UK HealthCare

Buffalo Trace Distillery, UK HealthCare partner to form 'Fathers of Frankfort' mentorship program

Image of Buffalo Trace Distillery buildings with water tower
Fathers of Frankfort is a program designed to strengthen families and address potential child maltreatment. Photo courtesy of the Sazerac Company.

FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 16, 2023) —  Buffalo Trace Distillery and UK HealthCare’s Kentucky Children’s Hospital (KCH) announced today a new community-focused mentorship program for Frankfort, Kentucky-area fathers — Fathers of Frankfort. The Kentucky-based organizations partnered to launch this program as a way to strengthen families and address potential child maltreatment, a critical issue in their community.    

Drawing inspiration from evidence-based, father-specific programming, Fathers of Frankfort will connect fathers who are currently team members at Buffalo Trace Distillery with new or expecting first-time dads in the local community. Mentors will share their personal parenthood experiences, offer advice and be a resource to help men navigate this major life change.

“An adverse childhood experience such as child maltreatment has a lasting impact on a person's life, which also significantly impacts our community through increased mental health issues and decreased educational and occupational potential,” said Scottie B. Day, M.D., physician-in-chief at Kentucky Children's Hospital. “Engaged fathers can change the trajectory of families and a child's life.”

This is especially critical in Frankfort, where 26.6 per 1,000 children experience maltreatment, a rate three times higher than the national average. The goal of the program is to utilize experienced fathers to engage expecting fathers before their child is born to inspire them to play an active role in their child’s life from birth into adulthood.

“Paternal engagement improves a child’s physical and mental health, including reducing the risk of child maltreatment and improving long-term outcomes,” said Day.

Fifteen Buffalo Trace team members and local dads will be matched as part of the inaugural Fathers of Frankfort mentor class, with a vision to expand classes substantially in the future. New dads who enroll as mentees will also receive gifts throughout the year to help them transition into parenthood, including a custom, one-of-a-kind toy chest made by Buffalo Trace Distillery’s “Whiskey Woodcraft” team.

“It takes a devoted team to help mature the award-winning products at Buffalo Trace Distillery, and it also takes a passionate team to raise a child. Like some of the best things in life, both whiskey and the relationship between a father and child only gets better with age,” said Sara Saunders, head of marketing at Buffalo Trace Distillery. “We are honored to work alongside Kentucky Children’s Hospital to help the dads in our community raise children who mature into supported, engaged and successful adults.”

Additionally, Buffalo Trace Distillery will support Fathers of Frankfort by donating dollars and product for charitable initiatives to aid program-specific resources and personnel, including a dedicated licensed clinical social worker within the Kosair for Kids Center for Safe and Healthy Children and Families at Kentucky Children’s Hospital to oversee the initiative.

An immediate opportunity to support Fathers of Frankfort will come in July for the 2023 Coaches for the Kids fundraiser dinner, hosted by the Coaches for the Kids Foundation and University of Kentucky Football Coach Mark Stoops. As part of the fundraiser, Buffalo Trace Distillery will donate an ultra-rare O.F.C. Vintage three-bottle flight, including OFC ‘93, OFC ‘94, and OFC ’95, for auction. Fundraiser attendees can bid on the flight featuring some of the oldest vintage-dated bourbons ever released, with each bottle dated according to the year the bourbon was distilled at Buffalo Trace Distillery. The OFC ’93 bottle is one of only 822 ever produced and the second offered for sale, while OFC ’94 is one of less than 1,100 bottles of the expression and just the third ever offered for sale. The OFC ’95 up for bidding is only one of 1,500 bottles released. Each vintage is hand bottled in a crystal decanter with inlaid copper lettering in an upscale wooden display box.

Applications for Fathers of Frankfort are open to Buffalo Trace Distillery team members now through June 23. Mentees will be selected through a referral process coordinated by UK HealthCare. Chosen mentor applicants will be notified throughout the summer with the program slated to kick off in fall of 2023. For more information on the Fathers of Frankfort program, please contact

Fathers of Frankfort is an additional extension of Buffalo Trace Distillery's ongoing charitable endeavors. Last year, the distillery provided 2,022 bottles of its finest whiskies to charitable organizations, raising over $2.1 million. This year, Buffalo Trace Distillery plans to reintroduce its Nonprofit Partnership program by donating 100 sets of bourbon from its portfolio to philanthropic corporations worldwide for fundraising purposes. Charitable organizations interested in receiving a hand-picked bottle of whiskey from Buffalo Trace Distillery are encouraged to register their establishment here. For more information on Buffalo Trace Distillery and its charitable efforts, please visit

About Buffalo Trace Distillery  

Buffalo Trace Distillery is an American family-owned company based in Frankfort, Kentucky. The distillery's rich tradition dates back to 1775 and includes such legends as E.H. Taylor Jr., George T. Stagg, Albert B. Blanton, Orville Schupp, and Elmer T. Lee.  Buffalo Trace Distillery is a fully operational distillery producing bourbon, rye and vodka on site and is a National Historic Landmark as well as is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The distillery has won 40 distillery titles since 2000 from such notable publications as Whisky Magazine, Whisky Advocate Magazine and Wine Enthusiast Magazine. Its George T. Stagg was named World Whiskey of the Year for 2022 and its Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye was named 2nd Finest Whiskey in the World for 2022.  Buffalo Trace Distillery has also garnered more than 1,000 awards for its wide range of premium whiskies. To learn more about Buffalo Trace Distillery visit To download images from Buffalo Trace Distillery visit

About Kentucky Children’s Hospital

Kentucky Children's Hospital, part of UK HealthCare, is committed to providing the best care possible, for children as well as families. With the region's only Level I pediatric trauma center and Level IV neonatal intensive care unit, more than 30 advanced subspecialty programs such as pediatric oncology and pediatric surgery and nationally ranked by the U.S. News and World Report in both pediatric heart care and orthopedics, KCH is equipped to provide the highest level of care to young patients, close to home.

UK HealthCare is the hospitals and clinics of the University of Kentucky. But it is so much more. It is more than 10,000 dedicated health care professionals committed to providing advanced subspecialty care for the most critically injured and ill patients from the Commonwealth and beyond. It also is the home of the state’s only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, a Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit that cares for the tiniest and sickest newborns, the region’s only Level 1 trauma center and Kentucky’s top hospital ranked by U.S. News & World Report.

As an academic research institution, we are continuously pursuing the next generation of cures, treatments, protocols and policies. Our discoveries have the potential to change what’s medically possible within our lifetimes. Our educators and thought leaders are transforming the health care landscape as our six health professions colleges teach the next generation of doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other health care professionals, spreading the highest standards of care. UK HealthCare is the power of advanced medicine committed to creating a healthier Kentucky, now and for generations to come.