A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Wild Turkey provides $20,000 donation to fund Lifting Spirits Foundation minority-focused scholarships


The Wild Turkey Distilling Co. and Russell’s Reserve Bourbon have announced a donation of $20,000 to the Kentucky Distillers’ Association’s Lifting Spirits Foundation, a program aimed at increasing diversity in distilled spirits through scholarships and externships. The donation will cover credits for students attending Bourbon-related certification courses at the University of Louisville, the University of Kentucky and Kentucky State University with preference given to Black students, women, people of color, LGBTQIA+ and other underrepresented groups.

The Kentucky Distillers’ Association created the Lifting Spirits Foundation in 2020 to educate the public about the Commonwealth’s signature Bourbon and distilled spirits industry through charitable, educational, literary and scientific research efforts. The 501(c)(3) non-profit Foundation also supports workforce development issues and initiatives, including scholarships aimed at increasing diversity and removing barriers to entry into the distilled spirits industry.

“We are resolutely committed to fostering a more diverse workforce that reflects our local Kentucky population and evolving Bourbon culture,” says Rick Robinson, Vice President of Supply Chain at Campari America and KDA Board Member. “We live by a principle of “Reserved for All,” meaning we welcome everyone interested in Bourbon to have a seat at the table, just as we welcome everyone to enjoy Bourbon in their own unique way. We are honored to make our signature industry more inclusive by sponsoring students with a passion for Bourbon-making through the Kentucky Distillers’ Association.”

Throughout the state of Kentucky, home to the famous Kentucky Bourbon Trail® tour, the distilling industry provides more than 20,000 jobs—in accounting, marketing, craftsmanship, welding, and other specializations—with an annual payroll of $1 billion and creates 95 percent of the world’s supply of Bourbon. The industry is going through a $2.3 billion revitalization campaign that will see new tourism centers, expanded production facilities, new bottling lines, and updated warehouses, to meet constant demand.

“Our scholarship program aims to make our thriving industry more diverse, equal, and inclusive,” says Kentucky Distillers’ Association President Eric Gregory. “These students are breaking down barriers and transforming our timeless craft in the process, and we are deeply grateful to The Wild Turkey Distilling Co. and Russell’s Reserve for providing funding to empower these exceptional individuals to do just that while pursuing their dreams.”

From Campari America


Related Posts

Leave a Comment