AMES, Iowa — 12 days ago Carson King was just one face (holding one sign) in a crowd of thousands outside Jack Trice Stadium in Ames.
Since then he’s masterminded a $1.7 million (and growing) fundraiser for a children’s hospital, appeared on national television, survived a mini-controversy, become a social media sensation and maintained his humility through it all.
On Thursday afternoon King released a ‘thank you letter’ to the public for all their support in turning his “College GameDay” sign into a nearly two million dollar fundraiser for the University of Iowa’s Stead Children’s Family Hospital.
King writes that he hopes everyone takes a moment to focus on what really matters about his story. “Our society can be so divisive at times. But these two weeks have shown we have the power to come together to make a difference,” he writes, “I hope this can be an inspiration for all of us going forward.
King’s letter doesn’t touch on the controversy sparked Tuesday night when King held a press conference to acknowledge that he’d shared inappropriate jokes from a television show on Twitter when he was 16. King spoke out before the Des Moines Register could publish a story containing information about the Tweets from 2011. The Des Moines Register is now investigating past social media posts made by the author of that article.
Busch announced it was ending its relationship with King after that news broke, but is keeping its promise to match the funds that King raises through his Venmo account. Venmo is also matching funds.
Here is the full letter sent by Carson King to the media on Thursday:
I don’t really have the words to describe my feelings as this fundraiser has taken off. I am forever grateful for the generosity of tens of thousands of people who have felt compelled to donate.
I want to say thanks again to Anheuser-Busch and Venmo for agreeing to match all the donations we receive. Thank you to Prairie Meadows and Northwestern Mutual, who have both made sizable donations as well. And I have seen online all of the people who are jumping on board – like Goldie’s Ice Cream Shoppe in Prairie City, Geneseo Brewing, Smokey Row coffee, deWitt Construction and many other businesses and people finding ways to support this cause with their creative fundraisers.
Thank you to Governor Kim Reynolds. I never could have imagined that there would be a “Carson King Day.” It’s an incredible honor. Thank you, Governor!
I want to give a special thanks to the kids and families of Stead Family Children’s Hospital who have shared their stories. Your stories remind us why this is all worth it.
This is not about me, though. This is about all of us. I am just overwhelmed that a sign that started as a joke will end up making such a meaningful impact for years to come. And I’m so happy to see that this sign has transcended the CyHawk rivalry, transcended sports and touched people from coast to coast.
Our society can be so divisive at times. But these two weeks have shown we have the power to come together to make a difference. I hope this can be an inspiration for all of us going forward.
This fundraiser will remain open through 11:59 p.m. Monday. I am going to share the final totals Tuesday afternoon.