What started as a joke sign hoping for some extra cash for beer has now turned into a viral, multi-million-dollar fundraising campaign.
Carson King, an Altoona native and Iowa State fan, brought a handwritten sign to ESPN’s “College GameDay” the morning of the Cy-Hawk game that read “Busch Light supply needs replenished – Venmo Carson-King-25“.
The sign got way more money than was ever anticipated. After donations reached $600, instead of keeping it for himself, King decided to give it to those who need it more: the kids at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital.
The decision went viral and caught the attention of Venmo and Anheuser-Busch, who each pledged to match the donations that King received via Venmo. Other organizations also decided to donate, including Northwestern Mutual, RAGBRAI and even Prairie Meadows, where King is employed.
With all donations taken into account—the $50,000 each from NW Mutual and RAGBRAI, the $10,000 from Prairie Meadows, plus the money donated to King’s Venmo account that was matched from Anheuser-Busch and Venmo—the fundraiser has now reached $2 million, and could keep climbing before its scheduled end on Monday.
Donations hiked as the community rushed to King’s side following an apology he issued for 8-year-old racially-driven tweets that were recently uncovered by a reporter for the Des Moines Register. The Register announced Thursday that the reporter is no longer with the paper.
Gov. Reynolds signed a proclamation that deemed Saturday “Carson King Day“. King will be at the Hawkeye football game at Kinnick Stadium Saturday to be honored in front of the hospital he’s raised so much money for, and to participate in “the wave” with thousands of others.