Over the last year or so, there have been rumors and speculation about the health of long time Heaven Hill Master Distiller Parker Beam. Today, Heaven Hill announced that Parker is in the early stages of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, and the company plans to use the fall 2013 release of Parker's Heritage Collection to raise awareness of the disease and raise money for the ALS Association. They will donate $20 from each bottle sold and expect to raise $250,000. The ALS Association has established a special fund, known as Parker Beam's Promise of Hope Fund. Presumably, it will also be possible to make direct donations to the fund in Parker's honor.
This is sad news, of course, but Parker is still working and still intends to select the whiskey for Parker's Heritage Collection personally.