Carson King presents $3 million to UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital

Friday afternoon, Carson King presented the $3 million he raised to the UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital in a donor thank you event.


Tate Hildyard

Carson King presents a check for $3,004,202.14 to UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital on Friday. King made headlines recently after a sign he held on ESPN’s game day resulted in raising millions of dollars for a “beer fund.”

Rachel Steil, News Reporter

The Gerdin Family Lobby filled with donors and families at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital Friday afternoon as Carson King presented the $3 million he raised through his recent fundraising campaign. The Children’s Hospital recognized King for his efforts for the kids.

“One funny sign, one man with a great heart,” said Suresh Gunasekaran, CEO of UI Hospitals and Clinics. “Not even a month later, we are here with a $3 million gift.”

Speakers at the “thank you” event included Suresh Gunasekaran; Patrick McNamara, director of the division of neonatology at the Children’s Hospital; Mandy and Camdyn Reisner, mother of and patient at the hospital; and King.

King donated the $3 million over to the hospital with the help of Mandy and Camdyn. Together, the three pressed a button on King’s phone to officially transfer the funds. The transfer totaled to $3,004,202.14.

“Carson King inspired a nation to think about our kids and how we want nothing but the best for them,” Gunasekaran said.

King began his fundraising journey at the Cy-Hawk game Sept. 14 in Ames. When King was broadcasted by ESPN’s College GameDay holding a sign reading “Busch Light Supply Needs Replenishing” and his Venmo username, viewers donated across the nation.

King chose to donate the money he received to more than his beer supply and began a fundraising campaign for the Stead Family Children’s Hospital. In the following weeks, Anheuser-Busch and Venmo agreed to match King’s donations to the children’s hospital.

“I am blown away by this selfless act of generosity,” McNamara said.

King said he is inspired by how this fundraising campaign not only united the state of Iowa, but the nation as a whole.

“I think it is crazy to think about all the families and kids we will help out with this donation,” King said.

McNamara explained that the $3 million will be allotted into a special fund for specific areas of need designated by King and contributors. Some of those areas include easing the financial burden of patient families, Child Life services, investing in the latest technology, transportation services, development and education, and equipment needs.

“At times we learn of new treatment techniques or technology that could be used to better care for our patients,” said McNamara said in a press release. “With the generous support of donors, we can make sure we are always providing our patients with the best available care.”

Mandy and Camdyn Reisner expressed their gratitude to King and the work by the Children’s Hospital.

“We are very lucky in the state of Iowa to have the services we have here,” said Mandy. “The doctors and nurses save lives everyday under this roof.”

Friday’s event comes weeks after a controversy involving King and old tweets uncovered by The Des Moines Register. King’s tweets from 2011 were acknowledged by Anheuser-Busch as “offensive and hurtful,” leading the company to cut ties with King.

King publicly apologized for the tweets, explaining that he cannot change what he did as a 16-year-old.