on their own visions for a thriving community.
This year, attendees will also support another cause: Harvey recovery efforts. It's been more than 18 months since Hurricane Harvey and the majority of tools lent out continue to be for Harvey-related projects. In 2018, of the $5.2 million in borrowed tool value approximately $3.5 million — or 66 percent — was borrowed for recovery efforts.
Ultimately, Hammers and Ales is all about one thing: equipping the community to do good. If you are interested in supporting community organizations and having a great evening, mark April 4 on your calendars and get your tickets, which start at $75, to Hammers & Ales 2019.