BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Beer & Hymns, the only sing-a-long event raising funds for area nonprofits, announced Monday a new partnership with the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkoma, a nonprofit based in western Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma.

According to a press release, the mission of the Ronald McDonald House is to create, find and support programs that improve the health and well-being of children in the region.

While connected to a national charity, each Ronald McDonald location operates at the local level and relies on area support and funding to build, furnish, and stock suites and homes for family members caring for their hospitalized children according to Erin Farrah, marketing and communications manager for their Arkoma program.

Farrah says most families who stay in their facilities have a sick infant in the hospital, and as families begin transitioning from a pandemic lifestyle to one of an endemic, facilities are filling up quickly from an increase in births requiring time in the neonatal intensive care unit, or NICU.

“NICU feedings are every two or three hours maximum and even if you only live 20 minutes away, that’s a minimum of 40 minutes there and back. It’s very difficult to take a shower, have time to rest or eat a good meal, and make it back in time for the next feeding,” she said. “You don’t know you need this until you need it. We will serve anyone who has a child 21 years of age or younger.”

Beer & Hymns is described as a free community sing-a-long of hymns and cover songs everyone knows by heart. Each month, they select a lyrical theme and a charity people can come together to support.

According to the release, charitable proceeds come from direct donations by attendees at the events, as well as a percentage of food and drink sales.

September’s Beer & Hymns theme honors Piano Legends like Billy Joel, John Legend, and Alicia Keys. Several families who have stayed at Ronald McDonald House charities will attend and sing along, said both Farrah and Ken Weatherford, executive director of Beer & Hymns.

Scheduled events this month include:

  • Sunday, Sept. 11th: Tontitown Winery, Tontitown, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Sunday, Sept. 18th: Bike Rack Brewing Co. 8th Street Market, Bentonville, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Last month, Beer & Hymns raised $5,255.63 for the Rampy MS Research Foundation, funding additional national research to cure multiple sclerosis.