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La Crosse Distilling Co. seeks support with hand sanitizer project



Delivering on promises to assist the community in the Coronavirus pandemic, La Crosse Distilling Co. is looking for community partners in its hand sanitizer project.

Ever since the local business announced it was going to switch production from spirits to free hand sanitizer, the phone has been ringing off the hook. Co-Owner Chad Staehly said their initial idea was to give away small bottles to people in the general public, but they started receiving requests from first responders, law enforcement, hospitals, nursing homes and more.

“It is mind-boggling how much of a shortage there is,” Staehly said. “We’re in the process of trying to ramp up production for those who are still working out there and facing dangers with not being able to use hand sanitizer.”

Finding containers for packing the product has proved challenging. Staehly said as manufacturing shut down globally, especially in China, it has created a shortage. They were able to locate 5,000 bottles for individual use, but are now trying to focus on bulk products.

“We’re looking for some leads to co-packers,” Staehly said. “We need someone that has the capability of filling containers and packaging that up so that we could have some assistance in getting this out to a wider audience.”

They did give away hundreds of bottles of hand sanitizer from the initial batch at drop off locations in La Crosse County and will continue to do so. Staehly said anyone interested in learning more about the hand sanitizer project or finding a drop off location can subscribe to their newsletter online.

Although the business changed its production focus, La Crosse Distilling Co. is still selling spirits and offering food options through a carryout menu.

Kaitlyn Riley’s passion for communications started on her family’s dairy farm in Gays Mills, Wis. Wanting to share agriculture’s story, she studied strategic communications and broadcast journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In college, she held officer positions with the Association of Women in Agriculture and Badger Dairy Club while volunteering as a news reporter for the college radio station. She also founded the university’s first agricultural radio talk show, AgChat. In her professional career, Kaitlyn has worked in radio, print and television news doing everything from covering local events to interviewing presidential candidates, and putting back on her barn boots to chat with farmers in the field. Today, Kaitlyn can be seen covering local stories that matter to you in the La Crosse area.

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