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Community Involvement

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 – was 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.

With wine auctions now legal in the state, SBC then introduced its first two charity wine festivals.  In 1999, the Salute! Festival of Food and Wine in Lawrence, KS was launched with Standard Beverage as a founding sponsor.  Celebrating 23 years in 2023, the 3-day festival continues each July.  The Manhattan KS Flint Hills Festival of Wines, also in its 23rd year, continues with a spring wine stroll and a fundraising dinner in August. In addition to supporting these longstanding partnerships, Standard Beverage sponsors 75+ charitable events annually across the state of Kansas.  Several key charitable partners include Big Brothers Big Sisters, Cottonwood, Friends of the Topeka Zoo, Wichita Open KU Wichita Pediatrics, Good Shepherd Homecare & Hospice, and Mark Arts.

In 2019, Standard Beverage was recognized as a Wichita Business Journal Honoree for Community Involvement and received the Lawrence Business Magazine Foundation Award.

For more information contact Carrie Grove – Director Marketing & Charitable Events at (785) 350-1425 or

Standard Beverage Cares



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