LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 28, 2011) − Maker’s Mark Distillery officials announced today that the 2011 Maker’s Mark Mile commemorative bottle will honor a Kentucky icon – Keeneland Race Course in commemoration of its 75th anniversary.
In addition, sales of the specialty bottle – which goes on sale April 8 – will benefit a newly named endowment for the arts honoring retiring University of Kentucky President Lee T. Todd Jr. and his wife, Patsy. The Lee T. and Patsy Todd Jr. Development Fund will continue to make it possible for the UK Symphony Orchestra and students from the UK School of Music to take music into public schools and communities throughout the state. This year is the third time that bottle proceeds have helped fund this program.
“Every year, we strive to make this commemorative bottle and its charitable proceeds about the people and entities that have a positive impact on Kentucky,” said Maker’s Mark President and CEO Bill Samuels Jr. “Lee and Patsy Todd, as well as Keeneland, have made significant contributions to Kentucky and have been such wonderful partners to Maker’s Mark through the years, that it seemed only fitting to honor them in this way.”
The design of the 2011 collectable bottle features Keeneland’s specially designed anniversary logo and notes the 15th anniversary of the distillery’s sponsorship of the Maker’s Mark Mile. Keeneland Race Course opened on Oct. 15, 1936.
Samuels expects about $200,000 from the sale of more than 18,000 bottles statewide, creating funding for this unique program in excess of $1.2 million.
“We are so honored that Maker’s Mark is paying tribute to our anniversary in this way,” said Keeneland President and CEO Nick Nicholson. “This sponsorship and all of the money it has raised through the years was the brainchild of Bill Samuels and he deserves a tremendous amount of credit for his ability to take a corporate partnership like ours to new heights. He is an innovator and, himself, a Kentucky icon."
“Art and music are passions for Patsy and me. We are humbled that Maker’s Mark, Bill Samuels and Keeneland would honor us in this way by making us part of this special program and by helping take the transformative power of music to children across our state,” Todd said. “Our School of Music, – and this outreach program, are emblematic of what becoming a Top 20 public research institution can mean for Kentucky – conducting research and providing service that changes lives and makes our Commonwealth a better place to live.”
Signing this year’s bottle will be Samuels, Todd and Nicholson. The signing will take place at 6 a.m. Friday, April 15, trackside at Keeneland.
MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, (859) 257-1754 ext. 229; Whitney.Hale@uky.edu