Years ago, Four Peaks co-founder Jim Scussel was sipping on a Kilt Lifter at the brewery (as he is wont to do) when he overheard something that thoroughly upset him. A group of teachers, gathered for beers after a particularly tough day of class, was discussing the lack of supplies—even essentials like pencils and paper—provided for their students by the school at which they worked. Joining the conversation, Scussel learned that theirs was not a unique problem; tight education budgets regularly lead to shortages of classroom essentials, and teachers across the nation often spend their own money—sometimes hundreds of dollars a year—to make sure their students have the learning tools they need. Scussel knew he had to help.
So, in the summer of 2011, Four Peaks rallied customers, staff and family to donate supplies for teachers to pick up at the brewery. The initiative, which came to be known as Four Peaks 4 Teachers, has since become an expansive statewide effort that has proven to be incredibly beneficial and rewarding to both the local teaching community and the brewery.
This month, Four Peaks 4 Teachers kicks off its eighth year of providing school supplies to thousands of Arizona educators. With help from Treasures 4 Teachers and other partner organizations as well as through its own fundraising efforts, Four Peaks will purchase enough items to fill and distribute 4,500 school supply kits for teachers in Phoenix, Tucson and Flagstaff.
“I probably spend between $200 and $300 a year on classroom supplies and other things my students might need,” says Veronica Marquez, a special education teacher at Desert Vista High School in Ahwatukee, Ariz. “Four Peaks for Teachers is a huge help in cutting down some of that cost. Plus the materials it provides, especially in the summertime, give us a head start for the school year.”
Here’s how the program works: Starting in June, a portion of every beer you buy at a Four Peaks pub or participating retailer (indicated by the signage above) will be set aside for Four Peaks 4 Teachers. You can also purchase $5 raffle tickets at our pubs or online; prizes include a Phat Scooter, golf packages, Four Peaks neons and more, and the entire cost of the ticket will be used as part of the program. At the end of the fundraising period, the money we’ve raised through beer sales, raffle ticket sales, and direct donations from our retail partners will be used to fill kits of school supplies. We’ll donate any remaining funds directly to Treasures 4 Teachers.
Teachers who want to receive a free school supply kit simply need to visit one of the locations listed below between June 19 and July 25 to pick up a kit voucher while supplies last. Vouchers will be used to determine how many kits need to be distributed in each area, and will have the date, time and location of the kit pickup listed.
Tucson: Monsoons Tap & Grill; Stillhouse Grill & Bar
Tempe: Four Peaks 8th Street Brewery
Scottsdale: Four Peaks Grill & Tap
Flagstaff: Majestic Marketplace
Goodyear: Goodyear Recreation & Parks (3075 N Litchfield Rd.; Tuesdays only)
“We’re so grateful to see how much the Four Peaks 4 Teachers program has expanded over the past seven years, and we’re excited to continue that growth in our eighth year,” Scussel says. “Four Peaks was founded on bringing people together, and we see Four Peaks 4 Teachers as an extension of that idea. With the help of Treasures for Teachers, our retail partners, and all of our fans dedicated to providing our teachers with much-needed support, we hope to make the program more successful than ever.”
To start the program in earnest, we’re throwing a kickoff party Tuesday, June 19, with pints of all our year-round beers available for just $2 all day long. All educators and supporters are invited to come celebrate Arizona’s teachers and help us raise funds for this great cause.