The Wellfleet Beachcomber has achieved a national reputation as one of the “best beach bars” in the region/country (by Boston Magazine, Esquire, the Travel Channel). Locally, the now 40-year old Cape Cod institution is also known for its strong commitment to fundraising and support for local and regional charities.
The Beachcomber hosts two major fundraising events each year on premises. Explains owner Todd LeBart, “the Beachcomber donates the space for the event and our employees volunteer their time and tips. We solicit our purveyors for product and virtually all of the food and liquor we serve is donated, so 100% of the revenue goes to the charity.”
The results of these two event reached new milestones in 2017:
In June the Beachcomber hosted its 9th Annual “Clam Jam”, a fundraiser for the Pan Mass Challenge (PMC) that benefits Dan-Farber Cancer Institute. The Clam Jam is spearheaded by the Beachcomber’s Kitchen Operations Manager, Chris Ross. He volunteers his time and also rides the weekend of the event with “Team Beachcomber” a group that has grown to 25 strong. According to owner Todd LeBart, “This year we passed the $1 Million milestone in our fundraising efforts for the Pan Mass Challenge. We made it in just 8 years with $224,000 raised in 2017 alone!” In November the PMC presented a $51 million gift to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
In September, the Beachcomber hosted the 4th Annual “Live For Lou Fundraiser”. This fundraiser benefits the “Live For Lou Fund”, an advised fund of the Cape Cod Foundation established in memory of the LeBarts’ son Louie who from died an opioid overdose in 2014. Over the past 4 years, Live For Lou has raised over $200,000 with $50,830 of it this past season.
In 2017, Live For Lou has donated or pledged $119,000 for the following: Drug Counseling Educational Scholarships, Athletic Scholarships for Swimmers and the construction of the Wellfleet Memorial Garden, dedicated to the memory of Louie LeBart and other young adults the Cape has lost too soon. The estimated construction cost for this Memorial Garden is $80,000 -100,000. Other local recipients of Live For Lou funds include organizations that help prevent substance abuse (Calmer Choice) and organizations that treat and support those struggling to beat addiction (Gosnold and Canal House).
In addition to the Clam Jam and the Live For Lou fundraisers, the Wellfleet Beachcomber has also donated a total of $85,000 directly to 20 local organizations in 2017.
And all of this community support comes from a seasonal business that’s only open 3.5 months a year.