WDRB and Heine Brothers raise $50,000 for the Kentucky Science Center with eclipse glasses
The funds were raised through a partnership to distribute solar eclipse glasses.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Tens of thousands of people watched the solar eclipse safely Monday with WDRB eclipse glasses distributed at Louisville and southern Indiana Heine Brothers' coffee shops. Even after the eclipse, that partnership is still giving a boost to the local science community.
Officials from WDRB News and Heine Brothers' presented a $50,703 check to the Kentucky Science Center on Wednesday. Funds were raised from a partnership in which patrons could receive a free pair of WDRB eclipse glasses with a Heine Brothers' coffee purchase and buy additional glasses for $1 each.
"When I think about the solar eclipse, I think about how amazing it was for a moment in time ... but on a day-to-day basis, the Kentucky Science Center is really all about identifying those kinds of moments every day," said Jo Haas, CEO of the Kentucky Science Center. "This gift from Heine Brothers and WDRB and the solar eclipse glasses is really taking that focal point from the solar eclipse and shedding light on our mission to do science every day."
Mike Mays, the co-founder and president of Heine Brothers Coffee, recalled how the idea for the partnership formed.
"Earlier this year, our friends at WDRB came to us at Heine Brothers Coffee with an idea around eclipse glasses," Mays said. "They had this thought that there's be a lot of interest in eclipse glasses. I thought, 'Well, maybe a few people are going to be interested, but are you sure there's going to be enough interest that we want to have eclipse glasses available at all of our stores?'"
Mays said he eventually agreed to the partnership, and that the Kentucky Science Center would be the beneficiary. But when he heard that WDRB News had 80,000 pairs of glasses to give away, he was doubtful they would be able to get rid of them all.
He freely admits he was wrong.
"In eight days, we gave away approximately 25,000 glasses -- one with purchase -- and then we sold over 50,000 pairs," he said. "We were overwhelmed with the number of people who came into our stores. We were overwhelmed with how often the phone rang. Unfortunately, we didn't get 160,000 pairs of glasses because we were through all 80,000 pairs until midday last Tuesday."
WDRB Chief Meteorologist Marc Weinberg, who was at the check presentation, described what it was like to witness the eclipse from Hopkinsville.
"I was in totality ... If you watched my Facebook Live video, if anybody saw it, I was overcome with emotion," Weinberg said. "I've studied science my whole life. To see something like that, to see everything just come together in that moment, is why we all do what we do. It's why we're so fascinated in love with science that we just can't get away from it. I mean, it is a love. So it was a great moment for me, and I'm glad Heine Brothers was a part of this."
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