Maker's Mark unveils Keeneland bottle honoring UK's 1996 NCAA Ch - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Maker's Mark unveils Keeneland bottle honoring UK's 1996 NCAA Champions

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Maker's Mark is dedicating a commemorative bottle to the University of Kentucky's 1996 championship team, affectionately known as the "Untouchables. 

Since 2015, Maker's Mark has issued a limited-edition bottle to coincide with the Keeneland spring meet and the Maker's Mark Mile race. This is the third bottle in a series of five bottles that, together, will pay homage to UK Coach Adolph Rupp and the school's four most recent national championships. 

In 2016, Maker's Mark released a bottle commemorating Coach Joe B. Hall and the 1978 NCAA championship basketball team; the 2015 bottle honored coaching legend Adolph Rupp 

The commemorative bottles will be available at retail outlets across Kentucky starting Friday, April 7, 2017.  

Bottle Signing Event
An autograph session will be held at Keeneland Friday morning, April 14, beginning at 6 a.m. featuring players from the 1996 UK championship team: Cameron Mills, Derek Anderson, Jeff Sheppard and Jared Prickett. In addition, Bill Samuels, Jr. and Rob Samuels from Maker’s Mark will be on hand, along with Keeneland President and CEO Bill Thomason.

The only item that will be signed is this year’s commemorative bottle, which must be purchased in advance beginning Friday, April 7, as long as supplies last.

The signing event is free, but you must have a ticket to attend. Tickets will be available, at no cost, at Keeneland at the Keene Barn beginning at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 13. Those with tickets need to be in line no later than 7 a.m. Friday. 

CLICK HERE for more information on the bottle signing event.

Proceeds from sales of the bottle will go towards expanding UK's Center for Academic and Tutorial Services (CATS).

The University of Kentucky’s Center for Academic and Tutorial Services (CATS) is a first-of-its-kind program in the nation supporting student athletes. An expansion of the center was completed in 2016, assisted by a fundraising effort still underway by Maker’s Mark and Keeneland. The plan is to raise $2 million over a five-year period through the sale of commemorative bottles along with contributions from Maker’s Mark and Keeneland.

Another element to the fundraising is a challenge for other companies to raise a matching $2 million. Keeneland pledged to be the first take up the cause in 2015, contributing $20,000 per year for five years. Any companies or groups wanting to participate in the challenge should contact the UK Athletics office.

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