Bourbon for Good: Hop on a Cure

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Bourbon for Good: Support Hop on a Cure with Pappy & Company

May is ALS awareness month. 

 One of the main tenet’s at the core of our business is the desire to give back to our community. So much so that we made it an essential part of our mission and one of our core values. Through that, our Bourbon for Good commitment was born. We have expanded on our Bourbon for Good initiative, from our very first sweepstakes to include opportunities for in person volunteer opportunities and supporting our favorite charities throughout the year.  

While it began with an earnest wonder - how can we combine the desire for our family's bourbon with our desire to give back to our communities - it has since grown exponentially. That desire was the foundation for creating our Bourbon for Good Sweepstakes - where we offer a bottle from our own collection in an effort to raise money to support a dedicated beneficiary, allows us to continue to look for ways to give back and support causes that are important to us.

Through Bourbon for Good, we’ve been able to highlight the incredible work of a variety of charities, both locally and nationally, and have decided that to do the most good we can, we will select a charity that is near and dear to our hearts to lend our support to during the month in which we host one of our four annual  Bourbon for Good Sweepstakes, to support the critical work being done and to bring awareness to the both the non-profits, and the people they are serving. 

This was a very easy decision to make, as was the decision on who to partner with this May. May happens to be ALS Awareness Month, and we are honored to support Hop on a Cure, all month long, as well as during our Bourbon for Good Sweepstakes being held later in the month. 

 A devastating progressive disease, ALS is a nervous system disease affects the brain and spinal cord and worsens over time. Commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease, it often begins with muscle twitching and weakness, and eventually affects the control of the muscles needed to move, speak, eat and breathe, therefore making it fatal.  The exact cause is unknown, another indicator of the lack of crucial funding and research.

Hop on a Cure
 So who is Hop?

      We were introduced to John Driskell Hopkins, lovingly known as Hop, a founding member of legendary Grammy award winning Zac Brown Band, years ago. Although he is (very appropriately) lauded for his multi-instrumental prowess, his vocals and the award winning accomplishments of the Zac Brown Band since they burst onto the scene,  Hop is perhaps most proud of his role as dad to his three girls and as husband to his wife Jennifer.  

      "Accelerating the pursuit of a cure for ALS by giving a stage to the hope that lies hidden in the unsung."

 Facing the diagnosis of ALS in 2021 he has also fully taken on the role of absolute crusader and champion in the fight to secure funding and awareness for ALS research. Hop and Jen immediately immersed themselves in whatever information was available, and the most glaringly evident piece of the puzzle was how slow the progress towards finding a cure had been thus far.  So Hop on a Cure was born, and the same tireless dedication,  unwavering optimism and absolutely charming passion and zeal for life that he takes the stage with, he has put behind his mission.

We met Hop the way we meet so many of our fascinating friends - through the wonderful world of whiskey. A true fan of Pappy Van Winkle, he reached out and invited us to a show. Needless to say, we were thrilled - and have since been fortunate enough to see Zac Brown Band (and even, be still our music loving hearts - get to watch sound check) whenever they are playing somewhere convenient.   Obviously as fans of the band, and the music, we became equally if not more, enamored with the people behind the music - the most down to earth, passionate, creative and talented group of buddies who just happen to be brilliant musicians. 

When Hop announced his diagnosis, surrounded by the bandmates he considers family,  we were so inspired by his brave, heartfelt message and the unwavering spirit he was promising to put behind his new mission of raising funds and awareness for ALS. Perhaps the most startling recognition we have discovered through Hop on a Cure's work, is the declaration that "ALS isn't incurable. It's underfunded." We are in awe of what Hop and Jen have accomplished and the support that the band has put behind their bandmate, and their friend. 

Having ourselves known too many friends and loved ones who have faced ALS, we know that research and funding have been critically slow. Hop, and Jen, and the incredible team they have assembled at Hop on a Cure aim to change that. This cause has impacted so many people in our lives, including another dear friend. Maggie, our partner from Sugar Mama's Bakeshop (otherwise known as the magical maven behind our Bourbon Balls), whose mother also suffered from ALS. Maggie's incredible spirit and attitude are as sweet as her confections, but she is one tough cookie when it comes to caretaking and raising awareness for ALS.

Hop's vulnerability and willingness to open the door to his fight has invited us all to join in his inspiration for hope. We are endlessly inspired by his ability to take a devastating diagnosis and live his life with hope, gratitude and a vision for a future without ALS.  We are grateful for the platform of Bourbon for Good to share in his efforts in this small way and we are honored to support ALS research funding during the month of May, and beyond, in honor of Hop, Maggie, her mom, and everyone who is facing this disease, has been a caretaker or has lost a loved one. 

"Harnessing Hop’s attitude and spirit, we will be humble but heard, intentional and undeterred in doing everything we can to be a part of the solution to ending ALS once and for all. As an organization born from someone who’s IN the fight, we’ll bring a fire and passion that can’t be denied, fueled by a burning desire to live."