Chicago, Ill. (June 12, 2018) – Cruzan® Rum, producer of some of the world’s finest aged rums, is proud to announce the launch of the Island Spirit Fund. Created in the aftermath of the destruction caused by last year’s Hurricane Maria, the Island Spirit Fund supports disaster relief efforts in the U.S. Virgin Islands and across the United States, helping rebuild and renew communities impacted by storms of all kinds.
As founding sponsor, Cruzan Rum has committed to donate $1 from every case of rum sold to the Island Spirit Fund, meaning each Cruzan Rum bottle purchased will provide aid to communities in need. This commitment alone is expected to generate nearly $1 million for the Island Spirit Fund this year. Coupled with generous case-matching donation commitments from several distributor partners and anticipated public fundraising, Cruzan Rum aims to raise $2 million for the Fund by the end of 2018.
“Last year, our home island of St. Croix faced many challenges in the devastating wake of Hurricane Maria, but the resiliency of the Crucian people and our sense of community never wavered,” said Gary Nelthropp, Cruzan Rum’s Master Distiller. “That’s what we like to call our ‘island spirit,’ and I’m honored to help extend this spirit to others in a sustainable and ongoing way through the Fund, ensuring that no community, near or far, weathers a storm alone.”
Established in partnership with Global Giving, a nonprofit organization that connects donors with grassroots projects around the world, the Island Spirit Fund provides disaster relief by issuing grants to local organizations with boots on the ground and lasting relationships in affected areas. The Fund prioritizes both short-term recovery and long-term stability projects, including: environmental rebuilding, community planning, and workforce development and job creation. By listening directly to affected communities' needs, the Island Spirit Fund takes a customized approach to providing relief including, but not limited to, nourishment, supplies and volunteer support. In the immediate future, the Fund is focused on the areas still recovering from Hurricane Maria’s devastation and is also prepared to respond to future storms.
“We’re proud to support our Cruzan family and neighbors in the USVI and beyond with the launch of the Island Spirit Fund, and we’re incredibly humbled by the way our distributor partners have stepped up to further our efforts,” said Rashidi Hodari, VP Marketing, Cruzan Rum. “Our roots in the Caribbean run deep, and by joining together, we’re able to provide much needed physical and emotional support beyond the initial days, weeks and months following disaster. We look forward to awakening the ‘island spirit’ both now and in the years to come.”
Individuals interested in making their own contributions to the Fund can do so by purchasing any of Cruzan’s quality rum products or by making a direct donation via IslandSpiritFund.org. In addition to the brand’s case-matching donation program, Cruzan will also absorb the cost of all transactional fees associated with all donations to the Island Spirit Fund, so that 100% of donors’ generosity goes directly to communities in need.
The establishment of the Island Spirit Fund is the most recent effort by Cruzan and its parent company, Beam Suntory, to provide aid to those in need. In 2017, Beam Suntory and its parent company provided more than $2 million in cash and in-kind support for disaster relief in the U.S., U.S. Virgin Islands and Mexico, which also included a $500,000 donation to the Fund for the Virgin Islands late last year.
For more information about the Island Spirit Fund and Cruzan’s award-winning portfolio of rums, please visit www.islandspiritfund.org or CruzanRum.com, or engage with us on social media via www.facebook.com/CruzanRum or Instagram @CruzanRum.