Matthew McConaughey and Wild Turkey gave thanks to the bourbon brand's hometown by delivering 4,500 turkeys to the residents of Lawrenceburg, KY, including donating more than 500 turkeys to the local food pantry, just in time for Thanksgiving. Along with a team of more than 250 Wild Turkey volunteers, the Academy Award-winning actor surprised Lawrenceburg residents by showing up on their doorsteps with turkeys generously donated by Butterball. The company released the Wild Turkey Gives Back video chronicling the effort to feed an entire rural town.
On November 4, McConaughey, who serves as the brand's Creative Director, celebrated his 48th birthday by making a surprise appearance at the Wild Turkey Distillery as Master Distillers Jimmy and Eddie Russell and an army of volunteers and distillery workers set out to say thanks to the small town that has been home to the iconic bourbon distillery for more than a century. McConaughey got the crowd excited for a day of service, saying, "We believe, in our family, that the more you're thankful for, the more you're going to create in your life to be thankful for. So thank you for being here. Let's go make some people happy!"
"In one of our very first conversations, Master Distillers Jimmy and Eddie Russell told me that the town of Lawrenceburgis what keeps the Wild Turkey family running," said McConaughey, Creative Director of Wild Turkey. "The support system in this community is amazing – in one form or another, everyone has some kind of relationship with Wild Turkey – and that's why we were so grateful to have the resources to give back and say thanks to Lawrenceburg residents. We thought, let's give everyone a turkey, one less thing for them to worry about this season."
Following the pep speech, McConaughey and the volunteers set out in cars and buses with more than 60,000 pounds of turkey to canvas Lawrenceburg's six square miles. Crews blanketed each neighborhood on foot from sun up until sun down, going door to door to drop off the frozen birds, delighting everyone along the way. Scores of residents opened their doors to find McConaughey on their porches, which elicited the kind of excitement you might expect when being surprised by an Oscar winner carrying a turkey.
As the holiday cheer spread through the small town, shocked members of the community took to social media to share their sightings of McConaughey and express deep thanks for the kind gesture from Wild Turkey and the troop of volunteers that delivered a turkey to every single home.
"Lawrenceburg has been our home for generations, and the people who live here support our passion for making great whiskey every day," said Wild Turkey Master Distiller Jimmy Russell. "We wanted to say thanks to Lawrenceburg this Thanksgiving and to encourage people around the country to do what they can to assure no one goes hungry this holiday."
In addition to the deliveries in Lawrenceburg, and in the spirit of giving back, Wild Turkey has also made a donation equaling 50,000 Thanksgiving meals to the anti-hunger organization Share Our Strength to help families in need across the country. Wild Turkey is encouraging fans to join them in their Friendsgiving to End Hunger campaign (strength.org/WildTurkey) to support those who could use a hand this holiday. Fans can host a Friendsgiving fundraiser in their own hometown or make a donation to support Share Our Strength's work to end hunger in America.
"Wild Turkey and Matthew McConaughey's commitment to the community really touched us and we were happy to join together to help the cause," says Bill Klump, Chief Marketing Officer of Butterball. "Everyone deserves a great meal on Thanksgiving and Butterball is proud to be able help put a meal on a table for any family that might otherwise not be able to enjoy one."
Butterball is committed to giving back to deserving families and community organizations across the country each Thanksgiving and throughout the year. Butterball has donated more than 100,000 pounds of turkey for the 2017 holiday season, in addition to their donation of turkeys to local Lawrenceburg residents, and continues to do what they can to help families as well as deserving community members enjoy a Thanksgiving meal.
Wild Turkey first connected with McConaughey a few years ago upon his inaugural visit to the iconic Kentucky distillery where he was introduced to the Russells – the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame; father and son Master Distiller team who have worked at the Wild Turkey Distillery for more than 100 years collectively. Intrigued by the multi-generational family behind the bourbon, McConaughey discovered Wild Turkey's faithful devotion to distilling bourbon the right, unapologetic way. He later signed on as Creative Director and has since helped tell the brand's story via advertising campaigns and other projects.