ST. LOUIS (August 23, 2018) –Today Major Brands, Inc. announced a fundraising challenge for four local nonprofit organizations of $200,000 for a first ever “whisky fundraiser”. Last May, Major Brands, Inc. Chairman and CEO Sue McCollum invited female business, civic and nonprofit leaders on a road trip to the Maker’s Mark Kentucky distillery, where they created a custom, private select bourbon blend. In addition to McCollum, members of the private selection team included Rebecca Hatter with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri; Lesley Hoffarth with Forest Park Forever; Lisa Melandri with the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis; Susan Sherman with the Saint Louis Fashion Fund; Ellen Sherberg, Special Adviser to the CEO of American City Business Journals, Suzanne Sitherwood, President and CEO of Spire, Inc. and Cabanne Howard, CEO of Kaleidoscope Management Group.

The barrel of bourbon, crafted by McCollum and her team, is the first ever of its flavor profile and will yield approx. 200 bottles of whisky. This limited-edition Maker’s Mark Private Select Bourbon is being made available to donors and discerning bourbon collectors and will be unveiled at an event, “Hatch the Batch” to be held Oct. 4 at 6 p.m. at Big Brothers Big Sisters’ ANEW Rooftop in Grand Center. The event will feature whisky tasting and education, live music, great food and special appearances by Kentucky Bourbon legends.

“This is an opportunity for the St. Louis community to be part of the biggest bourbon barrel fundraiser of all time,” said McCollum, who leads the largest, women-operated and owned distributor in the country. “This limited-edition blend is the first barrel created by all women, the first made by a distributor, and the first whose proceeds will go 100 percent to charity. We look forward to joining with our community to provide support to these worthy organizations that play such an important role in our region.”

The bourbon can be reserved at via a tax-deductible donation to a charitable fund at the St. Louis Community Foundation. Sponsorships of the Hatch the Batch event are also available. All proceeds from the sale of the bourbon and the event will be split equally between Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri, Forest Park Forever, the Contemporary Art Museum and the Saint Louis Fashion Fund.

“Sue’s great at bringing people together to do good in the community, and I feel lucky to be a part of the first-ever all female team to make a barrel of whisky. These women are go-getters and innovators, and all of us love the St. Louis community. So, it’s only natural that 100 percent of proceeds go to vital and important St. Louis causes. Spire’s a proud sponsor, too, and we can’t wait to see all the good that comes from Women Who Whisky,” said Spire President and CEO Suzanne Sitherwood.

Donor packages start at the $1,000 level, which includes one bottle of the Women Who Whisky blend and two tickets to the event, and go up to the $25,000 level, which includes five bottles of the bourbon blend, 10 event tickets and presenting sponsor status.

“This is an excellent example of creative philanthropy,” said Rebecca Hatter, President and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri. “This group came together to create a unique blend of whisky for good. While the experience was unique, working together in a creative fashion to make a positive impact is not new: it is something St. Louis women do especially well.”

For a full list of donor opportunities and to reserve a bottle, visit:

Media interviews and whisky tastings can be scheduled the week of Sept. 15.

About Major Brands Premium Beverage Distributors

Major Brands, Inc. is the largest Missouri-owned and operated distributor of premium wine, spirits, beer and non-alcoholic beverages, with offices in St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield, Columbia and Cape Girardeau. Major Brands, Inc. employs more than 600 people and serves more than 9,000 retail customers. It began operations in 1934 and remains family owned and operated. For more information visit,