CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Whales for Wishes, the annual bottle share and rare beer raffle to benefit Make-A-Wish, has already smashed last year’s fundraising total – and the event hasn’t even taken place!
The Whales for Wishes bottle share was due to take place at Resident Culture Brewing Company on April 5th, but was forced to postpone with the restrictions in place due to the COVID–19 pandemic. The 2019 event raised $50,000 for the Make-A-Wish foundation, doubling the previous year, so the goal for 2020 was to double it again! However, without the event, organisers didn’t expect to reach the $100,000 goal.
The Whales for Wishes online beer raffle and the introduction of a silent auction after the event was postponed, really tapped into the beer community’s generosity! The online raffle – presented by Untappd Beer Festival, was open to anyone in the world where digital raffle tickets could be purchased for various collections – or “boxes,” of rare beer – all donated from a number of breweries and notable beer advocates across the country. This year’s boxes include some of the highest-rated and rarest beer in the world, like the infamous Pliny The Younger, Heady Topper, Dark Lord, Westvleteren 12, Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout, Double Barrel Bourbon County Brand Stout, Mexican Cake, Cantillon, and more.
As of April 21st, Whales for Wishes has raised over $110,000 for Make-A-Wish, and donations are still coming in! This is already enough to provide 18 children with their wishes but expect the fundraising amount to jump further when the actual event is able to go ahead – currently aiming for later this summer (check the Whales for Wishes Facebook page for the latest updates).
Event co-founder, Betsy Pence, has a personal tie to Make-A-Wish. “My son Justin was a wish kid, so our family knows first hand how impactful getting a wish granted is to families during a difficult time. Just being able to spend time not worrying about treatments or diagnoses meant so much to us, and it’s why our family loves being able to give back each year.”
It was Betsy’s efforts to raise money for Make-A-Wish back in 2014, which acted as the catalyst for Whales for Wishes. “It’s amazing to think that what started as me trying to raise some money raffling off a few bottles of Pliny The Elder has turned into this amazing event.”
What is a “whale”?
A “whale” is a beer an individual has been looking to find and try for a long time (usually hard to find and highly rated). It pays homage to Captain Ahab’s quest to hunt down the great white whale, Moby Dick. (whalesforwishes.com/faq)