Man Tours Connecticut Drinking Beer in Each Town to Fight Cancer

By Jessie Sawyer
|  Monday, May 19, 2014  |  Updated 3:04 PM EDT
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Todd Ruggere wants to sit and have a beer in all 169 of Connecticut's cities and towns.  He's doing it to raise money for the Smilow Cancer Center at Yale-New Haven Hospital.

Todd Ruggere wants to sit and have a beer in all 169 of Connecticut's cities and towns. He's doing it to raise money for the Smilow Cancer Center at Yale-New Haven Hospital.

A man on a mission to drink a beer in every Connecticut town to raise money for cancer research and treatment is about halfway to his goal.

Todd Ruggere, of Grafton, Massachusetts, has visited 81 of the 169 towns in the state so far on his CT Pour Tour. He has raised $20,000 so far for Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale New Haven to help pediatric cancer patients.

After seeing many commercials on television promoting support of child cancer patients, Ruggere said he wanted to help.

“I wanted to find a cool way to raise money for cancer,” Ruggere.

Last year, he said “it just hit me one day.” Looking at a map of Massachusetts, he was surprised to see towns he never knew existed like Florida and Peru. The pour tour was also a way for him to explore parts of his home state he’d never visited. Ruggere stopped at 351 Massachusetts towns in 2013 to have a beer, raising $40,000 to help combat children’s cancer.

WHDH, an NBC affiliate news station in Boston, aired the first interview with Ruggere about his mission and from there it went viral, he said.

Ruggere didn’t want to stop there.

“I knew I wanted to do another state,” Ruggere said.

Like Florida and Peru in Massachusetts, Ruggere has learned of some unique Connecticut town names, as well, including Bozrah and Scotland, which he hasn’t been to yet. One of his favorite parts of the state was the Northwest corner.

He started the tour at Two Roads Brewing Co. in Stratford, a place he’d never been to before. Now Two Roads is his sponsor. And what’s his favorite beer on the tour so far? Two Roads’ new raspberry-flavored Road Jam beer.

At each town on the pour tour, he stops into a local brewery, bar or even another fundraiser to have a beer, inviting locals to join him and donate if they’d like. Many of the venues put his photo on the wall to advertise that he’s coming in case people want to participate. Many bars and breweries are contacting him extending invitations to stop by on the Pour Tour.

People are responding well to the CT Pour Tour, he said. One person came to his stop in Ridgefield to donate $10,000 to the cause.

So far, Ruggere has visited the following towns on his pour tour – Salisbury, North Canaan, Colebrook, Cornwall, Goshen, Torrington, Warren, Litchfield, Washington, Morris, Bethlehem, Watertown, Woodbury, Middlebury, Oxford, Monroe, Woodbridge, Granby, East Granby, Canton, Avon, West Hartford, Burglington, Plymouth, Bristol, Plainville, Wolcott, Southington, Berlin, Cromwell, Windsor, East Windsor, South Windsor, East Hartford, Glastonbury, Bolton, Andover, Columbia, Windham, Union, Woodstock, Pomfret, Brooklyn, Killingly, Sterling, Voluntown, Ridgefield, Danbury, Bethel, Bridgeport, Woodbridge, West Haven, Prospect, Cheshire, Meriden, Middlefield, Middletown, Wallingford, North Haven, Branford, Deep River, Essex, Salem, Montville, Waterford, Norwich, Lisbon, Preston, Ledyard, Groton, North Stonington and Stonington.

He plans on visiting the southern tail of Connecticut in the Fairfield County region next.

What’s next after CT Pour Tour?

Ruggere said that he hopes to take his fundraising tour nationwide. He is currently looking for sponsors to make a 50-state pour tour possible. The plan is to drink at least a beer in each state and raise money to donate to children’s cancer hospitals located in each state.

Ruggere is looking for your tips on potential tour stops. You can text him at 781-974-9428 or email him at toddy351@yahoo.com.

Information on the CT Pour Tour and Ruggere's scheduled stops is available at CTpourtour.com. Donations can be made online or in person at a CT Pour Tour stop. You can also follow him @CTpourtour on Twitter and like his CT Pour Tour Facebook page.

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