A value ingrained deeply into the culture of D-S Beverages since the beginning has always been one of community involvement and the importance of supporting the people and places you do business with. D-S Beverages supports a number of local organizations and causes, large and small, throughout the year. Two that have become community mainstays for D-S Beverages are their yearly October Breast Cancer Awareness campaign and the Folds of Honor Foundation. Both causes raise funds that stay local and go directly back into the communities they serve.
1. Have you tried Michelob Ultra's pink beer? It's a colorful way to support breast cancer awareness.
hen you think of October, the colors that likely come to mind are the yellows, oranges
and reds of the turning fall foliage—yet the month has become closely associate with another color: pink.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and many organizations around the Fargo-Moorhead area are doing their part to help raise funds and awareness. For over 10 years, D-S Beverages has been one of those organizations finding creative ways to connect with the community and help raise funds through their annual Breast Cancer Awareness Promotion which most recognizably features Pink Michelob Ultra tap beer.
D-S Beverages began their Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign in 2012, partnering with other organizations in the Fargo- Moorhead area, including Dakota Medical Foundation, Corwin Automotive, Big 98.7 and Essentia Health. Fast forward to today and the campaign has morphed into a partnership with Big 98.7 and their Bras on Big promotion. The campaign has grown significantly over the years and continues to be an important way in which D-S Beverages connects with the community. “This campaign just continues to resonate with consumers and the community,” D-S Beverages’ President Doug Restemayer said. To date, D-S Beverages has given over $150,000 to support the fight against breast cancer. Including all supporting partner donations, over $250,000 has been raised.
Proceeds are donated to the Essentia Health Foundation in Fargo to help provide transportation, gift cards for fuel, and comfort items to cancer patients during treatment.
“I think everybody’s had a person they’ve known that has gone through cancer treatment— it touches the lives of everybody,” Restemayer said. “The good news is that most breast cancer is treatable, so we believe that the money we provide does good and has an impact. It affects people directly so, there’s that direct connection.”
The passion for the cause really comes from D-S Beverages team as a whole. From coloring the beer pink, to wearing pink, and hanging signs to bring awareness, October is always a month the team gets excited about. “There’s a lot of enthusiasm behind our campaign,” Restemayer said. “And a lot of it is because our people believe in the cause.”
Pink beer for the month of October is also a great conversation starter in bringing awareness to breast cancer, especially for those in the community who aren’t familiar with campaign. D-S Beverages is excited to see how the community interacts with the promotion and the conversations it creates. “I think everyone loves supporting a good cause, especially if it’s something they feel is making a local impact,” D-S Beverages’ Jenna Pokrzywinski said. “There are a number of nationwide campaigns out there that benefit the research side of things, which is important—but for D-S Beverages a key aspect to this campaign is the local tie-in. We are local companies supporting people in our community, people who are going through a tough time and hopefully making life a little easier for them.”
2. Supporting Veterans' Military Families
In addition to its Breast Cancer Awareness promotion, another cause important to D-S Beverages is their support of local military families and veterans. The military connection has been a part of D-S Beverages since the beginning, developing over the years and most recently into a sponsor partnership with the Folds of Honor Foundation. The Folds of Honor Foundation is a national organization that provides life-changing scholarships to the spouses and children of America’s fallen or disabled military, and newly expanding to include the families of America’s first responders. D-S Beverages’ introduction to Folds of Honor came via Anheuser-Busch who has been a longtime supporter of that foundation and the U.S. military in general. Through their special military packaging and donating a portion of all sales to the foundation, to date, Anheuser-Busch has raised $21 million for the Folds of Honor Foundation since 2010.
Adding on to Anheuser-Bush’s nationwide campaign, locally D-S Beverages works closely with Folds of Honor to award scholarships to families of military and first responders in our community. D-S Beverages goal is to award one to two scholarships every year. Many of the recipients, who are chosen through the Folds of Honor program, have been NDSU students. “Meeting the recipients and hearing their story, their future plans, their family’s story—knowing you’re making a difference in someones life and giving back to someone whose family has given so much to our country makes this program and all the good it does so important to D-S and me personally,” said Restemayer.
Outside of Folds of Honor, D-S Beverages also supports the military in other ways in our community, including being the Grand Slam sponsor of the Chamber’s yearly Military Appreciation Night at the Red Hawks for the past 10 years. They’ve also been a part of Heroes Day at the Red River Valley Fair for years, partnering with Budweiser and handing out awards to local military and law enforcement heroes. They’ve also brought in the Budweiser Clydesdales a number of times, coordinating special home deliveries to military veterans.
Restemayer is also involved in the North Dakota Air Guard support group where he goes to Washington DC, and lobbies every year with The Chamber to support the funding of the North Dakota Air Guard and the importance of keeping the Air Guard base here in Fargo.
As for the D-S Beverages team, several have served in the military which further strengthens their pride in supporting military families and causes. D-S Beverages’ founder and Restemayer’s father-in-law (Don Setter Sr.) served in the military and “was always passionate about supporting military and so its been an inherent part of D-S Beverages since the beginning in 1968,” said Restemayer.
Whether you’ve raised a pint of pink beer in support of breast cancer awareness or helped support their military promotions like Folds of Honor, D-S Beverages is grateful for the people in their community who make it possible for them to give back.