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DUBCO in Bay Shore raises $6G at Release the Tulips fundraiser for Parkinson’s research

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DUBCO production manager John Fraioli had nearly raised $6,000 for Parkinson’s research during his Sunday afternoon fundraiser when he turned from behind the bar to say “Thank you” to the crowd.

“We raised $5,917,” he said toward the end of the Release the Tulips fundraiser to raise money for the American Parkinson Disease Association. “Saying ‘Thank you’ will never be enough, but thank you.”

While there was plenty of canned Release the Tulips beer — which Fraioli first brewed last year for the same cause — camaraderie flowed on tap all day.

“$5,917? Now let’s make it so six grand,” Paul Komsic shouted from the crowd. “Who’s got $20 on him?”

Komsic, a patron and friend of Fraioli’s handed his pal $20, and several other patrons stepped to the bar to gift last-minute cash. Meanwhile, guests perched above the crowd threw down dollar bills from the brewery’s second-story loft to cross that $6,000 threshold.

“Make it rain,” the crowd shouted.

‘When we stand together, we’re better’

Parkinson’s is an issue near and dear to Fraioli’s heart. His father, grandfather, and step-father were all diagnosed with the disease.

Last year, he brewed his first batch of DUBCO’s Release the Tulips hazy New England IPA, proceeds of which benefitted the American Parkinson Disease Association. The name is a nod to the flower for Parkinson’s.

Fraioli upped the ante this year with his raffle fundraiser. The Eat Me Drink Me food truck parked outside DUBCO’s tasting room and restaurants and breweries donated various prizes. The final ticket drawn was for a signed New York Islanders jersey.

Fraioli said his goal for Sunday was not only to raise money, but to bring everyone afflicted with or affected by the disease together.

“A woman from one of the Parkinson’s support groups that I follow on Facebook drove like an hour here to buy beer for her son and to shake my hand,” Fraioli said. “That alone is worth everything, that’s the whole reason for doing this.

“Life is short, everybody has damage, everybody has things they’re afraid of or hurt by,” he added. “But when we stand together, we’re better.”