Altoona man asks for Busch Light funds, donates to UI Children’s Hospital instead

What started as a joking plea from Carson King for beer money donations turned into thousands of dollars in donations to the Stead Family Children’s Hospital.


Shivansh Ahuja

Spectators watch the show during ESPN College GameDay before the annual Cy-Hawk football game between Iowa and Iowa State in Ames, IA on Saturday, September 14, 2019. This was GameDay’s first visit to Ames.

Kinsey Phipps, News Reporter

The Hawkeyes won in more ways than one at the Cy-Hawk game on Sept. 14 when Altoona man Carson King’s plea for Busch Light money turned into $6,000 — and counting — in donations to the UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital.

Hundreds of people woke up early that morning to be part of ESPN College GameDay as they covered the Cy-Hawk rivalry for the first time ever. King was among the crowd with a sign reading, “Busch Light Supply Needs Replenishing.” King featured his Venmo username as well in hopes of receiving a little extra beer money from kind strangers.

Unexpectedly, dozens of people from across the country saw the request and sent him money. At 12:53 p.m. Sept. 14, King had raised more than $1,600 and wanted to do some good. He said that’s when he decided to donate all of it to the UI Children’s Hospital — and purchase just one case of Busch Light.

“Originally I was like, ‘Well, this would be a funny idea. I might make a couple of dollars for some beer,’ ” King said. “Once people started sending me money, I realized there was something worthwhile I could be doing with it.”

King took to social media to share his desire for donations. By Monday evening, his tweet reached 107 retweets and 710 likes.

King’s brother Josh King made a post initially speaking about Carson’s sign. Later, he updated the post with information about donating to the Children’s Hospital. That post now has more than 1,500 reactions, 206 comments, and 788 shares.

Carson King’s Facebook post also has 469 reactions, 44 comments, and has been shared 336 times.

King’s Venmo account shows donations from 691 people, and that number is growing. Captions changed from “Busch Light. Go State!” to “For the kids!”

King was interviewed by multiple news sources this week. He hopes to keep the traction going and get local businesses to donate for a greater impact, he said.

King will keep the donations open until the end of the month before sending the grand total to the Children’s Hospital.

“I think it shows that Iowans are there to help one another. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Cyclone fan, Hawkeye fan, or Panther fan — we are all Iowans,” King said. “When you say Iowa nice, you really mean it.

No matter the team, no matter the game, no matter the rivalry, Iowans can usually bond over three things: football, beer, and anything for the kids.

“All I did was make a sign,” King said. “I’m just glad something special came out of it.”