Russell’s Reserve Bourbon and Wild Turkey Distilling Co. announced a $20,000 donation to benefit the Kentucky Distillers’ Association (KDA) and its “Lifting Spirits Foundation.” The Lifting Spirits Foundation was formed in 2020 with a focus on increasing diversity in distilled spirits by funding education credits for Black students, women, people of color, LGBTQIA+, and other underrepresented students enrolled in Bourbon-related certification courses at the University of Louisville, the University of Kentucky, and Kentucky State University.

“‘Reserved for All’ is more than a slogan for Russell’s Reserve – it’s a philosophy that drives us,” says JoAnn Street, Wild Turkey Distilling Co. Portfolio Ambassador, and granddaughter of industry titan, Jimmy Russell. “We are committed to making the Bourbon industry a more welcoming and inclusive place. Through the work that the KDA is doing with the Lifting Spirits Foundation, we are seeing that happen in real-time, and we are proud to continue our relationship in building a community of rising leaders who truly represent a shining light in the industry’s bright future.”

In addition to supporting the Lifting Spirits Foundation, Russell’s Reserve and Wild Turkey Distilling Co. have a robust internship program aimed at furthering professional development for the Bourbon industry’s next generation.

Bourbon is more than what we do, it’s a part of who we are as Kentuckians. Our scholarship aims to bring new voices, perspectives, and personalities to the industry,” says Sara Barnes, Director of Industry Responsibility and Sustainability at the Kentucky Distillers’ Association. “Support from heritage brands like Wild Turkey and Russell’s Reserve allow us to grow this great program and enact long-lasting change within our industry. We are thankful for their unwavering support.”

As a 501 (c)(3) non-profit, the Lifting Spirits Foundation works directly with KDA members to educate the public about the Commonwealth’s distilled spirits industry through charitable, educational, literary, and scientific research efforts. With the support of its partners, the group is working to expand these scholarships to additional Kentucky colleges and universities, further increasing opportunities to grow the industry.

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