WORCESTER, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — The first of three Worcester-area breweries holding fundraisers for the family of fallen Worcester Fire Lt. Jason Menard opened their taps today, pouring the first glasses of a Belgian Wit called "Worcester's Bravest."
Wormtown Brewery will donate 100 percent of the proceeds from the sale of the beer—a collaboration with Wachusett Brewery and Greater Good Imperial Brew Co.—to the Lt. Menard Memorial Fund.
A strong showing of Worcester Firefighters and their family members were there to order the beer and support the Menards, including Michael Papagni, President of Worcester Firefighters Local 1009.
"There's no part of this that isn't personal, that doesn't hit you right at your heart," Papagni told WBZ NewsRadio's Kim Tunnicliffe. "All of it is for Jay, to pay tribute to the man he was, the firefighter he was, the husband and the father he was. We'll never forget that."
Lt. Menard saved two fellow firefighters before he died battling flames at a home in Worcester back in November.
Neil and his fiance Rose came out to down a few brews while supporting a good cause.
"My brother-in-law's a firefighter, my uncle's a firefighter out in Spencer," he said. "Worcester's tight-knit, a big city but we're tight-knit. Any way we can donate to the family in pain, we try to do it."
Papagni said it means a lot to see so many in the community turning out to support the Menard family.
"A true testament to this community, every time, without question, they circle around their firefighters, they support all of us, all of our families," he said. "It's humbling to know that they're there for us."
Wachusett Brewery will hold their Lt. Menard fundraiser Saturday, and Greater Good will hold theirs next week.
WBZ NewsRadio's Kim Tunnicliffe (@KimWBZ) reports