DES MOINES, Iowa -- Carson King's viral fundraiser raised over $2.95 million for the University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital.
King announced the official total of $2,959,336 on the Murph and Andy Show on 1460 KXNO.
He received over $924,000 in donations to his Venmo. With matching contributions from Busch Beer and Venmo, that pushed the total just shy of $3 million.
The Stead Family Children's Hospital released a statement after learning the total:
"On behalf of everyone at University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital, including our pediatric patients and families, we extend a sincere “Thank you.” We are simply overwhelmed by the generosity of the many people, organizations, and companies across the country who contributed in support of the kids and their families through Carson King’s initiative. Carson announced earlier today that he’s raised $2,959,336.
“The funds will help us provide the best care possible for our patients,” said Suresh Gunasekaran, CEO, University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics, and associate vice president, University of Iowa Health Care. “We are grateful to be part of such a spontaneous, remarkable occurrence that brought together so many people. One simple act of kindness sparked a nationwide cause behind which we could all unite – helping children heal.”
King started the fundraiser as a joke when he held up a sign at ESPN's "College GameDay" during the Cy-Hawk football game. King, an Iowa State fan, asked for donations to be sent to his Venmo account so he could buy more Busch Light. Once the donations topped $600, he decided to give the money to the children's hospital in Iowa City.
After announcing his plan, the money started pouring in exponentially. The story went viral and King made national television appearances on CNN, Good Morning America, Fox & Friends, NBC News, ABC News and was featured on the Today Show and ESPN.
King teamed up with Iowa musicians for a final push before the fundraiser closed at the end of September. The Carson King Countdown benefit concert raised over $50,000 on the spot and helped bring in more donations to bring the total closer to $3 million.
The next step is for King to hand off the donation to the Stead Family Children's Hospital. King said that planned for Iowa's next home football game against Penn State. That game is scheduled for Oct. 12 at 6:30 p.m.