Bourbon sold to raise money in memory of fallen officer - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Bourbon sold to raise money in memory of fallen officer

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BARDSTOWN, Ky. (WDRB) -- Police in the bourbon capital of the world sold whisky to raise thousands in memory of a fallen officer.  The officer's co-workers explained they wanted to help a non-profit that helped them in their time of need.

Bardstown Police say they received tremendous assistance from Supporting Heroes after the line of duty death of Officer Jason Ellis. That's why a sheriff's deputy said he wanted to put together resources to raise money for that organization.

Bardstown Police Chief Rick McCubbin has more sealed bottles of bourbon in his office than usual. He's handing them out to those who missed a fundraiser at Maker's Mark distillery on Friday.

"I like maker, I collect makers, Jason liked Maker's, too," McCubbin said.

McCubbin's bookshelves in his office are adorned with special edition Maker's Mark bourbon bottles, police badges, keepsakes for fallen officer Ellis and other knick-knacks.

The additional bourbon bottles ended up in his office after a deputy asked the distillery to create some bottles to honor Ellis.

"I had initially approached Maker's Mark about making a small quantity of bottles in memory of Jason Ellis," said Deputy Mike Kaminski of the Nelson County Sheriff's Department. 

The sheriff's department is located right next to the police department in Bardstown.  Kaminski said instead of just making the keepsakes, they made enough bottles dipped in black and wrapped in blue to raise $30,000.

"It was truly amazing; Maker's Mark made 300 bottles... I sold out of 300 bottles," said Kaminski.

All of that money will go to "Supporting Heroes," a non-profit that helps families who's loved ones died in the line of duty.

"We did what we did on the day of the funeral and Supporting Heroes was behind that," said McCubbin.

"We couldn't have done what we did without them."

Supporters also got another empty bottle of Maker's.

"Many of us decided early on since we were going to forever seal the bottle to put things in it for Jason," said McCubbin.

McCubbin said some of the officers chose to put things like pins and bracelets in memory of Ellis inside of the clear glass bottle.  The bottles were then sealed with the traditional red wax that brands the Maker's Mark bottles.

The non-profit's Executive Director says it's about more than money.

"Beyond the actual dollars, it makes a strong statement that folks of Nelson County that were affected, that they recognized the role that supporting heroes played and the response to the tragedy," said Eric Johnson.

Johnson said it meant a lot that they wanted to do something to help the families of the future "because we know there will be more."

City of Bardstown Mayor Bill Sheckles said they could not have facilitated the funeral which had thousands upon thousands of people in attendance without the help of the organization.

"They stayed through us through the whole week with the vigil, setting up the operation of the funeral," said Sheckles.

Sheckles said he knew the donations would be money well spent.

"I will forever be grateful for them and it was our way to give back," Sheckles said.

Police say they have more fund raisers involving bourbon in the works for the future.  No one has been arrested in connection with the shooting death of Officer Jason Ellis.  Anyone with information is asked to call police.

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