April 28, 2015 – As Jay Rogers and Kyle Rogers recover from burns suffered in Friday’s explosion at the Silver Trail Distillery in Hardin, Kentucky, thousands of dollars have already been donated in the first 24 hours since a relief fund was set up to help with their medical expenses. “We’re very excited and thankful for the generosity of all of our distillers in Kentucky and Bourbon fans everywhere,” said Kentucky Distillers Association president Eric Gregory.
The “Lifting Spirits – Jay and Kyle Rogers Support Fund” was established at CFSB Bank in Benton, Kentucky on Monday with support from KDA member distilleries and online donations through the KDA web site. “We’ve had people from all around the country that have sent in online donations…and a lot of local people in the Marshall County area have just driven to the bank and handed over cash and checks,” Gregory said. The cousins were critically burned when the stillhouse exploded Friday morning as they opened the door, and were blown 25 to 30 feet away from the building in the blast. Investigators are still trying to figure out the cause of the explosion, which happened as the distillers were checking on a distilling run that had been going on for about five hours. Both men were taken by helicopter to the burn center at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, where they remain in critical, but stable condition.
Gregory spoke with Silver Trail owner Spencer Balentine Monday night to get an update on the conditions of both men, and was told they’re showing steady improvement to the point where skin graft surgery could begin by the end of this week. In addition to the financial support, Gregory has been coordinating distilleries in delivering food to the hospital. “Every distillery is calling and getting food sent to the hospital for the families and staff, who’s been so gracious and so helpful down there, and the families, to make sure they’ve got everything they need, and we’re starting to overlap each other.”
Donations to the “Lifting Spirits – Jay and Kyle Rogers Support Fund” can be sent to CFSB Bank, P.O. Box 467, Benton, Ky., 42025. In addition, the KDA has an online donation form at the association’s web site.