Carson King’s fundraiser for the Stead Family Children’s Hospital at the University of Iowa is over. And the hospital is receiving nearly $3 million.
King said Tuesday that he was suspending his Venmo account and announced a final total of approximately $2.95 million for the hospital. King’s fundraiser exploded after he appeared on ESPN’s College GameDay on Sept. 15 while holding a sign requesting Busch Light money be sent to his Venmo account. After he received over $6,000 in the hours after GameDay, he said all of the proceeds would go to Iowa’s kids hospital.
I’m honestly at a loss for words. Almost 3 Million Dollars for @UIchildrens. I have suspended my Venmo account, but you can still donate at https://t.co/Q0IqlvYLk8. Thank you everyone. And to the kids and their families, keep on fighting! pic.twitter.com/ob0l3r2xed— Carson King (@CarsonKing2) October 1, 2019
Iowa officially thanked King in a video it posted on Tuesday as well. The total was boosted by matching donations from Anheuser-Busch and Venmo.
Simply amazing. We’re overwhelmed by the generosity #ForTheKids, and we could not be more grateful. Gifts from across the country will now help us care for kids from all across the country! pic.twitter.com/sYvfi9dXjk— UI Stead Family Children's Hospital (@UIchildrens) October 1, 2019
A-B cut ties with King
King’s fundraiser was not without controversy and that controversy unfolded extremely oddly. He pre-emptively apologized a week ago for racist tweets he said he made as jokes while referencing a Comedy Central show as a 16-year-old in 2012. King deleted the tweets, but Anheuser-Busch said it would be cutting all future ties with King. The beer company — which had made cans with King’s face on them — said it would continue to make its matching donation.
King held a press conference with his apology ahead of an impending profile by the Des Moines Register. The author of the profile for the Register had seen the tweets as part of what the paper said was a “routine background check” of King’s social media accounts for the profile. The paper defended mentioning the tweets in the profile of King.
The author of the profile, Aaron Calvin, was suspended not long after the story ran because readers found racist and offensive tweets that he had previously made. Calvin was then fired by the paper.
The controversy ended up accelerating donations to King’s Venmo account. At the time we wrote about the discovery of King’s tweets, the fundraiser had topped $1 million. That total more than doubled over the course of the ensuing week and outpaced the donations that King had received in the first 10 days of his campaign.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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