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Beverage packaging: Empty Maker’s Mark “Coach Cal” bottles benefit charity

The popularity of the Maker’s Mark/Keeneland annual limited edition charitable bottle, this year honoring University of Kentucky Basketball Coach John Calipari and the 35-3, SEC Champion University of Kentucky Wildcats, prompted madness in the Big Blue Nation. 24,000 numbered, limited edition charitable bottles went on sale in the Commonwealth of Kentucky on April 2nd at 6:00 A.M., and in under one hour, there were none left to be had.

In order to quench the thirst of ardent fans outside of the Bluegrass State, The Calipari Family Foundation for Children (CFFC) arranged for Maker’s Mark to release 8,000 additional identical commemorative bottles, but these bottles will be empty – containing not a drop of Kentucky’s finest bourbon. The commemorative Maker’s Mark/Keeneland “empty bottle,” which costs $49.99 and is available exclusively through the CFFC (http://www.coachcal.com or http://www.caliparifoundation.org), was released for sale on April 3rd, two days earlier than originally planned because of the overwhelming demand, and all proceeds from the sales of these bottles will benefit the CFFC. This year’s collaboration between Maker’s Mark and Keeneland could raise nearly $250,000 for the CFFC.

Why empty bottles? Maker’s Mark President/CEO Bill Samuels, Jr. said: “Cal’s foundation can now sell and ship them anywhere. With nothing inside there are no legal restrictions. Fans everywhere can get one and make a donation to his cause for kids. When Cal agreed to do our charitable bottle, available only in Kentucky, he warned me about the nearly 1 million fans outside Kentucky that were not going to be happy. He was right.”

“Ellen and I would like to thank Bill Samuels, Maker's Mark and Keeneland for making this special edition empty bottle to help support our Foundation. By not including alcohol in the bottles, we are able to ship these keepsakes all across the world and allow the Big Blue Nation to share in the commemoration of our first fabulous year in the Bluegrass," Coach Calipari said.

The current Maker’s Mark/Keeneland annual limited edition charitable bottle, is the second in a series of three. Last year’s bottle honored now retired University of Kentucky Football Coach Rich Brooks. Since 1997, Maker’s Mark has produced a special charitable commemorative bottle to coincide with The Maker's Mark Mile, a Grade I stakes horse race run annually during the second week of April at Keeneland, Kentucky’s historic Thoroughbred racetrack. All Maker’s Mark profits from these commemorative bottle sales are donated to benefit a local charity.

The beneficiary this year is a music appreciation outreach program where public school students, throughout the state, see performances from University of Kentucky student musicians. This fills a big gap, as many smaller Kentucky public school districts have cut music and art appreciation programs as a result of budgetary issues. The goal is to raise $2 million by 2011, with the addition of matching grants made possible from the University of Kentucky.

SOURCE: Maker’s Mark

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