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Brewfest helps turn your pint into a pig (and more)

The Rotary Club of Katy, which puts on Wild West Brewfest, donates all of the proceeds to help area kids.

KATY, Texas — In Katy, there is an organization that can turn your pint into a pig. It’s not magic; it’s Rotary.

“We help local FFA clubs by offering grants to students who might not otherwise be able to afford an animal,” says Chris Garcia, president of the Rotary Club of Katy.

That grant, says Seven Lakes High School ag teacher Joe Bochat, takes some of the burden off of kids.

“It allows them to focus on raising that animal and doing the right thing by the animal, not worrying about the money part of it,” Bochat says.

His students hop on the bus to the ag barn at 5:45 a.m., Monday through Friday. There, they care for steer, hogs, lambs and goats. They also have the option of keeping rabbits and chickens at home.

“It teaches them responsibility and work ethic. They learn those really early on,” Bochat says. “The more work they put into an animal, they’ll see those results.”

Rotary goes beyond just offering grants for animals, however. It also a big sponsor of Katy ISD’s Special Rodeo. More than 500 students from the district’s Life Skills program participated this year.

“Rotary does a lot of thing to support our FFA kids,” adds Bochat.

For kids who prefer a saxophone to a sheep, the Rotary can help too. It donated thousands to Katy ISD’s fine arts system to buy band instruments.

“We just appreciate the opportunity for the students who need the help to get it. The Rotary Club is providing that opportunity,” says Morton Ranch Jr. High band director Michelle Mitchell. “The instruments they provided were anywhere from $420 a piece to $675 a piece.”

Those instruments are put into a library, offered to students who might not be able to afford an instrument or whose instrument breaks.

“All of the campuses, we greatly appreciate the effort and time Rotarians put in. They go above and beyond to really provide for our community,” Mitchell says. “I really appreciate that.”

The Rotary Club of Katy is gearing up for its biggest fundraiser of the year, Wild West Brewfest. The massive event, featuring more than 600 beers, is held April 26 & 27 in the Katy Mills Mall parking lot. Click here to get tickets.