Buffalo Trace Distillery - O.F.C. Bourbon Raffle offered by Meals on Wheels

Somewhere in bourbon heaven Colonel E.H. Taylor Jr. is smiling, knowing that his O.F.C. Bourbon just raised more than $1 million for causes such as cancer services, cystic fibrosis, leukemia and lymphoma, children’s rights, autism, military veterans, animal protection, arts foundations, and many more.

Buffalo Trace Distillery wrapped up 2016 by donating two hundred rare bottles of vintage whiskey to non-profit organizations across the country. Charities applied to receive the vintage bottles to help raise funds for their organizations. After vetting by a third party 200 charities were selected. Each charity randomly received one of three particular vintages. The bottles included,

  • 100 bottles from 1980
  • 50 bottles from 1982
  • 50 bottles from 1983

All fundraising events were completed by early March, and a grand total of $1,196,687 was raised for charities across the United States.

Top Fund Raiser Brought in $27,000

Some of the top fund raisers were very creative in their efforts, with the top fund raiser, Hollings Cancer Center in Charleston, S.C., raising $27,000 for their 1980 bottle of O.F.C. Bourbon at its annual Gourmet and Grapes benefit.  “The inspiring work being accomplished by the physicians and scientists at Hollings Cancer Center would simply not be possible without the support from this event,” said Abby Parks, director of special events for the Hollings Cancer Center.

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A Bottle of Bourbon, Trip to Kentucky and a Night in a Castle

Buffalo Trace Distillery - Two Nights at The Castle Post Hotel
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The Castle Post Hotel, Versailles, Kentucky.

Not far behind them as far as fundraising goes was Meals on Wheels People in Portland, Oregon, raising $24,000 through promoting its event on social media and partnering with leaders in the food industry, mainly restaurants, who then in turn promoted it to their client base.  The non-profit also reached out to traditional media outlets and bourbon enthusiast bloggers, which led to several write ups about the event and an appearance on one news channel at a local bourbon hangout.  “All the money raised from our event will be used to feed senior citizens.  The $24,000 raised will provide approximately 3,250 meals,” said Tony Staser, chief development officer.

A $100 raffle ticket got fans the opportunity to win airfare to Kentucky, a private tour of Buffalo Trace Distillery, two nights at the legendary Castle Post Hotel and one of the oldest bourbons in the giveaway, a 1980-vintage bottle of O.F.C. Bourbon. Meals on Wheels said the total package was valued at more than $13,000.

Meals on Wheels - Winner of O.F.C. Bourbon
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Congratulations to Britt Bauer, winner of the Bourbon Raffle Package. She is pictured here with Meal on Wheels Chief Development Officer Tony Staser. Photo courtesy of Meals on Wheels.

Buffalo Trace Distillery - Two Nights at The Castle Post Hotel
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The Castle Post Hotel at Sunset.

The Longview World of Wonders in Longview, Texas raised $17,500 with its O.F.C. Bourbon at its annual Bourbon and Bowties event. To hype the event up, the organization posted about it on social media, made videos, and did Facebook Live posts from local liquor stores.  They even took the bottle out on parade to show it off at the local liquor stores on the Friday evenings and all day Saturdays leading up to the event. “We would also have the Buffalo Trace bourbon line on our table and explain the connection while trying to push your product to people around here at our local liquor stores,” said Event Chairman Cole Tomberlain. “I think the Bourbon & Bowties fundraiser is the only one that has men begging their wives to go, instead of the other way around!” added Tomberlain.

“We’re so happy these worthy causes will benefit from the release of this O.F.C. bourbon,” said Kris Comstock, bourbon marketing director. “On average, $6,100 was raised by these charities.  We’re thrilled these non-profits used this opportunity to come up with creative ways to raise funds for their much needed causes.”

The O.F.C. Bourbon was packaged in a crystal bottle with real copper lettering in-laid in the bottle with hand applied paper label. The label on the back of the bottle notes the milestones for the vintage year of the bottle.  Each bottle was nestled in a wooden display box containing a provenance card with the same information found on the back label.

This is the second time Buffalo Trace Distillery has partnered with non-profit organizations to raise money. In 2011, the Distillery gave away 174 bottles of its Millennium Barrel, the last bourbon barrel filled on the last day of the last century. In total more than $150,000 was raised for various charities across the United States.  This brings the total to just over $1.3 million that Buffalo Trace has helped raised for various charities.

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