Whales for Wishes Partners with Untappd to Transform Rare Beer into Wishes for Children with Critical Illnesses

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After raising $50,000 for Make-A-Wish in 2019, this year’s Whales for Wishes ​Online Rare Beer Raffle presented by​ ​Untappd Beer Festival​ is offering up beer like Pliny The Younger and Dark Lord to raise money for children with critical illnesses.

Whales for Wishes is an annual online rare beer raffle and in-person bottle share that raises money for Make-A-Wish. What began as a humble gathering of a couple dozen people has grown into one of the most unique events in the craft beer community.

“For the past six years our event committee, the craft beer community, and a number of breweries donate some of the world’s best beer for us to raffle off to raise money for Make-A-Wish,” says Mark Iafrate, one of the event founders. “Now that we’ve brought Untappd on as a sponsor, more people than ever will hear about and get to take part in the raffle.”

Whales for Wishes also has an in-person event component – a bottle share that takes place every year in Charlotte, NC – but the ​online raffle​ is open to anyone in the world to enter. It works like most other raffles, only it’s virtual. You pay money to purchase digital raffle ticket entries into various “boxes” of rare beer, and the more entries you buy, the better your chances of winning. The winning raffle ticket is chosen at random and the lucky individuals’ beer is shipped to them for free.

This year’s boxes include some of the highest-rated and rarest beer in the world. Beers like the infamous Pliny The Younger, Heady Topper, Dark Lord, Westvleteren 12, Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout, Double Barrel Bourbon County Brand Stout, Mexican Cake, Cantillon, and more.

“The average cost of granting a wish is $6,000,” said Justin Moore, another event co-founder. “Last year we raised $50,000, and this year we decided to challenge the community and ourselves and set out to raise $75,000, enough to grant 12 wishes to children with critical illnesses.”

The third event co-founder, Betsy Pence, has a personal tie to Make-A-Wish. “My son Justin was a wish kid, so our family knows first hand how impactful getting a wish granted is to families during a difficult time. Just being able to spend time not worrying about treatments or diagnoses meant so much to us, and it’s why our family loves being able to give back each year.”

It was Betsy’s efforts to raise money for Make-A-Wish back in 2014, which acted as the catalyst for Whales for Wishes. “It’s amazing to think that what started as me trying to raise some money raffling off a few bottles of Pliny The Elder has turned into this amazing event.”

The 2020 ​Online Rare Beer Raffle​ presented by Untappd Beer Festival runs from March 5 to April 1, and the winner will be announced on April 7. More information, as well as a link to enter the raffle or purchase tickets to the bottle share, is available now at​ ​WhalesForWishes.com​.