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Because Coffee holds “Birthaversary Shindig” concert
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Because Coffee owner Doug Cole introduces the opening band, Music Authority's "Beyond", at the free drive-in concert at his coffee shop on Nov. 6. - photo by Erica Schmidt

Music blasted from the amplifiers in the parking lot of Because Coffee, and spotlights lit up the whole parking lot as the band on the stage played one of their original songs, “Drive My Car”. Community members spread across the parking lot in lawn chairs or on blankets, singing, dancing or recording the show as they sipped coffee and ate Mexican food. 

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Feature band Okay Kenedi plays their set at Because Coffee’s event. - photo by Erica Schmidt

On Friday, Nov. 6, Because Coffee in Dawson County held a free drive-in concert to celebrate its first year of business and to raise donations for a local school group.

The coffee house, which had its one-year anniversary on May 25, chose a drive-in concert event as a fun way to celebrate with customers and community members while also spotlighting local talent. 

Music Authority’s “The Band Beyond” opened the concert, and the feature band was “Okay Kenedi”, an indie pop/rock band based out of Forsyth County. Dawson County-based food truck Manny’s Tacos sold food, and Lumpkin County folk artist Jeffree Lerner showcased several pieces of his art. 

Lerner donated several pieces of his art to a silent auction, and proceeds from the auction and any donations went towards the Community Based Instruction (CBI) program, a program for exceptional students within the Dawson County School System. Because Coffee also donated half of the proceeds of every bag of “Tiger Blend” coffee sold to the CBI.

According to Doug Cole, one of Because Coffee’s owners, working with the CBI program has been very important and rewarding. 

“Last year, one of the teachers at the school introduced me to Ashley Elliott, who works with the CBI program, and we had the chance to work with her and the young people in the program,” Cole said. “Tonight, five seniors from the CBI didn’t get to have their graduation ceremony so we’re gonna do something special for them.” 

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Dawson County Sheriff Jeff Johnson addresses the five CBI Class of 2020 graduates at the Because Coffee event before presenting each one with a plaque and challenge coin. - photo by Erica Schmidt

In between the two bands’ sets, Dawson County Sheriff Jeff Johnson presented plaques and challenge coins to each of the five high school graduates and congratulated them on their accomplishment. 

“From the sheriff’s office perspective, this is a group of young adults that’s such an encouragement to us,” Johnson said. “We appreciate what they do for the sheriff’s office — law enforcement can be a difficult profession sometimes, but these young men and women are such an encouragement to us, so we wanted to recognize our graduates and what they mean to us and to the sheriff’s office.” 

The CBI students also joined the feature band, Okay Kenedi, in singing one of their newest original songs, “Drive My Car”. 

According to the owners of Because Coffee, holding a benefit concert that both showcases local talent and supports a great local cause is a summary of what the business strives to be as a brand. 

“This coffee brand was specifically founded to help support causes in the community, that’s the whole reason we named the coffee brand Because Coffee,” owner Eddie Wilson said to the crowd at the event. “So thank you so much for coming out, thanks for making our first year so special, thanks for drinking our coffee, and thanks for all the love on socials.”