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Mike and Leigh Harting know how to make great beer. They also know how to make an invaluable difference in their community.

The Hartings are probably best known as the owners of 3 Daughters Brewing, which will mark its five-year anniversary in December. What people should know about them, is the lasting impact they’ve made in the community by donating time, money, energy and opening their brewery for nonprofits in need of a venue.

What the Hartings understand, and what other businesses are discovering, is it’s no longer just about the quality of the product (let’s face it, 3 Daughters turns out quality products). Today it’s also about connecting with the community in a positive way. That’s how you build a loyal following.

The Hartings for the past five years have operated with those principles in mind, whether it’s volunteering in the community, serving on a variety of nonprofit boards, or donating to various causes. They set the example not only for their staff but also for other businesses looking to establish a foothold in the community.

How serious is this commitment? Consider that in 2016, they created a staff position to help coordinate these philanthropic endeavors. How many craft breweries have one of those? Jessica Bodkin, a native of St Petersburg, spent much of her youth in the city’s rec centers, and made such an impression that the city hired her as a recreation staffer when she turned 18.

Bodkin refined skills working with local businesses on sponsorships and donations for events and field trips for the kids at the rec centers. She discovered how much of an impact a $100 contribution could make and brings that know-how to the 3 Daughters commitment to giving.

The goal for 2017 was to provide $100,000 in donations or in-kind contributions to 200 nonprofits. Mission accomplished. Not ready to call it a day, the Hartings and Bodkin noodled on how to do even more. The result was a series of themed markets showcasing charities that set up booths to raise awareness to their causes. It has helped propel 3 Daughters to meeting this year’s goal of $125,000 pledged to 250 nonprofits.

“We have an engine that is available to those who want to work for their community,” Mike said sitting in the brewery. “The 15 of us sitting here couldn’t do as much individually as if we all go out and do something together. With a focused team, the donated time, energy and effort is multiplied several times over.”

The commitment extends beyond volunteering and donating to charities. At the grand opening five years ago, the Hartings raised an American flag that flew over a military base in Afghanistan – donated by the Green Beret Foundation. You can bet that if folks need a location to honor first responders and the military, or to host a charitable event, 3 Daughters will step right up. Remember that when looking for a cool place to support a cause on a hot day.