The story about a 24-year-old Iowa man who raised over a million dollars for a children’s hospital only to be smeared by a prominent newspaper is taking a turn for the better. Carson King’s good deed is being recognized as his community steps up.
Carson King turned a silly stunt asking for donations to replenish his supply of Busch Light beer during a college football game into a huge windfall for University of Iowa’s Stead Children’s Hospital. While reporting on King’s story, the Des Moines Register included two questionable tweets posted on his Twitter account when he was 16 years old. The fall-out from that piece included Anheuser-Busch withdrawing its support of King but pledging to honor its promise to match the money King raised for the hospital. When Busch Light said it would “have no further association” with King and went back on a promise of a year’s supply of beer and King’s face on the beer cans, another brewery stepped up.
The Head Brewer for Geneseo Brewing Company in Geneseo, Illinois posted a letter to King on Facebook that the action taken by Anheuser-Busch was “appalling”. He noted that King has shown a growing level of maturity since his teenage years.
That gave Glenn Cole, a brewer at Geneseo Brewing Company, an idea for his new beer.
“When you’re alone in a brewery you kind of get thinking about things,” Cole said.
Cole couldn’t stop thinking about King as he was getting ready to keg his latest brew.
“It just kind of stuck with me all night,” he said. “It just seemed like a really unfair deal of really demonizing somebody that was doing such a good thing.”
The beer will be called Iowa Legend and one dollar from the sale of each pint will go to the hospital. It’s a Pilsner Zwicquell. The beer will be tapped Thursday, September 26 and the brewer is offering King some of the beer in appreciation of his good deed.
The attempt by a newspaper reporter to play gotcha with a young adult while he was trying to raise money for a children’s hospital turned into an angry backlash against the Des Moines Register and Anheuser-Busch. The newspaper alleges to have received death threats and has taken additional security precautions.
KWWL reported that the Des Moines Police Department will have presence outside of the Register’s office “around the clock” and that the management has hired an off-duty police officer to secure inside the building.
“We are certainly aware of some of the threats they’ve had. They made a report to the police department so that goes on our radar as a place we are going to want to give a little extra attention to,” Des Moines Police Sergeant Paul Parizek said to KWWL.
The community has rallied around King.
The beer giant said it would “have no further association” with King, but other companies announced new ways to donate tens of thousands of dollars to the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital.
In addition, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds on Wednesday signed a proclamation declaring Sept. 28 “Carson King Day.” It’s the day King is scheduled to attend a University of Iowa home game and participate in the “Hawkeye Wave” to patients at the children’s hospital.
Make-A-Wish Iowa, a nonprofit organization that supports children with illnesses, thanked King on Facebook for his donation to the hospital, posting the hashtag #StandWithCarson.
Goldie’s Ice Cream Shoppe in Prairie City, where King grew up, originally intended to make a Busch Light-flavored ice cream. It said Wednesday that it would instead make a soft-serve using donated beer from Gezellig Brewing Co. in Newton. All proceeds will go to the fundraiser.
Smokey Row Coffee Co., which has four locations, including one in Des Moines, said it would donate half of the price of each pumpkin spice latte sold until Sept. 30. DeWit Construction, where King’s brother works, will honor its commitment to donate $300 for each new roof it lays between now and the fundraiser’s end.
King is still graciously taking the high road.
“I’m just happy that Busch and Venmo are both still contributing and we can continue to raise funds for families and kids at the hospital,” King said in a text message to the Des Moines Register.
He declined to comment further, instead pointing to statements he made Tuesday night.
"We have witnessed your growth through your later social media content and accept your apology," Geneseo Brewing Co., which plans to honor King with a newly released Pilsner, wrote on Facebook. https://t.co/hp6Wk9siTa
— Des Moines Register (@DMRegister) September 25, 2019