The Rio Rancho Regional Chamber Visionaries is holding a fundraiser to support R4 Creating next month.

The first annual Brewathlon event will raise money to advance STEM education and experiences for students in Dr. Shelly Gruening’s program at R4.

Kevin Hendricks/Observer

R4 Creating, which has won multiple championships and awards, works to connect STEM educators with the necessary resources to prepare students ages 6-18 to enter the STEM Workforce Pipeline. R4 promotes the growth of STEM education and enrichment through its robotics teams and a Robotics Leadership Academy.

The Brewathlon is a competition that will have teams facing off and showing their skills in pong, corn hole, quarters and flip cup. The games do not include drinking or alcohol. The event is set for 3-6 p.m. June 3 at Brew Lab 101. To register your team, click here. To sponsor a team or donate, click here.

“It’s a great collaboration between the Visionaries and Brew Lab,” Gruenig, the executive director of R4 Creating, said. “It’s going to be a fun event.”

The Rio Rancho Regional Chamber Visionaries is a group of professionals within the Chamber of Commerce that focuses on connecting businesses in Rio Rancho. The Visionaries develop informational programs, as well as networking events, for local professionals. Though Visionaries, members get connected to volunteer opportunities within the chamber and the broader community.

“The Visionaries group has always done really great fundraisers,” Gruenig said. “We’d like people to come out and support a great cause.”

R4 has been life-changing for some students and, in some instances, life-saving.

“Every kid has their story and over the years, I’ve had four kids come back after graduation and tell me, ‘I had plans to end my life,’” Gruenig said. “One of them, the first person that shared, he told me, ‘I’d been kicked out of Boy Scouts. I’ve been kicked out of school, I’ve been kicked out of Sunday school. It’s like when my mom brought me to you I had a plan. I was done. And for some reason, and I don’t know why to this day,’ he said, ‘you put up with me, you’ve put up with me and just kept pushing me.’ And he said, ‘I wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for you.’”