Exactly one month after the horrific EF 4 tornado ripped through western Kentucky the Kentucky Distillers’ Association – KDA, Fred Minnick and the Bourbon Crusaders delivered a check to Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear. The giant check of $3.4 million is a result of the outpouring of support by the bourbon community not just from Kentucky but from around the entire country as they stepped up and donated all this money for the family’s that have been affected by the tornado.
Bourbon and distilled spirits makers and related businesses donated exclusive private barrel selection experiences, rare and vintage spirits, and unique tasting and tourism offerings. Funds were raised over several days and then the top items ended up in an online and live auction that was expected to raise about $1 million. In the end the bourbon community generated $3.4 million in donations. The total will likely go higher as whiskey fans can still make donations at The Kentucky Bourbon Benefit auction site and businesses continue to match funds.
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“I’m overwhelmed by the outpouring of support in recent days,” Gov. Andy Beshear said. “I appreciate our signature Bourbon industry quickly stepping up to raise much-needed money for Kentucky families that have lost so much in this tragedy.
“This was the largest amount donated to the state’s official Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund that will assist those impacted by the tornados and severe storms.”
Watch the ceremony from Kentucky’s Capital here.
“The sun shines bright in My Old Kentucky home.”
Lyrics from Stephen Foster’s ‘My Old Kentucky Home’
Kentucky Distillers’ Association President Eric Gregory said, “Kentuckians are hurting. They’ve lost their homes, loved ones and their livelihoods. It’s our obligation as a signature industry – and duty as fellow Kentuckians – to help each other in times of crisis.
“There is a real urgency here. These are our friends and neighbors, and they need help now. Private collectors, Kentucky distillers, out-of-state brands and celebrities donated rare auction items that will surely break records. The Bourbon community believes in the Commonwealth’s bond of Bourbon and knows it can bring us together to rebuild.”
“The outpouring has been enormous,” Bourbon Crusaders Founder RJ Sargent said. “We immediately began receiving texts and calls throughout Kentucky and from coast to coast from our members, friends and partners in the national Bourbon community who knew that we could help them help Kentuckians.”
Gregory added, “Bourbon is America’s spirit and Kentucky is its birthplace. When Kentucky hurts, we hurt, and that’s why we’re doing this. Thank you to everyone who is helping in the recovery and rebuilding efforts, and please continue praying for our beloved Commonwealth and its people.”
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