Hundreds of beer-drinkers, food truck customers, beer pong players and three bands took over the Douglas County Fairgrounds on Saturday for the annual Brew HaHa, hosted for the fourth year by the International Association of Fire Firefighters, Local Union 2091.

Breweries from all over Oregon came to the fairgrounds for and had firefighters help serve the beer. Donations from the event went to the Treven Anspach Fund.

Anspach was one of nine people shot and killed in the Umpqua Community College shooting in 2015. His father, Justin Anspach, is a firefighter in Local Union 2091 and his coworkers wanted to help remember his son, so they took over the Brew HaHa to raise funds in his memory. In the last two years, the fund has given over $18,000 in scholarships.

“It was something the employees wanted to do to remember him every year and help raise funds for the scholarship,” Anspach said. “Treven was the kind of kid who kind of fell through the cracks. We didn’t qualify for financial aid for him, so we had to pay for his schooling. He worked all summer and then went to school full-time and played on the basketball team. We’re trying to find those kids who don’t meet your traditional criteria for financial aid.”

Members of Douglas County Fire District No. 2 and Local Union 1110 also volunteered their time for the event.

“For a big event like this, it means a lot for us for people to come out and support it,” Anspach said. “I know a lot of them are just here to drink beers, but I know a lot of them are here for Treven. It’s something that will still mean something in 20 years. Nobody likes the fact that it happened, but we never want to brush it under the rug. We want to make sure that they will be remembered.”

At the Bigfoot Beverages trailers, George Wierichs from Local Union 2091 helped serve up tasting samples with his wife.

“It’s going to the Treven Anspach Memorial Fund which is obviously a good benefit to support, and it’s a good time,” Wierichs said. “I enjoy combining the things that I love, so I’ve got my wife, I’ve got beer, I’ve got my union, I’m making people happy and it’s all for a good cause. It’s just a culmination of awesome and I enjoy it.”

Wierichs helped serve guests like Kelly White, who unintentionally sampled almost solely local breweries.

“It’s enjoyable because I see a lot of people I know and a lot of people from work,” White said. “I tried some more beers that I’ve never had before that I really like.”

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Janelle Polcyn is a reporter at The News-Review, graduated from the University of Texas, and is a podcast enthusiast.

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