Standard Beverage Corporation, believing the importance of giving back to the communities where employees and operational facilities exist, has always been a strong corporate citizen. Since 1949, SBC’s support and involvement has long affected the missions of numerous organizations statewide. Charitable endeavors have included cash sponsorships and underwriting, manpower and labor, scholarships, tournaments, annual events and galas.
In the mid-1990’s, management took a new direction and decided to more closely support large public events where food and beverage was the focus – and where the charities’ respective missions affected the health or well-being of Kansas communities at large.
The idea of organizing and hosting public tasting events – like wine festivals – were unknown to Kansans in the early 1990’s. It was in 1992 that Leslie Rudd, President of Standard Beverage Corporation, attended Wines for Life, a public wine tasting and live auction benefiting the University of Colorado’s Cancer Center. Hosted by another beverage distributor based in Denver, this successful event had raised over $1 million by its 13th year. Rudd thought a similar event could benefit Kansas charities, and launched a campaign to change Kansas law to allow for wine auctions. Working closely with the Kansas Wine & Spirits Wholesalers Association, the law was successfully changed in July 1995. During the two years it took to get the legislation up for vote, SBC staff attended other public tasting events to observe and learn from them.
With the knowledge now in hand, SBC “tested the waters” in 1994 and launched its first public tasting event – a beer festival benefiting the Leukemia Society. This inaugural event was met with overwhelming public response and festivals in Kansas were born.
In 1996, with wine auctions now legal in the state, SBC introduced its first two charity wine festivals – including one in the Wichita market, Midwest Winefest, a benefit for the Guadalupe Health Foundation, which is now in its 22nd year. The response and popularity of these first two events convinced SBC management to expand, and in 1999 two additional wine festivals were launched in Lawrence and Manhattan. Salute! A Festival of Food and Wine to benefit Cottonwood, Inc. who help adults with developmental disabilities in the Lawrence area and the Flint Hills Festival of Wines to benefit Homecare and Hospice in the Manhattan area.
After 22 years, total net dollars for the charities benefiting from our public tasting events now stands at over $9 million. While benefiting these charities has been its primary goal, Standard Beverage also uses these public events as a platform in which to share responsible consumption information and remains committed to their success.
For more information contact Carrie Mulligan – Director of Corporate Development 785-350-1425 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Standard Beverage Cares