Bear's Restaurant Group is Giving Back in a Big Way: Hosting Inaugural Rock & Row 4 Life Event Raising Mental Health Awareness and Dollars

 The staff at Bear's Restaurant Group is teaming up with local gyms* on Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019, from 12:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m., at ​ five locations across the state to raise awareness of the increasing need to focus on mental health and suicide prevention in our country, especially as it relates to restaurant industry employees.

Bear’s Smokehouse BBQ locations and Blind Pig Pizza will compete in their inaugural Rock & Row 4 Life event to see who can row the furthest distance in three hours and raise the most money to benefit the Jordan Porco Foundation’s life-saving programs. The winning team will have their donations matched by the owners of Bear's Restaurant Group.

Many individuals in the restaurant industry have been personally affected by someone in their lives living with a mental health illness. Unfortunately, it’s not until there is a suicide - or an attempted suicide - that the seriousness of the situation is brought to light and talked about.

Bear’s Rock & Row 4 Life is the beginning of concerted, collective efforts to proactively help people in the restaurant industry who are struggling to reach out for help. Bear’s Restaurant Group is committed to the Jordan Porco Foundation’s mission of preventing suicide, promoting mental health, and creating a message of hope for young adults.

“In rowing, we are remembering a member of our family lost to suicide, Sean Brennan. When we row on December 7, we row in memory of Sean, while showing our unwavering commitment to supporting our employees’ mental health—helping to create a message of hope for those who need help the most,” said Cheryl McDonald, Co-Owner, Bear’s Restaurant Group.

Rock & Row 4 Life is a catalyst for starting the metal health conversation and keeping it going in the restaurant community and beyond.

This event is open to the public. You can support teams as they Rock & Row 4 Life by visiting one of the five participating event locations on Saturday, December 7. If you stop by and row in an unfilled time slot, you can get a free pork or chicken sandwich. There will even be a $1 prize wheel, with a chance to win prizes. Also, 10% of all food and beverage sales from 12:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. will benefit the Jordan Porco Foundation’s lifesaving programs.

*Partner gyms include: Land Warrior CrossFit (Suffield), Charter Oak CrossFit (East Hartford) and Over the Top Athletes (New Haven)

About Bear’s Restaurant Group

Bear’s Restaurant Group is comprised of four Bear’s Smokehouse BBQ locations (Windsor, South Windsor, Hartford and New Haven) and Blind Pig Pizza Company (Hartford). These locally owned restaurants first opened in 2013 in Windsor, CT, and quickly grew with the loyal support of Connecticut residents. Since opening, Bear’s has been committed to serving the local community and does so by supporting many non-profits and philanthropic initiatives each year. The mission at Bear’s Smokehouse BBQ is simple: Everyone who walks through our doors is either already a friend or will be. Learn more at

About the Jordan Porco Foundation

The Jordan Porco Foundation’s mission is to prevent suicide, promote mental health, and create a message of hope for young adults. They accomplish this by providing engaging and uplifting peer-run programs. Their programs strive to start a conversation about mental health that reduces stigma while encouraging help-seeking and supportive behaviors. The Jordan Porco Foundation is named in memory of the co-founder’s son, Jordan. Jordan died by suicide in 2011 as a college freshman. What started as two grieving parents’ vision, has grown into a nationally respected Foundation that helps tens of thousands of young adults across the country. Learn more at



Cheryl McDonald, Co-Owner, Bear’s Restaurant

Rachel Papke, Director of Events & Communications, Jordan Porco


If you’re thinking about suicide, are worried about a friend or loved one, or would like emotional support, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline network is available 24/7 across the United States, 1-800-273-8255 (TALK). Prefer to text? Text HELLO to 741741 to reach the Crisis Text Line. 


Source: Jordon Porco Foundation

About Jordan Porco

The Jordan Porco Foundation's mission is to prevent suicide, promote mental health, and create a message of hope for young adults.

Jordan Porco
Goodwin Square - 225 Asylum Street , #23rd Floor
Hartford, CT

More Press Releases