Coronavirus brings Virginia distilleries and NASCAR full circle
In a twist on NASCAR’s roots in running moonshine during Prohibition, two Virginia distilleries, Springfield Distillery and Bondurant Brothers, are partnering with NASCAR driver Colin Garrett and nonprofit Racing For Heroes to get their alcohol-based hand sanitizers to South Central Virginia’s first responders and essential businesses that desperately need it.
Responding to the national shortage caused by hand sanitizers being stockpiled due to COVID-19, the distilleries shifted their production lines from whiskey to alcohol-based hand sanitizers to help meet the need. To get supplies to communities as soon as possible, NASCAR driver Colin Garrett has volunteered to make the deliveries.
Nonprofit Racing For Heroes is taking orders by email and phone, and Garrett will personally make the delivery runs. The distilleries are giving away the hand sanitizer, but anyone who wants to help combat the epidemic of veteran suicide is encouraged to make a donation to Racing For Heroes.
Garrett will also be helping make deliveries to other areas of Virginia for Silverback Distillery. Silverback’s hand sanitizers can be ordered on their website, sbdistillery.com.
Other distilleries in Virginia or North Carolina that would like to participate can contact Racing For Heroes to coordinate.
Mike Evock, founder of Racing For Heroes, said “while this is a difficult time for everyone, it’s especially hard for those at risk of suicide. We hope this will not only help prevent spread of the virus, but possibly also help save jobs since financial stress is one of the leading causes of suicide.”
James Gordon, owner of Springfield Distillery, said they’re happy to have Racing For Heroes take over the delivery logistics. “It’s taking all of our resources just to produce as much hand sanitizer as possible so there’s no way we can make deliveries. Now we can concentrate on production and let them and Colin handle the rest,” he added.
Colin Garrett has been running a pro bono National Awareness Campaign for Racing For Heroes for over a year. Garrett said “racing to raise awareness is on hold because of the Coronavirus. I’m excited to get behind the wheel in a different way, though, to help the distilleries and Racing For Heroes help our communities. It will be great if someone in need of RFH’s free services to combat veteran suicide happens to learn about them through this effort.”
Lisa Kipps-Brown, the marketing strategist behind the National Awareness Campaign said, “NASCAR’s roots lie in the fast cars that ran moonshine during Prohibition. Now it’s come around full circle, with a NASCAR driver delivering alcohol-based hand sanitizers produced by distilleries. Colin will even be delivering to law enforcement officers like those who would have been chasing stock car racing’s forerunners, including the Bondurant brothers’ grandfather, in the 20’s.”
Quantities of the hand sanitizer are limited and priority will be given to first responders and essential businesses in South Central Virginia. Springfield Distillery and Bondurant Brothers Distillery encourage other distilleries in Virginia and North Carolina to contact Racing For Heroes if they want to join the cause and help expand distribution to other areas.