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Together Detroit: Companies giving back to servers, bartenders

Beam Suntory, Constellation, William Grant & Sons among those contributing

by Dana Wakiji @Dwakiji /

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone in the world.

Many people have lost their jobs due to lockdowns enacted to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Among the most affected industries are the restaurants and bars, with many servers and bartenders currently out of work.

There are many companies who have stepped up to help these people and their families.

Beam Suntory and distributor Southern Glazer's Wine and Spirits (SGWS) donated $1 million to the United States Bartenders' Guild (USBG) Foundation Emergency Assistance Program and the Restaurant Workers Community Foundation.

Tweet from @beamsuntory: @beamsuntory and @SGWineSpirits $1 million donation will provide resources and financial aid to workers affected by mandated closures amidst the COVID-19 pandemic

"The people of Beam Suntory and our colleagues at SGWS are passionate about helping support the bartenders, restaurant workers and their families whose lives have been turned upside down by the global pandemic," Beam Suntory president and CEO Albert Baladi said in a statement. "Extraordinary times call for extraordinary actions. We are proud to support the trade community and their livelihoods, as they are part of our extended Beam Suntory family, and we are fortunate to be part of an industry where so many companies are uniting to assist our communities in this unprecedented battle."

Brown-Forman Corporation also announced a $1 million donation to COVID-19 response funds, which includes support for both the United States Bartenders' Guild (USBG) Foundation Emergency Assistance Program and the Restaurant Workers Community Foundation.

Tweet from @brownforman: #ICYMI: We announced a $1 million donation to COVID-19 emergency funds for the people and communities that mean so much to our company including the hospitality industry, Louisville, and organizations internationally.

"As COVID-19 has spread throughout the world, we want to provide assistance to our communities in this time of great need," Brown-Forman Corporation CEO Lawson Whiting said. "We are announcing donations totaling $1 million that will enable us to give back to the people and communities that mean so much to our company."

Constellation Brands is partnering with several of its flagship brands like Modelo to give back as well.

The company has pledged more than $2.5 million for COVID-19 relief efforts, which includes $1 million for the Restaurant Association Educational Foundation's Restaurant Employee Relief Fund.

Modelo Especial and Constellation donated $500,000 to the United States Bartenders' Guild.

In addition, Modelo gave $250,000 to first responders throughout the country.

Tweet from @ModeloUSA: Proud to support #FirstRespondersFirst and the doctors, nurses, and everyone on the frontline against COVID-19.

"Our hearts go out to the many individuals and businesses impacted by this terrible virus," Constellation president and CEO Bill Newlands said in a statement. "Many of our retail partners, particularly local restaurants and bars and their employees, have been significantly impacted by this situation. These businesses are essential to the fabric of our communities. It's important that we all come together to help those most in need in this critical time. We are focusing our support on efforts that directly benefit those impacted today while also helping the larger industry on its path to recovery."

On May 5, Modelo celebrated Cinco de Mayo by asking people to raise a glass to the health care community using the hashtag #CincUp.

For every public post, Modelo donated $1 to First Responders First, up to a total of $500,000.

Tweet from @ModeloUSA: Today, please join Modelo in raising a glass to our healthcare community. Share your own salute, toast, or tribute using #CincUp. For every public post made today, Modelo will donate $1 to #FirstRespondersFirst.

Jameson, a Pernod Ricard brand, also stepped up to help, announcing right before St. Patrick's Day that they were giving $500,000 to the United States Bartenders' Guild.

Tweet from @jameson_us: #LoveThyBartender

"To our local bartenders: You've always had our backs, and we promise to always have yours," Jameson's Twitter account said.

Through the end of March, Jameson also agreed to match every donation to the Bartender Emergency Assistance Program up to $100,000.

Tweet from @jameson_us: Support in any way you can. #LoveThyBartender

"We are facing an unprecedented challenge globally -- millions will be affected by COVID-19, including the bartenders and local neighborhood bars who have helped pave the way for Jameson," chairman and CEO of Pernod Ricard North America Ann Mukherjee said in a statement. "We know there are tough roads ahead, and we need to do our part to stand behind the community who has shown us such loyalty throughout the years."

William Grant & Sons started the Stand Fast Campaign to support the on-trade community for both the immediate future and on an ongoing basis.

Tweet from @mattsayer17: William Grant & Sons has established the #StandFast Fund, which will be deployed via charity donations, fundraising events and initiatives to help get bartenders back to work and support the On Trade, proudly���

The campaign involves donations to industry-based charities; initiatives to help bartenders work on company projects like recipe creation, brand consulting and social media posts; and ambassador, on-premise regional sales and marketing teams working with local organizations on the grassroots level in their respective markets.

Then there was the initiative which would have appealed to NHL players had they been competing in the playoffs.

Reyka Vodka launched a Beard of the Week contest, with every #ReykaBeard hashtag used generating a $5 donation to the Stand Fast Campaign.

Tweet from @ReykaVodka: Calling all beards! Post a pic of your beard for a chance to be our Beard of the Week & win free stuff from @beardbrand. For every beard, we���ll donate $5 to support bartenders. Use #ReykaBeard #contest to enter. Lady beards welcome.Official rules:

Reyka invited fans to vote every Friday on Instagram for the best beard. Prizes included Drizly gift cards, Reyka items and Beardbrand products.

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