From MLK Jr. Day Through Juneteenth, the Whiskey Company Will Work with Restaurant, Bar, and Retail Partners Across the Country to Fundraise
SHELBYVILLE, Tenn., Jan. 16, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey, the top-selling Black-owned spirits brand in the world, has announced the launch of its second annual HBCU Old Fashioned Challenge, a nationwide initiative to raise funds for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). This year’s challenge will see the company work to raise $1.4 million, amounting to one full in-state tuition scholarship per accredited HBCU. The initiative kicked off on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (Monday, January 15) and this year it will run through Juneteenth (Tuesday, June 19).
In 2023, it was widely reported that federal officials told 16 states that they have been underfunding their HBCUs by nearly $13 billion over the past 30 years, according to an analysis from the U.S. Department of Education. Tennessee – Uncle Nearest’s home state – underfunded its school’s land grants the most, according to the report. Through the Old Fashioned Challenge, Uncle Nearest’s goal is to not only raise money for these institutions but to shine a light on how HBCUs, which make up less than 3% of colleges, have a proven record of removing barriers to degree completion and postgraduate success, with their graduates making up 50 percent of Black doctors and Black attorneys, 40 percent of Black engineers and Black members of Congress, and 80 percent of Black judges.
“Before we sold our first bottle of Uncle Nearest, we were already funding the college education of Nearest Green’s descendants,” said Fawn Weaver, Founder and CEO of Uncle Nearest. “Every semester, writing those checks brought me immense joy, knowing the significant impact they would have on each student’s life. This same feeling resurfaced when I began writing tuition checks to HBCUs for our Old Fashioned Challenge. It’s an honor, and my hope is that we can continue this tradition annually with the checks growing larger as the Uncle Nearest whiskey family expands.”
Now through June 19, 2024, the public can participate in the Uncle Nearest HBCU Old Fashioned Challenge by:
- Ordering an Uncle Nearest Old Fashioned at participating bars and restaurants, where one dollar will be donated per cocktail ordered
- Purchasing any bottle of Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey at participating online and brick-and-mortar retail stores, where one dollar will be donated per bottle purchased
- Purchasing an Old Fashioned Bundle through ReserveBar, where two dollars will be donated for every bundle purchased
- Submitting a photo of a homemade Uncle Nearest Old Fashioned to www.oldfashionedcocktail.com, where one dollar will be donated per entry*
“Uncle Nearest gives a lot, with ‘pulling as we climb’ being part of our DNA right from the start,” said Victoria Eady Butler, great-great-granddaughter of Nearest Green and four-time Master Blender of the Year. “But this challenge is something special, ’cause we’re inviting our whiskey family to join us in giving back. Seeing the excitement from them, and our thousands of retail, restaurant, bar, hotel, and airline partners across the country even before this year’s challenge kicked off, well, that lets me know we’ve started something extraordinary. To our whiskey family and partners everywhere, thank y’all!”
For more information on the HBCU Old Fashioned Challenge, including a list of participating bars, restaurants, and retailers, and to follow along on the road to $1.4 million raised, please visit www.oldfashionedcocktail.com.
*Limited to one entry per email
About Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey
Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey pays tribute to the world’s first-known African American master distiller, Nearest Green. It was the pioneer spirits brand to bear the name of a Black American. The brand’s portfolio boasts the Most Awarded Bourbon and American Whiskey titles for the years 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023, amassing over 1,075 awards and accolades since its launch in 2017. This includes an impressive 715 Gold medals or higher, which includes 123 Best in Class honors and an average critic’s score of 92. Uncle Nearest is currently available in all 50 states and 26 countries, with a presence in more than 30,000 stores, bars, hotels, and restaurants. Uncle Nearest is also available at its 432-acre Nearest Green Distillery in Shelbyville, Tenn., now the seventh most visited distillery in the world. For more information, please visit the website, and follow on Instagram and Facebook @unclenearest.
SOURCE Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey