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Sports ESPN 'GameDay': Meet 'Iowa Legend' who has raised $1M from beer sign

21:55  25 september  2019
21:55  25 september  2019 Source:   usatoday.com

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Meet ' Iowa Legend ' who 's raised more than $ 1 million for charity from ESPN ' GameDay ' sign asking for beer money. A message made to remind her 24-year-old grandson to always to do his best has now become a prophecy. Before September's annual Cy-Hawk football game , King was unknown to

DES MOINES, Iowa – Carson King, who has helped raise over $ 1 million for the University of Iowa It was just 10 days ago that I was a guy in the crowd holding a sign looking for beer money on King has risen to fame over the past 10 days after he was featured on ESPN College GameDay in Ames

In the living room of Carson King's unassuming bungalow in Altoona, a sign hand-painted by his step-grandmother hangs on the wall with the message "King: Start unknown, finish unforgettable."

A message made to remind her 24-year-old grandson to always to do his best has now become a prophecy. Before September's annual Cy-Hawk football game, King was unknown to the world, working security at Prairie Meadows Casino and trying to figure out what to do with his life.

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Carson King held up a sign on ESPN asking for beer money before Iowa State hosted Iowa . Man who sought beer money with 'College GameDay ' sign has raised 5,000 for children's hospital. When the word got out that King's beer money was going to a good cause, more donations poured in

A football fan whose tongue-in-cheek appeal for beer money went viral and raised more than $ 1 That caught the attention of ESPN 's "College GameDay " cameras. When buckets of beer money Anheuser-Busch and Venmo got into the act and also pledged money to the hospital, which has

But after he held up a sign asking for beer money that appeared by chance on ESPN's "College GameDay" show before the game, he's been lauded as an example of kindness and compassion across the nation. The sign brought in more than $1 million after he decided to donate all of the funds raised from his brief television appearance to the University of Iowa's Stead Children's Hospital.

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It began as a whim. The night before the game, King made a sign with a Sharpie and scrap of poster board, taking only a few moments to do it, that read "Busch Light Supply Needs Replenished" and requested $25 via the digital payments service Venmo. He arrived on the "GameDay" set the next morning at 5:30 a.m., but the area was already so crowded he was forced to move into a secondary area.

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Carson King raised more than $ 1 million for an Iowa children's hospital, borne out of a request for beer money on national TV. But old racist tweets ended his relationship with the beer company that promised to match his fundraising.

For most fans attending an ESPN College GameDay rally, the ultimate goal is getting an amusing sign on TV. But when GameDay traveled to Ames, Iowa for the first time this past weekend, one Iowa State Cyclones fan accidentally turned it into an opportunity to raise a whole lot of money for a great cause.

The "GameDay" program happened to spend a lot of time filming that secondary area. King discovered through some texts from friends that he had appeared on-screen.

Then the money began to pour into his Venmo account. When it reached $600, he called his family and told them he wouldn't use the haul for beer, but would rather donate it to the children's hospital in Iowa City.

"This is just how Carson is," Dana Archer-King, Carson King's mother told the Des Moines Register. "He's always been compassionate and caring ... a very kind person. My late mother always said about Carson, 'that kid just simply loves life,' and it's so true."

Archer-King posted her son's spontaneous fundraiser on Facebook.

Then, the world began to take notice.

By Monday afternoon, local and national media started picking up the tale. On Tuesday, Busch Light and Venmo, the two brands that had appeared on King's sign, both pledged to match whatever money King was able to raise.

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A college football fan who held up a sign on national TV begging for beer money — garnering ,000 — has now raised more than $ 1 million. 14 stunt on ESPN ’s “College GameDay ” in Ames, Iowa , soon went viral — with the cash quickly flooding in. King also has an extra reason to toast his viral hit.

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King's story appeared as a two-minute segment on Scott Van Pelt's popular "One Big Thing" segment Thursday evening, giving his story its first national-level visibility. The weekend following, King was in New York City, touring Busch headquarters and appearing on news programs like "Good Morning America," NBC News, CNN and "Fox and Friends."

Other companies began adding their names alongside King's primary corporate sponsors. Northwest Mutual, based in Wisconsin, has donated $50,000 to the Children's Hospital in honor of King. Prairie Meadows Casino, who employs both King and his father, has added a $10,000 donation to the pile. DeWitt Construction, where King's brother is employed, has pledged to donate $300 for each new roof it constructs.

On Monday, Goldie's Ice Cream Shoppe, the culinary epicenter of King's hometown of Prairie City, announced it would offer a Busch Light-flavored soft serve, with all profits from the flavor going directly to King's Venmo account.

By the end of the weekend, the fundraiser King had started on a whim had raised over $1 million for the hospital in concert with the corporate matches and additional donations.

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King: I'm 'the nice guy'

a man holding a sign: Carson King poses for a portrait in his front yard on Monday, Sept. 23 in Altoona. © Olivia Sun Carson King poses for a portrait in his front yard on Monday, Sept. 23 in Altoona. "At work, people recognize me. At Target, people recognize me," he said. "I'm happy with all of it — none of this could have happened without people out there recognizing me and realizing this is a good cause."

Outside his home just south of the Prairie Meadows Casino in Altoona, the day after the million-dollar news was announced and fresh off a whirlwind trip to New York City, King is relaxed as he submits to the now-routine process of interviews and photoshoots. He stands in his yard with his thumbs in his jean pockets and wearing his last clean Iowa State pullover.

Though his allegiance in the intra-state rivalry has been with ISU since his days at Prairie City-Monroe High School, he'll make an appearance at the University of Iowa Hawkeyes game on Saturday to participate in the Hawkeye Wave, a tradition honoring the children for whom he's raised money.

After studying psychology at ISU after he graduated high school in 2014, King left the university, citing his tendency to be a "hands-on learner" and the expense of student loans, to work on the security team at Prairie Meadows. He purchased his home in Altoona in March.

"I do have kind of a big heart," King said of his decision to turn his 15 seconds of fame into a fundraising opportunity. "My friends know me as kind of a softy. I'm 'the nice guy.'"

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As his profile has grown, he's received numerous requests to join in on the next tailgate, recognition from strangers and even romantic overtures. He's been called out to as "The Busch Light Guy," and King has savored it, focused on converting every drop of attention into cash for the children's hospital.

"At work, people recognize me. At Target, people recognize me," he said. "I'm happy with all of it. None of this could have happened without people out there recognizing me and realizing this is a good cause and everything. If people want to take pictures with me, I'm all for it."

For Busch Light, King's story was the marketing equivalent of discovering oil in its backyard. The company quickly jumped at the opportunity to not only match King's donation but also to supply him a year's worth of beer — 60 cans of beer a month for 12 months for a total of 720 cans — branded with his face and proclaiming King an "Iowa Legend."

After keeping a few cans as memorabilia, King plans to share the beer with family, friends and others who have helped him in his journey before exploring opportunities to auction off cans to raise money for charitable causes.

'Iowa Legend'

a person holding a sign: Carson King poses for a portrait in his front yard on Monday, Sept. 23 in Altoona. © Olivia Sun Carson King poses for a portrait in his front yard on Monday, Sept. 23 in Altoona. "At work, people recognize me. At Target, people recognize me," he said. "I'm happy with all of it — none of this could have happened without people out there recognizing me and realizing this is a good cause." Throughout his quick rise to "Iowa legend" status, King has been supported by his family and community.

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"I love to brag about the fact that we are a very tight family," Archer-King said. "Our kids all have each others' backs at all times and I love that. There's sort of a standing joke in our family that my kids are all required to live within 45 miles of me ... known as the 'mom circle.'"

The King family, dispersed across central Iowa, all grew up in Prairie City, a small community on the eastern edge of the Des Moines metro area with a population of less than 2,000.

"The entire community is extremely proud of him," Kristen Souza, the current principal of Prairie City-Monroe High School, told the Register. "We're all sharing the fundraiser on Facebook to get him as much money as possible."

Prairie Meadows has also been supportive of King, who has had to take time off of work to attend to the media requests. Along with the casino's donation, individual employees have also offered their assistance. King's supervisor, Vice President of Security Clint Pursley, has helped King connect with people to provide him with legal and tax advice around his fundraising.

"We're very proud of Carson. (It) started off as a joke, just having some fun at the first-ever 'GameDay' in Ames," Brad Rheinz, senior vice president at the casino, said. "The luck of even being on TV at that time and having a fun demeanor has led to something far beyond anyone's imagination."

A routine background check of King's social media revealed two racist jokes, one comparing black mothers to gorillas and another making light of black people killed in the holocaust. The joke tweets date back to 2012, when King was a 16-year-old high school student.

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When asked about the tweets, King was remorseful and thanked the Register for pointing them out, saying they made him "sick." He has since deleted them.

"That’s not something that I’m proud of at all," he told the Register during the day Tuesday.

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Tuesday evening, King spoke to local television stations about the now-deleted tweets.

"I am embarrassed and stunned to reflect on what I thought was funny when I was 16-year-old," he said in a statement posted by WHO-TV. "I want to sincerely apologize."

He also read the statement in a video posted by KCCI-TV.

Anheuser-Busch InBev, Busch Light's parent company, announced in a statement Tuesday night that they will "have no further association with [King]," though they will honor their agreement to match the funds for the children's hospital.

Now, King wants to look to the future.

"With the profile and recognition and status I've gotten with this, I'd like to reach out to different organizations around the state and maybe around the country and put them in the spotlight and show people how great they are," he said.

He's entertaining the idea of joining law enforcement at some level, like his dad, Mick King, who was a police officer in Altoona for 27 years before retiring. But his newfound talent for fundraising has him rethinking his career goals.

"With all that's gone on, I think I can help in other ways," he said. "I'd like to do both. I'm still young. There's still a lot of time to decide these things."

This article originally appeared on Des Moines Register: ESPN 'GameDay': Meet 'Iowa Legend' who has raised $1M from beer sign

‘Out on a limb’: Inside the Republican reckoning over Trump’s possible impeachment .
The GOP is paralyzed as lawmakers weigh their political futures, their legacies and their allegiance to a president who has held them captive. President Trump’s moves to pressure a foreign power to target a domestic political rival have driven his party into a bunker, with lawmakers bracing for an extended battle led by a general whose orders are often confusing and contradictory. Should the House impeach Trump, his trial would be in the Senate, where the Republican majority would decide his fate.

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