Anheuser-Busch Budweiser Clydesdales visit Capitol to mark $1 million gift to American Red Cross

OKLAHOMA CITY – Celebrating three decades for one of its most productive facilities, Anheuser-Busch planned to mark this Sunday (May 8) with a one-horse show from 1 to 3 p.m. at Heritage Place (2829 South MacArthur Blvd., Oklahoma City 73128). Earlier this week at the Oklahoma state Capitol, the firm announced a $1 million contribution to support the American Red Cross Annual Disaster Giving Program and national biomedical and blood efforts.  
The Anheuser-Busch Budweiser Clydesdales were the stars at Thursday’s Capitol celebration. At Sunday’s event, fans of the beloved horses were going to have a chance to take photographs and say hello to one of the noble creatures and a professional handler.
The Thursday Capitol event honored and celebrated the Oklahoma City Metal Container Corporation (MCC) Lid Plant’s 30thanniversary.
João Castro Neves, CEO of Anheuser-Busch, and Tim Popp, Oklahoma City lid plant manager, were joined by Governor Mary Fallin to celebrate the three decades’ milestone and announce the million-dollar gift to the Red Cross.
Anheuser-Busch’s contribution to the Red Cross Annual Disaster Giving Program allows the Red Cross to pre-position supplies, secure shelters, maintain emergency vehicles and train volunteers nationwide before a disaster strikes and immediately respond when a future disaster occurs.
David Staszak, chief development officer for American Red Cross National Headquarters, and Bradley Barghols, CEO of the American Red Cross serving Oklahoma and Arkansas, accepted the donation Thursday, and thanked Anheuser-Busch for their longstanding partnership and commitment.

Anheuser-Busch’s investment in the Oklahoma City MCC Lid Plant is reflective, a press release form the firm said, “of its continued commitment to the great state of Oklahoma. Anheuser-Busch employs over 700 people across the state and has invested $300 million over the past 35 years.”
Popp said, in comments sent to CapitolBeatOK and other news organizations, “There are two keys to our success as a thriving part of the Oklahoma economy: our people and our community. Our employees have built a strong culture, and act as owners who prioritize safety, quality, teamwork, and innovation. More than 50 percent of our employees have been with us for more than 25 years.”
He added, “The state of Oklahoma has been a supportive community and a great partner to work with as we’ve grown over the past 30 years.”
Neves, the chief executive officer of the brewing giant, commented, “We have great heritage and strong relationships in Oklahoma. Our people reflect this passion by producing high-quality can lids that are used on beers enjoyed across the country.
“We appreciate Governor Fallin’s support as well as other elected and public officials and community partners, such as the American Red Cross.”

Participating in the Capitol observation, Gov. Fallin said, “Anheuser-Busch is an important contributor to Oklahoma’s economy and community. The Oklahoma City MCC Lid Plant is a significant part of Anheuser-Busch’s overall investment in the state. We appreciate Anheuser-Bush making more than $12 million of investments in the Oklahoma City plant during the past five years, making it one of the largest in the world.
“I also appreciate Anheuser-Busch’s generous $1 million gift to the American Red Cross. Oklahomans have seen their fair share of adversity, but with the help of the American Red Cross we’ve been able to recover, rebound and grow stronger.”
Speaking for the American Red Cross, regional CEO Bradley J. Barghols said:
“On behalf of the 1,500 Red Cross volunteers across Oklahoma who serve the people of Oklahoma around the clock, we are grateful to Anheuser-Busch. Their investment in disaster relief brings hope and care to the people of Oklahoma and throughout our country — before, during and after disaster strikes,” stated Bradley J. Barghols, regional chief executive officer, American Red Cross serving Oklahoma and Arkansas.
“In addition to Anheuser-Busch’s financial gift for the American Red Cross, I thank them for the quick shift to produce pallets of emergency drinking water for use in communities in Oklahoma this winter and past summer when our water sources were compromised. For such assistance, we are grateful to the employees of Anheuser-Busch who work tirelessly to ensure emergency water is available.”
Capitol regulars were delighted to see the Clydesdale team at the Capitol event. In the release send to local reporters, the company said the Clydesdales “are an enduring symbol of Budweiser’s heritage, tradition and commitment to quality. The hitch team’s upcoming visit to Oklahoma City is one of hundreds of appearances it will make this year, never failing to draw a crowd wherever they go. The Budweiser Clydesdales made their first appearance on behalf of Anheuser-Busch in 1933, when they delivered a case of Budweiser to the White House in celebration of the repeal of prohibition of beer.” 

NOTE: CapitolBeatOK Editor Pat McGuigan and Darla Shelden, a reporter for The City Sentinel, contributed to this report.