Drop The H donates ‘Community Tank’ proceeds to VetLinks

Jonathan Riley
Morning Sun
Drop The H co-owner Mark McClain, left, presented a check on Friday to VetLinks board member Joe Fleming, center, and Dennis Kavanagh, father of U.S. Army Maj. Brian Kavanagh.

PITTSBURG, Kan. — Last year, Drop The H Brewing Company introduced its first “Community Tank” beer, Nightfall Lager, proceeds from which benefited Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southeast Kansas. In 2021, Drop The H has brought back the Community Tank, once again contributing to a local charitable group with a new brew, VetLinks Lager. 

Drop The H co-owners Mark and Cathy McClain presented VetLinks representatives with a check for $3,762.22 on Friday, April 9. 

Mark McClain said that a little over a year ago, he and Cathy were approached by Katie Swezey of VetLinks, who told them about the organization’s mission and its local roots. 

“That was an easy sell,” he said. “Cathy and I are both Air Force veterans, and anything that supports our service members, our veterans and their families, is right up our alley.” 

Joe Fleming, a VetLinks board member and close friend of U.S. Army Maj. Brian Kavanagh, whose vision for VetLinks led to the establishment of the nonprofit, accepted the check on behalf of the organization. 

Kavanagh, a Pittsburg native, originally envisioned VetLinks while he and his family struggled with finding him help for his post-traumatic stress from combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan from 2006 to 2008. His family and friends have made his vision a reality and kept the organization going in his honor. 

“We lost Brian in 2016 to complications of traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress,” Fleming said. “He served four tours, and his last two were the ones that took their toll, and it opened our eyes to the weight that our service men and women carry when they come home from wartime experience.” 

VetLinks works with two other national nonprofits, USA Cares and the Code of Support Foundation, to provide money and services to veterans in need, Fleming said. The organization also hosts the annual KavFest Charity Golf Tournament at Crestwood Country Club, which is set for Saturday, Aug. 14 this year. Visit VetLinks.org for more information. 

Besides discussing VetLinks’ mission, Fleming also thanked Drop The H for its support. 

“As a native of Pittsburg, I want to thank Mark and Cathy for coming in and opening Drop The H here in Pittsburg and not only providing us with a wonderful establishment for our town but giving back to the community and putting back into the community,” he said. “That means a lot to us.”