Iowa State alumnus and loyal football fan Carson King got a disapproving ribbing from his mom about the sign that turned him into a viral charitable sensation.
“My mom was like ‘this is going to be a proud mom moment. My son is going to be begging for money for beer on national television,'” he told NBC affiliate WHO in Des Moines.
Her sarcasm about the sign her son took to an Iowa State game, which read, “Busch Light needs replenished. Venmo Carson-King-25,” was warranted. But we have a feeling she’s changed her mind because after King’s Venmo account was flooded with cash, he decided to give all of it — minus the cost of a case of Busch Light — to the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital.
Within minutes after King and his sign appeared on television during a break in play, money started hitting his Venmo account. He soon had $1,000 from people all over the country, and he called his parents for advice. They decided to give the money to Children’s. It kept going through the weekend after King and his sign went viral.
King decided to set a goal to raise $2 million for the hospital by Sept. 30. It turns out he didn’t need that much time — he tweeted on Sept. 27 that he’d hit the mark:
— Carson King (@CarsonKing2) September 27, 2019
As can happen when people get their 15 minutes of fame, there was a kerfuffle. A Des Moines Register reporter doing research before interviewing King unearthed some unsavory tweets from when King was 16 years old. Busch Light, which had pledged to match the donation to Children’s and put King’s face on a can of their beer, pulled their support but then faced a backlash on social media, and angry threats came into the Register’s newsroom — why punish King for his regrettably racist tweets in high school when he was doing so much good now?
King apologized for his old tweets and Busch Light said they’d still match his contribution to the hospital. Other organizations came out in support of King and what was shaping up to be a massive donation as well, the Register reported, including Make-A-Wish Iowa.
All seems to have ended well here. King’s supporters came through with the $2 million well in advance of the fundraising deadline, and the governor of Iowa even named Sept. 28 (the next game day!) Carson King Day. The next day, he tweeted that he’d met with some of the sick kids who are getting help at Children’s Hospital and announced that his current total was $2.2 million.
Thousands have come together and raised over 2.2 Million Dollars to help out the kids and families at @UIchildrens and I can’t stop smiling thinking about it. I was honored to meet some of the kids and families at the Hospital on Saturday. #ForTheKids pic.twitter.com/yVWu2ROlK1
— Carson King (@CarsonKing2) September 29, 2019
What a story! Cheers to you, Carson!