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Uncle Nearest plans $1.4m HCBU fundraiser

Tennessee whiskey producer Uncle Nearest is bringing back its Old Fashioned Challenge and aims to raise US$1.4 million for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

Uncle Nearest HBCU Old Fashioned Challenge
Uncle Nearest hopes to raise money for underfunded Black colleges and universities

In the second edition of the competition, the Black-owned whiskey brand aims to raise US$1.4 million, which amounts to one full in-state tuition scholarship for each accredited HBCU across the US.

The initiative began on Martin Luther King Jr Day (15 January) and will run until Juneteenth (19 June).

The public can participate in the challenge in various ways. These include purchasing an Old Fashioned in participating venues, buying Uncle Nearest whiskey from select retailers, and submitting photographs of homemade Old Fashioned cocktails. For each submission to the challenge, money will be donated to the fund.

Fawn Weaver, founder and CEO of Uncle Nearest, said: “Before we sold our first bottle of Uncle Nearest, we were already funding the college education of Nearest Green’s descendants.

“Every semester, writing those checks brought me immense joy, knowing the significant impact they would have on each student’s life. This same feeling resurfaced when I began writing tuition checks to HBCUs for our Old Fashioned Challenge.

“It’s an honour, and my hope is that we can continue this tradition annually with the checks growing larger as the Uncle Nearest whiskey family expands.”

Further information about the challenge, including a list of participating institutions, is available on the initiative’s website.

The Tennessee whiskey producer recently announced it would be expanding into Cognac after acquiring a vineyard in France last year.

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