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Humble Baron event raises over $2M for EB research

Posted on Wednesday, February 28, 2024 at 7:55 am


Humble Baron at Nearest Green Distillery was the site of a star-studded fundraiser on Saturday, Feb. 17.

The event, “Reportin’ for Duty,” was a fundraiser for EB research and featured such artists like Post Malone, The War and Treaty, Jelly Roll, Jake Wesley Rogers, Ruby Amanfu, and other talents to join the effort.

Keith Weaver, co-founder of Nearest Green Distillery, spoke with The Post through email about the event and some of the exciting work coming to the distillery located on U.S. 231 in Shelbyville.

“We are more than whiskey, we are community, we are unity, we are inclusive and we are America,” said Weaver. “Coming together to help make a positive impact and lift one another up and have fun and represent family are fully-aligned with Nearest Green Distillery, Uncle Nearest, and Humble Baron.”

The event raised more than $2 million, with 100% of the proceeds going to the Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB) Research Partnership. EB is a rare but life-threatening genetic disorder that affects the body’s largest organ—the skin. Individuals with EB 9many of whom are children) lack critical proteins that bind the skin’s two layers together. Without these proteins, the skin tears apart, blisters, and shears off, leading to severe pain, disfigurement, and internal and external wounds that may never heal.

Today, there is no cure available for EB.

Weaver said, “Our dear friend, Steph Carter, first told us about the disease and the ongoing efforts to fund research aimed at eradicating it and advancing progress in this field.

“Supporting the fight against EB is not only a vital cause in its own right, but it also has far-reaching implications, potentially paving the way for breakthroughs in treating other illnesses. For instance, EB shares connections with conditions like sickle cell anemia, for which finding a cure is imperative.”

Approximately 250 people were in attendance and there was tremendous support from the silent auction and other financial contributions to make the event a success.

Weaver said they enjoyed welcoming guests from across the country with “good representation from our own community here in Bedford County.”

To host the event at Humble Baron, Weaver said connection were a crucial part of it.

“We are privileged to cultivate meaningful relationships with extraordinary individuals, including one of our dear friends who happens to be an organizer of the event. It’s a true blessing to contribute to raising substantial funds for such a worthy cause and to have the opportunity to welcome top-tier talent to our region.”

Weaver said famed rock legend Eddie Vedder and his wife, Jill, – who started EBRP – are passionate about using their talent and abilities to do great things to impact this world. Along with Chattanooga-born actor Leslie Jordan, the Vedders took to their community to invite a host of amazing artists to join them, such as Post Malone, The War and Treaty, Jelly Roll, Jake Wesley Rogers, and Ruby Amanfu.

“I’ve always believed that we can all come together for good and Humble Baron is a place where everyone has a seat at the table,” said Weaver. “As amazing as it was to have top level talent on our stage, my favorite part was the representation of humanity and giving back in the purest and most beautiful way. I feel greatly blessed by it all and hope it inspires many.”

As for Humble Baron hosting the third annual Reportin’ for Duty event next year, Weaver said he sure hopes it will come around again.

“We’re proud to be celebrating the 1st anniversary of Humble Baron in March (21-24th), which will feature amazing Grammy-level talent and beverage and culinary offerings,” said Weaver.

Toping it off, Weaver said they are flying in five of the world’s top bartenders for a fun global bar takeover of Humble Baron with amazing drink specials.

In June, they will celebrate the 3rd Anniversary of Nearest Green Distillery, which will feature great festivities.

Weaver adds they will bring back their 2nd Annual Balloon Festival this fall.

“There’s more to come for sure, stay tuned folks!” he said.