Beer and music event to raise funds for Bennington County Coalition for the Homeless


BENNINGTON — Dylan Turner, who grew up in North Bennington, is returning to the area this weekend to perform with his new band and support one of his friend's organizations.

"Party with a Purpose" for the Bennington County Coalition for the Homeless (BCCH) is coming to the The Tap House at Catamount Glass on Saturday with Turner's band The Grand Shell Game, the Hillary Chase Band, and Zero Gravity Brewery.

The event comes from Turner adding another stop to his band's northeastern tour and his getting in touch with an old friend, Christopher Oldham, executive director for the coalition.

Turner was a camper at Lake Paran's Camp Orca when Oldham was a counselor. They later became friends — Turner would play the guitar and they'd sing Elvis songs together.

"I wanted to give something back to the community that raised me," Turner said. "It's great that I have the opportunity to be in a band that can support itself to travel 4,000 miles and include my hometown in that."

"It's been maybe 15 years that I've known him," Oldham said. "While he was home he wanted to do a show with the band and connect it to a local nonprofit. He contacted me about wanting to be a part of it."

The fiscal year is coming to an end for most agencies and Oldham said this time is typically a dry spell for nonprofits. He quoted the organization's phrase "Working Together, Making a Difference," and said opportunities like this are hard to pass up, especially during BCCH's expansion.

Whitney Packard, the Tap House manager, said that Zero Gravity had been wanting to collaborate on an event and she decided this would be the moment to do so.

"I have a lot of people interested," she said. "[Zero Gravity] is psyched about the idea."

Catamount Glass produces growlers — the half-gallon jug of beer — for Zero Gravity, according to Laina Johnson, sales representative for the Burlington-based brewery.

"They've carried our Cone Head IPA since they've opened and I wanted to do an event," Johnson said.

Zero Gravity started brewing in 2004 inside a German cuisine restaurant called American Flatbread's Burlington Hearth. In 2012 it started distributing off-premise sales and eventually expanded into another location at the Pine Street Brewery in Burlington, according to its website.

The Grand Shell Game just started their three week northeastern tour and will finish on July 4 at the beach near Chapel Hill, N.C. Turner has played various gigs in the county and was a part of Bevel Summers until it disbanded circa 2010. He moved to North Carolina in 2011 when Eric Scott Guthrie approached him with a bass playing opportunity. Now, he said he's grateful for new friends and a band family.

Turner's brother plays in the Hillary Chase Band, another reason why the event came together. Turner remembers when Catamount Glass started brewing beer and when his brother told him about the Tap House, he decided to add Bennington to the tour.

"It's an honor to be working with Chris and bring my new friends and my band mates up to Vermont and show them what I got," Turner said.

Admission is free, but a $5 donation to benefit BCCH is suggested. The Tap House will also donate $1 from every beer flight that is sold. The Zero Gravity event starts at 6 p.m. Hillary Chase will start at 7 with The Grand Shell Game to follow.

— Makayla-Courtney McGeeney can be reached at (802)-447-7567, ext. 118.


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