It took 28 good whacks with a rubber mallet, but a 4-foot tower of quarters became a shower of coins for a good cause Sunday at Figueroa Mountain Brewery’s tap room in Buellton.
The “Scane Tower” of quarters, donated by customers over the last year, was built by dipping each coin in beer and stacking it on top of others around a tube of stainless steel.
David Esdaile, the company’s tap room manager, has been raising money since 2003 for local nonprofit groups.
He explained how he dips the coins in stout, which makes them sticky and easy to stack, gradually constructing the coin tower around the tube. When it’s completed, the tower is demolished and the money is given to a local nonprofit group.
For this tower, he began collecting the quarters in June 2011. He calls the creation a Scane Tower after his grandfather George Scane, who was its inspiration.
The recipient again this year was Spinal Cord Injury Research Advancement, which has been raising funds for well over a decade for conducting human clinical trials in an effort to find a cure for spinal cord injuries.
“This is our fifth tower, and we are happy to help SCI in its endeavor to get people out of wheelchairs,” Esdaile said.
On Sunday, to the cheers and applause of more than 50 well-wishers, SCI founder Will Ambler whacked away until the coins were dislodged and came tumbling down into a sheet held by David and Cynthia Manigault, Mark Cavanaugh, Andrew Bach and Esdaile.
The effort yielded $2,540, and Rabobank will process the coins at no charge to the nonprofit group. Tacos Amigos provided lunch.
“It’s fun to see people getting involved in the project,” he added. “(Local residents) Juan and Tish Beltraneña took a small fabric bag with them on their trip to Guatemala and placed it on the foyer table along with an article that was recently published about the event in the Santa Ynez Valley News. They collected $10 in quarters in the bag and then brought them back to Buellton to be added to the Scane Tower.”
“I want to thank (brewery owner) Jim Dietenhofer, David Esdaile and all his patrons who generously donated to the SCI Research Advancement,” Ambler said. “Within the first five minutes of meeting Jim, he immediately offered to help my foundation. Two weeks later, David surprised me with the honor of being the first charity to receive donations generated from the Scane Tower at Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company. Both Jim and David are extremely generous and I wish to sincerely thank them for all their efforts on our behalf.”