The Kentucky Distillers’ Association, the Bourbon Crusaders charitable organization and Bourbon curator Fred Minnick have united to support the recovery and rebuilding efforts following the recent flooding in Eastern Kentucky.
The Kentucky Bourbon Benefit will feature an online auction containing exclusive private barrel selection experiences, rare and vintage spirits, and unique tasting and tourism offerings from Kentucky’s signature distilling industry and hospitality and charitable partners.
“Kentucky’s Bourbon industry was there for our Western Kentucky families following the tornadoes, making the single largest donation to that relief fund – and now I am proud to see this industry stepping up once again to support our Eastern Kentucky families affected by the devastating flooding,” Governor Andy Beshear said. “I know this will make a tremendous impact for our people and I am grateful for the continued support.”
During a similar auction, in December 2021, set up in support of the residents of Western Kentucky whose communities were torn apart by a tornado outbreak, the partnership raised approximately $3.4 million.
“We prayed that we’d never have to get this group together again in the face of disaster, but our friends, families and neighbors in Eastern Kentucky are braving through unspeakable tragedy and devastation,” KDA president Eric Gregory said. “It’s our duty as a signature industry to help.
“We were so impressed and humbled by the outpouring of support for Western Kentucky, and we hope that Bourbon aficionados and bidders show the same unparalleled generosity for the thousands of Eastern Kentucky residents who desperately need our assistance.”
The online auction will begin Thursday, August 11, at noon EST and run until Sunday, August 21, at 11 pm EST. Go to www.kybourbonbenefit.com to view auction items and bid. Westport Whiskey & Wine in Louisville is coordinating collection and distribution of donated items.
All proceeds will go directly to the state’s official Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund to assist those impacted by flooding. The website to learn more or make a donation is https://secure.kentucky.gov/FormServices/Finance/EKYFloodRelief.
RJ Sargent, president of The Bourbon Crusaders, said, “The core purpose of the Bourbon Crusaders is to make a difference in the lives of others, and once again the state we love so much needs our help.
Minnick said, “I wish we didn’t have to do this. But the Bourbon community deeply feels for their neighbors in Eastern Kentucky, as we did for the Western Kentucky tornado victims, and we will do everything within our power to ease the situation for the flood survivors.”
Chris Zaborowski, owner of Westport Whiskey & Wine, said, “We were heartbroken to see the devastation brought to Eastern Kentucky with the recent flooding. We knew we wanted to team up with the KDA again to help raise the much-needed funds for our fellow Kentuckians.”