Alex and Audrey Kidney Benefit

Audrey Holmgren and Alex Eastman met and became good friends while working at the Old Chicago on Academy Blvd. Holmgren has volunteered to donate a kidney to Eastman, who was diagnosed at 18 with a rare autoimmune disease that destroys the blood vessels in the kidneys. Old Chicago and Bristol Brewing Co. have partnered to host a series of fundraising events over the Labor Day weekend to help offset the costs of the Sept. 9 surgery. (Courtesy photo)

Old Chicago and Bristol Brewing Co. are partnering on a series of fundraising events this Labor Day weekend to help offset the costs of kidney transplant surgery for an Old Chicago employee and the friend, and former colleague, who has volunteered to be a donor.

The Alex and Audrey Kidney Benefit includes “pint nights” and giveaways at Old Chicago locations in Colorado Springs, during which $2 from every pint of Bristol beer sold will go to the fund.

Sunday’s main event, a “tap takeover” with Bristol Brewing at the Old Chicago on Academy Blvd. will have multiple giveaways and a silent auction for items including a large-screen TV, Broncos tickets, and “Beer for A Year” from multiple breweries. As with the run-up events, Old Chicago will donate $2 from every Bristol pint sold at the Sunday gathering to the cause.

Those who attend also will get a chance to meet Alexander Eastman, 26, and Audrey Holmgren, 30, who met and became close friends while working at the Old Chicago on Academy.

Eastman was 18 when he was diagnosed with dense deposit disease, a rare autoimmune disease that damages the blood vessels in the kidneys. He’s currently on dialysis, while he and Holmgren await the Sept. 9 transplant surgery at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.

“It’s the right thing to do, and I would hope that anyone in the same situation, they would be able to do the same thing,” said Holmgren. “I have something that I have to offer, and Alex needs that thing, so I’m going to give it to him.”

The pint night benefits run 5 to 7 p.m. Friday at the Old Chicago Powers location, 3190 New Center Point, and 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday at Old Chicago Woodmen, 7115 Commerce Center Dr.

Sunday’s fundraiser is 7 to 9 p.m. at Old Chicago Academy, 4110 N Academy Blvd.

Reporter

Stephanie Earls is a news reporter and columnist at The Gazette. Before moving to Colorado Springs in 2012, she worked for newspapers in upstate NY, WA, OR and at her hometown weekly in Berkeley Springs, WV, where she got her start in journalism.

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