By Alissa Bridges

All runners, from marathon runners to those new to the sport, are invited to come out to Cork and Olive Wine Bar and Cafe the second Thursday of each month to Run For A Cause. Not only do participants involved have the chance to partake in a local pub-run style event, but they have the chance to support a new charity each month.

Benjamin Mena came up with the idea for Run For A Cause one night at Cork and Olive.  “I came up with the idea while having a drink at the bar. There are all kinds of pub runs in Tampa that are really popular, but there’s nothing in Brandon or on this side of town,” he said. “I went to the owners of Cork & Olive with the idea and they were immediately on board with the idea and asked me to set everything up, so I did.”

Run For A Cause has been around for about seven months and has been a success from it’s very first event. “On our very first run we had 55 people and things just keep getting bigger and bigger. For each run we have had, we average between 50-60 people each month,” said Mena.

Each run starts at Cork and Olive and goes along Brandon Parkway, with each runner having the opportunity to choose how far they wish to run. “The routes are set up so that people can decide how far they want to go,” said Mena. “This is an environment where no matter what kind of runner you are, whether a novice or new to the sport, can feel accepted.”

After the run portion of the evening, participants have the chance to wind down inside Cork & Olive with some glasses of wine and the chance to browse the bottle selections. “The whole place is packed for each run and people buy drinks to increase Cork and Olive’s sales. The proceeds from the purchases then go towards the charity that Run For A Cause is supporting that month,” said Mena.

Run For A Cause has supported charities such as Live Strong, Girls On The Run, Families Fighting Cancer, Homeless Emergency Project and also has plans to support Honor Flight and a toy drive in December.

Cork and Olive Wine Bar and Café is located at 2086 Badlands St. in Brandon. For more information about Run For A Cause and to find out the next run date, e-mail Mena at


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