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Distillery temporarily switches from spirits to sanitizers

Coronavirus in Kansas

DODGE CITY, Kan. (KSNW) – A distillery is taking the next step to help those in need after going from making spirits to hand sanitizer for those across the state.

“From Wednesday to Friday, we had a product in a bottle with the label on it, ready to be dispensed as a hand cleansing product to the public,” said Boot Hill Distillery CEO Hayes Kelman.

With three full days of planning after a coronavirus case came to Ford County, the Boot Hill Distillery in Dodge City was ready to help.

With many stores sold out and some sanitizers not approved by the World Health Organization, the group decided to help the community by giving out free bottles.

With several calls coming through the office from across the state, officials are working to provide bottles for truckers, hospitals, pharmacies, first responders and more. 

All industries are able to get bottles to give to their staff and a nurse from a nearby community said she’s happy to see a local business helping out.

“We put them in our pockets so we always have something and that’s what we’re supposed to use so I thought hey that’s a good idea because it’s out everywhere,” said Kansas Soldiers Home Nurse Candy Conley.

To help keep the distillery producing the bottles, Victory Electric, ConantBuilds.com, Dodge City/Ford County Economic Development Corporation, Kansas Corn, Western Plains Medical Complex, Conestoga Energy and other businesses have provided ethanol, hydrogen peroxide and funding to speed up the process.

Distiller officials said they aren’t able to ship it out because they can’t transport the material due to licensing and time but said if people want to pick it up, they will give them out.

“If there’s a place that needs it, we’re going to make that happen for them,” said Kelman.

After handing out over 5,000 bottles this weekend, officials said they don’t plan to stop until the coronavirus slows down.

If your organization or business wants to pick up sanitizers, the request can be made here. The Distillery is also accepting donations here.

The next event to pick up hand sanitizer is Wednesday, March 25, from 4-6 p.m. at Boot Hill Distillery – Fourth Ave in front of Distillery and Victory Electric headquarters – 3230 N. 14th Ave., Dodge City

Members of the community drive up to one of two locations and receive one bottle of hand cleanser per adult in the car, as long as supplies last. To protect the health and safety of all, it is drive-up only, please do not exit vehicles.

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