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Iowa Ideas

Carson King to be keynote speaker at 2020 Iowa Ideas Conference

More than $100,000 raised through his foundation after gaining fame on ESPN's College Gameday

Sep 2, 2020 at 4:15 pm
    Carson King speaks at Taft Middle School about what he called his “accidental” fundraiser for the University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital and the power of social media on Monday, Nov. 18, 2019. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

    Beer drinker and football fan turned philanthropist Carson King will be one of the keynote speakers for The Gazette’s 2020 Iowa Ideas Conference.

    King gained national fame last year when he raised more than $3 million for the University of Iowa’s Stead Family Children’s Hospital. He started after he held up a sign at ESPN’s College Gameday show asking for beer money through Venmo.

    After getting $600 in the first half-hour, he decided to donate everything except $18 — the cost of one case of Busch Light — to the Children’s Hospital.

    King, now president of the Carson King Foundation, has raised more than $100,000 for various causes in the not-for-profit’s first year.

    The Iowa Ideas Conference, now in its fourth year, brings together leaders and industry experts from a cross the state to explore important issues facing Iowa. The 2020 conference, Oct. 15 and 16, will be virtual and free of charge. More information about the conference is available at

    The 2019 conference included question-and-answer sessions with Gov. Kim Reynolds and former Gov. and U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

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