Stillwater Sunshine Fest honoring the gift of life

Stillwater Sunshine Fest honoring the gift of life

Stillwater Sunshine Fest honoring the gift of life

At River Siren Brewing Company in Stillwater, they brew more than just beer, music and fun.

They’re celebrating life, the act of giving back and the strong community spirit of Stillwater through their third annual event called Sunshine Fest.

The celebration honors the legacy of Van Carlson who was the son of Brian and Harmony Carlson, owners of River Siren Brewery.

Van was only five days old when he passed away. While his life was short, he had a lasting impact by offering the gift of life through organ donation.

“We found out a little over midway through the pregnancy that he had a condition that was not compatible with life. Very difficult decisions. None of them were great decisions and we decided to carry full term and enjoy the time that we had with him knowing that he wouldn’t survive,” said Brian. 

Sunshine Fest is one way the family has been honoring Van and raising awareness and funds for organ donations. The celebration includes the release of a special beer called Sunshine Baby Witbier. There were also live band performances by GB Leighton and SPF-30, plus family fun activities, including a silent auction, raffle, food and more. 

Over the past two years, Sunshine Fest has raised $7,000 for nonprofit LifeSource. This year, they have a goal of $10,000 for their own Sunshine Baby foundation.

“It’s a day to raise awareness and funds for organ donation supporting families of both donors and recipients of organ donation,” Brian said. 

Saturday’s celebration ran from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.