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Garrison Brothers Distillery Flows $200,000 to Texas Hospitality Workers and First Responders 

click to enlarge Team Rubicon, a veteran-led disaster response organization, received $23.5K from the distillery’s efforts - PHOTO CREDIT: JASON WHITMAN
  • Photo Credit: Jason Whitman
  • Team Rubicon, a veteran-led disaster response organization, received $23.5K from the distillery’s efforts
Garrison Brothers Distillery's Operation Crush COVID-19 fundraising campaign has dispersed more than $200,000 to Texas hospitality nonprofits, first responders and individual bartenders around the state.

Veteran-led disaster response organization Team Rubicon was the first nonprofit to receive $100,000 from the Austin-based distillery's philanthropic effort. Now, this week, the whiskey maker announced that the Southern Smoke Foundation and the Texas Restaurant Association Education Foundation each received $23,500 and that it had given grants of $1,000 each to 53 Texas bartenders.

To raise the funds, Garrison Brothers pivoted on plans for the forthcoming release of an eight-year-old, top-shelf bourbon called Laguna Madre. The distillery gifted the new whiskey to donors who contributed $1,000 or more to its fundraising program.

“It’s been inspiring to see our community come together to support those in need during these uncertain times,” Garrison Brothers founder and proprietor Dan Garrison said in a news release. “The first $200,000 … has been dispersed to four worthy groups, and we’re going to continue our efforts until we achieve our ultimate goal of $2 million.”

Houston-based Southern Smoke Foundation allocated the distillery's donation to its Emergency Relief Fund, providing assistance to individuals in the food and beverage industry who are in crisis. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, the fund has distributed $1.5 million to hospitality-industry workers, Southern Smoke co-founder Chris Shepherd said in a release.

"We’ve received more than 24,000 applications, so we still have a lot of work to do," Shepherd continued. "We’re able to continue this work thanks to organizations like Garrison Brothers who are supporting us. We’re fighting to keep [our industry] alive, and we’re fighting to keep its people alive."

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