Ian O’Malley is a busy guy.
He’s a realtor. He’s a longtime New York radio DJ. He and his wife Debbie have 2 young children.
So he can be forgiven — maybe — for forgetting that he owned a very special bottle of 1978 Macallan single malt whisky, worth thousands of dollars.
Ian bought it years ago. When his son was 2, he moved it to a top shelf because — well, you know kids. Over time he placed a couple of other bottles in front of it.
Out of sight, out of mind.
Last year, as the O’Malleys moved from Wilton to Westport, Ian discovered the bottle. He was thrilled, but had the same idea as when he first bought it: Save it for a special occasion.
That special occasion is now. But Ian won’t be drinking.
Not long ago, he told Debbie about a friend who works for Edrington — Macallan’s parent company. He raffled off a bottle; the proceeds went to charity.
And his bottle wasn’t nearly as exclusive as Ian’s. (The cheapest price Ian could find for his 1978 was $3,300 — from an Italian retailer who won’t ship to the US. For $4,600, you can buy it from a store in the UK that will.)
Ian volunteers for a number of non-profit groups, here and in New York. He did not want to choose one to benefit, and alienate the others.
Debbie suggested Experience Camps. The Westport-based organization sponsors 1-week camps for boys and girls after the death of a parent, sibling or primary caregiver.
Kids laugh, cry, play, remember the person who died, or forget the grief that weighs them down. They feel “normal,” because everyone there has been through something similar.
When Ian was 12, his father died of pancreatic cancer. Decades later, Ian says, “I would have loved an opportunity like Experience Camps.”
A unique raffle needs a unique price. Tickets are $104 each — because Ian is a DJ on New York’s classic rock station, Q104.3.
They’re tax-deductible, Ian notes. And available by clicking this easy link.
The deadline is 11:59 p.m. Sunday, April 14. The drawing takes place at 9 p.m. the next day. It will be streamed on Facebook Live, from his house. (Where the lucky bottle still sits, unopened.)
Yet Ian’s generosity does not stop there. If the winner lives within 60 minutes of Westport, he promises to deliver it personally.
Just thank him. You don’t even have to invite him in for a drink.