For The Community
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 (Habitat for Humanity), scholarships, tournaments, and
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 get the law changed 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 - one in the Kansas City market (a benefit
for the American Heart Association) and one in the Wichita market (a benefit
for the Guadalupe Health Foundation). The response and popularity of these
first two events convinced SBC management to expand, and in 1999 two
additional wine festivals were launched in the college markets of Lawrence
(for Cottonwood, Inc. who helps adults with developmental disabilities) and
Manhattan (a benefit for the Homecare & Hospice Foundation).
After thirteen years total net dollars for the charities benefiting from
our public tasting events now stands at almost $4.6 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 Rita Faires – Director of Corporate
Marketing 316-847-4818 or via