McConaughey Surprises Everyday Heroes to Thank and Reward Them for Their Service During COVID-19 Pandemic


LAWRENCEBURG, KY (NOVEMBER 16, 2020) – As the COVID-19 pandemic took hold of our country, everyday heroes stepped up in a significant way to support family, friends, neighbors, and strangers. These “Local Legends” have provided unity, comfort, nourishment and relief during these unprecedented health and economic challenges. Today, Matthew McConaughey and Wild Turkey® give thanks and celebrate four selfless individuals from Austin, Chicago, Dallas, and New Orleans who’ve demonstrated unwavering conviction in serving their communities.

These small but profound heroic acts were recognized, as part of the Bourbon brand’s “With Thanks” annual global give back campaign. Wild Turkey Creative Director McConaughey surprised these “Local Legends” with a virtual chat and rewarded them with a personalized token of appreciation to thank them for their efforts. Today, Wild Turkey is releasing all four videos chronicling the surprises on their Instagram page HERE.

McConaughey spoke personally with each “Local Legend” to learn about their work during the pandemic, including: Austin singer/songwriter Nakia Reynoso, who helped pass the Austin Music Disaster Relief Fund to support local musicians; Chicago activist Tanya Lozano who is providing free COVID-19 testing, grocery deliveries and personal protective items to underserved communities in her area; Dallas nonprofit founder Shawana Carter who is providing families in need with emergency diapers, wipes, food and clothing; and New Orleans dad and artist Devin De Wulf who is collaborating with locally-owned restaurants and farmers markets to both hire and feed New Orleans artists and musicians. McConaughey and Wild Turkey worked with the Legend’s families, friends, and colleagues to reward each local hero with a personalized token of appreciation and contribution to their charity based on individual needs.

“The pandemic has affected all of us, so it felt more important than ever to recognize the unsung heroes who have consistently and steadfastly supported their neighbors and their communities,” said Wild Turkey Creative Director Matthew McConaughey.

“It’s often during the most challenging times that you see extraordinary acts of kindness and a commitment to help those in need,” said Wild Turkey Master Distiller Eddie Russell. “Wild Turkey was founded on community, and we’re grateful to work with Matthew to celebrate and lift up those who go above and beyond for their hometowns. These four Local Legends made an impact when it mattered the most and we’re thrilled to honor them.”

Last year, McConaughey and Wild Turkey thanked first responders who were critical in the rescue and relief efforts around the wildfires in the Los Angeles area, delivering 800 turkey dinners to firehouses in partnership with nonprofit Operation BBQ Relief.  In 2018, they thanked first responders in Houston following Hurricane Harvey, surprising them with turkey dinners. And in 2017, McConaughey visited Wild Turkey’s hometown of Lawrenceburg, KY to deliver more than 4,500 frozen turkeys to residents, including 500 turkeys to the local food bank.

McConaughey has been the Creative Director for Wild Turkey since 2016. The relationship began upon the actor’s inaugural visit to the iconic Kentucky distillery, where he was introduced to the Russell’s – the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame® father and son Master Distiller team who have 101 years of Bourbon industry experience collectively. McConaughey had an immediate connection with the Russell’s when he discovered Wild Turkey’s devotion to distilling Bourbon the right, unapologetic way. In 2018, McConaughey unveiled his own Bourbon: Wild Turkey Longbranch®, a rare small-batch Kentucky straight bourbon refined with Texas Mesquite. Most recently, he directed Longbranch’s first creative campaign entitled “Wonder What If.”

About Wild Turkey Bourbon

The distillery for Wild Turkey Bourbon is located in Kentucky, situated on a deep limestone shelf on the Kentucky River. The shelf acts as a natural filter and provides the distillery with crystal clear water, vital to making such a high-quality product. Wild Turkey features the legendary father and son Master Distilling team of Jimmy and Eddie Russell, who have more than 100 years of collective experience working at the Wild Turkey distillery.

The famous Wild Turkey brand name first came about back in 1940 when distillery executive Thomas McCarthy took a few warehouse samples on a Wild Turkey hunting trip with a group of friends. The following year, his friends asked him for “some of that Wild Turkey whiskey” and the brand was born.

Wild Turkey is distilled and put into new oak barrels at a much lower ABV than most bourbons. This results in a much richer flavor, as less is cooked out during the production process. Ageing in the highest quality new American oak barrels with the heaviest char available (the Number 4 “alligator” char), imparts a smooth flavor and deep amber color to the whiskey. The barrels are filled at the distillery in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky. Website:

About Matthew McConaughey

Texas native Matthew McConaughey is an Academy Award winning actor, writer, philanthropist, husband and father of three. He’s appeared in over 40 feature films that have grossed over $1 billion dollars. In 2008, McConaughey founded The Just Keep Livin’ Foundation, which is dedicated to transformations through programs that teach the importance of decision-making, health, education, and active living. The Just Keep Livin’ Foundation presently serves 37 schools in 11 states. In 2016, McConaughey also took on a new role: Creative Director, brand spokesman and chief storyteller for Wild Turkey. In collaboration with Master Distiller Eddie Russell, McConaughey co-created his own bourbon, Wild Turkey Longbranch. He also serves as the Minister of Culture/M.O.C for the upcoming University of Texas sports arena. McConaughey recently released his first book, a memoir titled “Greenlights”, which hit #1 on the New York Times Best Seller list.


For Additional Information, contact:


Erin Smolinski / Campari Group

(929) 292-0404


Evan Rome / Sunshine Sachs

(323) 822-9300


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