Beer Drinker Visits Tailgaters Grille to Help Cure Cancer
Todd Ruggere has raised money and tipped back a beer in 71 towns on his way to completing his 351 Sam Adams Challenge.
By day, Todd Ruggere can be found sitting at his desk in an office building, where he works in mutual funds. By night, though, he can be found anywhere across the state enjoying a Sam Adams beer and raising money for children’s cancer in Boston.
“I see all of the commercials before movies where it shows the kids with cancer looking out windows and seeing people writing messages,” Ruggere said. “It’s always gotten to me and I’ve always wanted to help them along like that.”
As a big fan of Sam Adams, it came easily for him to add his love of beer to the mix when he realized he couldn’t name even half of the towns in Massachusetts. He said he thinks he is doing something that has never been done before.
“In the world that we live in you can’t be the first to come up with anything,” Ruggere said. “I think there are probably people that have been to every town but I think I’m the first person to take it a step further and drink a beer in every town.”
There’s more to it than drinking beer and going out to the bar every night. The whole purpose of Ruggere's venture is to raise money for children's cancer in Boston.
“I try to reach out to bars and restaurants before I go there and make sure they’re on board with this,” Ruggere said. “Everyone that has gotten back to me has been excited by the idea and willing to make a donation to Dana Farber or to donate a gift certificate to be raffled off.”
On Tuesday night, Ruggere went to Tailgaters Grille in Marlborough where he talked to many patrons who had heard of him before.
“I saw you on the news the other day; thank you for doing this to help the kids,” one diner said.
His website and media appearances aren’t just getting Ruggere recognition at the bars he visits.
“I was at work the day after my news segment aired on WHDH and a coworker came up to me and asked me to sign something; that’s when I realized that this is a big deal,” Ruggere said.
People hear about Ruggere’s quest and are always offering up ideas to him, but sometimes the requests are a little out there.
“I’ve been asked to do all sorts of different things,” Ruggere said. “I’m having a beer with a mule in Mendon this week [Ruggere had a beer with Max the donkey on Feb. 27, he also had a beer with a llama in Plympton in January] another person in Carver asked me to have a beer in a cranberry bog."
Ruggere also has one request of his own.
As a Massachusetts resident who grew up in Weymouth and now lives in Grafton, Ruggere has always been a New England Patriots fan; he wants to have a beer at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough with kicker Stephen Gostkowski.
“If I could have a beer with any Patriots player it would be Stephen Gostowski,” Ruggere said. “I told my friends once that I could definitely kick a 50-yard field goal, I got out there and it was so hard I couldn’t even make a 25-yard kick. I have so much respect for what he does; it’s a thankless job.”
Ruggere still has more than 250 towns to go and he’s always looking for ideas.
“I reply to everyone who messages me and I’ll go back to a town I’ve already visited to have a beer with someone. It’s a great cause,” Ruggere said.
You can follow along with his journey on the pages he runs. Ruggere said he tries to post some of his plans ahead of time.