An Unexpected Blessing for the Seeing Hand Association

Since May 1936, the Seeing Hand has been able to provide the blind and visually impaired with opportunities, resources, and gainful employment thanks to generous benefactors and donations from our community. Over the years, honoring our mission “to help all ages of blind and visually impaired individuals lead fulfilling and independent lives,” has depended greatly on contributions from organizations and individuals… And this most recent gift was a tremendous blessing that came out of the blue.

Karen Haught at podium

On April 21, Seeing Hand executive director, Karen Haught, was having an emotional day as she had taken the day off work to tend to some personal matters. That is when she received a phone call from Jeff Hayes, founder and president of Mountaineer Brewfest. The Seeing Hand was going to be the 2022 charity recipient of the 8th annual Mountaineer Brewfest! The surprise and thought of what this could do for her organization created a silver lining to an otherwise difficult day.

Libations for Donations – How Mountaineer Brewfest Gives Back

Mountaineer Brewfest, since its inaugural season in 2014, has promoted West Virginia’s craft and microbrew industry and provided entertainment to the northern panhandle with food, music, and merchandise. Most importantly, it donates festival proceeds each year to local charities, and this year’s check would be one for the books.

It came as no surprise when the crowds showed up this year on that sunny day in August to taste beers from 16 breweries across the state, listen to a stellar line up of musical acts, eat from some of the area’s finest food trucks, and just enjoy a great day out. There was even a “Seeing Hand Experience” visual challenge this year in which attendees could attempt to identify tastes while blindfolded.

A Record Presentation

After the dust had settled from one of the Ohio Valley’s biggest days of the year, those behind the event gathered at Market Vines in Wheeling to present Karen, employees, and board members with a $40,000 check, the largest donation in the event’s history. The 2022 festival proceeds are from the Mountaineer Brewfest and its sponsors, the Circus, Saints & Sinners beer garden tips, and that tip total was matched by Bordas & Bordas. Plus, a generous donation from Highlands Sports Complex during the Tap the Furkin auction at the VIP Craft Beer & Food Pairing event held at Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack on Thursday, August 18. To date, the Mountaineer Brewfest has donated a total of $166,000 to local charities through its efforts.

Whether or not you enjoy beer, it is safe to say that this is a worthwhile event that gives great promise to our community.

A Gift that Continues to Give

A donation this gracious from the Mountaineer Brewfest will be sure to keep the Seeing Hand operating to empower individuals to maximize their potential in all areas of life. All contributions are used to provide services such as life skill training programs, braille education, technology solutions, and many other resources tailored to those who are blind or visually impaired

Making a donation can be as simple as visiting the Donation Page or attending any of the events posted on the Seeing Hand Facebook Page.