In February, March and April, consumers purchased more than 25,000 bottles of Sailor Jerry rum from Virginia ABC stores. Every purchase of the spiced rum helped generate a financial contribution that benefits wounded veterans.
For the third consecutive year, the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) partnered with William Grant & Sons, owners and producers of Sailor Jerry rum, to support the Aleethia Foundation. The nonprofit foundation assists injured troops recuperating at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center – Bethesda with short-term therapeutic recreation.
In addition to providing clothing, travel expenses for family members and assistive technology devices, Aleethia has been offering “Friday Night Dinners” for more than a decade. These rehabilitation therapy dinners urge injured service men and women to take a first step out of their hospital rooms and into public life together with family and other wounded veterans. Since 2003 more than 25,000 individuals have enjoyed dining out as a way to help rebuild their confidence, heal and assimilate back into a noncombatant society.
The partnership between William Grant & Sons and Virginia ABC resulted in an $8,002 contribution to the Aleethia Foundation. Since 2012, more than $23,000 has been donated to the nonprofit.
On Sept. 12, Virginia ABC Chairman Jeff Painter had the opportunity to meet some of the injured troops participating in one of Aleethia’s “Friday Night Dinners.” While at the event, Painter gave each service member a Virginia ABC challenge coin, a metal medallion commonly shared among military personnel.
“The support the Aleethia Foundation offers injured U.S. service members and their families is commendable,” said Painter. “Being able to attend the dinner and interact with the veterans was a powerful experience.”
“Working with the Virginia ABC over the past three years has been very rewarding to the William Grant family and is important to our customers,” said Reed Davis, William Grant & Sons’ district manager of Virginia and South Carolina. “At the Sept. 12 dinner, the highlight for me was watching the attendees accept the challenge coins Chairman Painter distributed. It was a big deal to those men and women and an amazing thing to witness.”
Sailor Jerry Rum was established in honor of Norman “Sailor Jerry” Collins, a member of the U.S. Navy who later became a prominent American tattoo artist, putting ink on the many service members who sought out his Honolulu tattoo parlor for nearly 40 years. The 92-proof spiced rum features a Sailor Jerry hula girl tattoo design on the label.
The Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) is a major source of revenue for the commonwealth, contributing more than $1.8 billion to the general fund in the last five years. The agency currently operates 350 state stores. Its Bureau of Law Enforcement oversees more than 16,000 ABC licensed establishments while the Hearings and Appeals Division considers more than 700 cases each year. The agency also provides alcohol education and prevention programs for people of all ages. Now celebrating its 80th anniversary, ABC remains committed to progress and innovation in carrying out its control, service and revenue mission.
Virginia ABC and Sailor Jerry Partnership Benefits Wounded Veterans for Third Year