Viral beer money sign helps college football fan raise $3 million for Iowa children’s hospital

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IOWA CITY, Iowa. (KWQC/Gray News) - One sign has made a big difference to children battling life-threatening diseases.

A story the whole country has been following: Carson King, the man who held up a sign asking for beer money, donated over $3 million to the University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital on Friday afternoon. (Source: KWQC/Gray News)

Carson King handed over a $3 million check on Friday to the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital, KWQC reported.

King became the man who held up a sign asking for beer money during ESPN’s College Gameday and traded it in for a check for $3 million.

More than 35,000 people donated to King’s Venmo account. The states that contributed the most were Iowa, Illinois and Minnesota.

King “inspired a whole nation to think about more than a game or rivalry. He inspired a nation to think about our kids and how we want nothing but the best of them for our future. Thank you, Carson,” said Suresh Gunasekaran, CEO of the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital.

“I never thought I’d get anything with this sign. To go from the posterboard that was like a $1.19 to $3 million, that’s a pretty good feeling!” King said. “This whole thing’s been a crazy whirlwind. I really don’t have words to describe how I’m feeling. I’m super bad when it comes to processing emotions. I almost lost it when we were doing that thing (hitting transfer money on Venmo) 2 or 3 times so it’s cool.”

Part of the funds will help ease some of the financial pressures families may face.

“It’ll help immensely with medical bills, because as soon as we got her healthy we had to worry about the medical bills we had to pay for, and I hope it’ll help with other families that aren’t as fortunate as we are,” said Marcy Oberberckling. Her daughter was a patient at the hospital after they found out her heart and kidneys were failing.

King said he may try to replicate this success in the future.

“A lot of people are like, ‘Hey, you should make this an annual thing.’ I wouldn’t say no to it. I don’t have any idea what I’m doing, but why not,” he said.

He’s considering starting a foundation as well.

“I don’t know anything about that," King said. "This whole thing has been a ‘fly by the seat of your pants’ type thing. I’d like to keep helping hospitals around the state and the hospital and the country if it gets that big. But for now, it’s getting back to work and making money and getting back to normalcy.”

"Thank you, Carson, thank you. And to everyone who's donated. It makes a big difference," said Oberberckling.

The rest of the funds will help child life services, which incorporate play and other forms of communication, getting enhancements to neonatal and pediatric transport service, professional development and continuing education for staff, and purchasing new equipment.

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