North Carolina and America’s Independent Beer Distributors Respond Following Hurricane Florence | NBWA: America's Beer Distributors

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Press Releases| Oct 9, 2018

Independent beer distributor fund donates $50,000 to help communities in need

On Sunday, Oct. 7, the North Carolina Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association presented a $50,000 donation from the Independent Beer Distributors Relief Fund (IBDRF) to the North Carolina Community Foundation Disaster Relief Fund to assist with recovery efforts in the Carolinas following the devastation of Hurricane Florence. The check was presented at "Come Together for the Coast,” a fundraiser to support businesses, families and communities affected by the recent storm. 

“America’s 3,000 independent distributors have roots in every corner of our country,” said National Beer Wholesalers Association president and CEO and IBDRF board member Craig Purser. “For these folks, helping their neighbors is second nature. When Hurricane Florence hit the Carolinas, this community was right there and ready to help. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the people of the Carolinas as they recover from the wrath of Hurricane Florence.”

North Carolina’s independent beer distributors employ nearly 4,000 statewide across 68 distributor facilities. The lives of many members of this community have been upended by the recent hurricane, and those in other parts of the state are lending a helping hand to impacted communities and families.

“Hurricane Florence caused unprecedented destruction in Wilmington and all across Eastern North Carolina,” said Tee Nunnelee, president of Coastal Beverage in Wilmington. “From a halt in business to employees losing their homes, I’ve seen first-hand the damage caused by this storm. On behalf of Coastal Beverage, I want to thank everyone who has volunteered their time and provided resources to the recovery effort. Getting back to normal won’t be easy, but I find comfort knowing that our community and state have overwhelming support from across the country.”

“Even in the most trying times, North Carolinians come together to help each other out,” said Tim Kent, executive director of the North Carolina Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association. “The beer distribution industry is no different. Whether it’s volunteering time, delivering vital supplies like water or offering financial assistance, beer distributors are among the first to step up in times of need. North Carolina and America’s independent beer distributors stand ready to assist in any way we can.”

“Come Together for the Coast” was created to raise proceeds for the hurricane ravaged communities left behind by Hurricane Florence. In partnership with The Sunday Supper, a Raleigh-based non-profit organization, and Chef Scott Crawford of Crawford and Son, the event included signature dishes, music and a live auction all benefiting Hurricane Florence recovery efforts. Net proceeds were contributed to the Sunday Supper Gift Fund of the North Carolina Community Foundation.

“Our mission has always been to embolden people to bridge divides in our communities by assisting others in need—together,” said Willa Kane, chairwoman for The Sunday Supper board of directors. “Thanks to generous donations like the one from Independent Beer Distributors Relief Fund, we are able to connect those in need with resources to rebuild in the wake of disasters like Hurricane Florence. We’re so grateful for the outpouring of support we’ve received, and we know that this contribution will go a long way in helping our communities in Eastern North Carolina get back to normal.”

Initiated after the devastation left behind by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, several Texas beer distributors created the IBDRF to enable America’s independent beer distributors to come together as an industry and provide assistance to communities recovering from natural disasters.

“We started the Independent Beer Distributors Relief Fund as a way to help after Hurricane Harvey hit,” said IBDRF board member Val Peisen. “As family-owned businesses deeply ingrained in our communities, we believe it is essential to help our neighbors. That’s why when Florence hit, we were ready to get involved to help those affected. We’re pleased to be able to make this donation to the North Carolina Community Foundation Disaster Relief Fund, and we hope that it makes rebuilding their lives just a little bit easier.”

“North Carolinians are resilient,” continued Kent. “The unwavering support of this community is crucial in rebuilding, and I’m thankful to work with an industry that is prepared to drop everything to help when disaster strikes.”