Cougs step up.

Numerous courageous people on the front line of the COVID-19 pandemic—nurses, doctors, first responders, and essential workers—sacrificed and helped us all. Many WSU alumni, faculty, and staff sought ways to support them, and to reach out to those in need…


Westport Winery and Ocean’s Daughter Distillery, owned and operated by KIM ROBERTS (’82 Arch.) and her family, donated more than 300 wine bottles filled with hand sanitizer to police departments in the Aberdeen area.

Using $20,000 in grapes grown at regional vineyards, the Roberts family added hydrogen peroxide and glycol based on World Health Organization guidelines before bottling the sanitizer. The grapes were slated to become brandy before the COVID-19 pandemic, and now more than 3,000 gallons of wine have been distilled for sanitizer.

Kim Roberts from Westport Winery stands in front of the vineyard with a bottle
Kim Roberts from Westport Winery (Photo Eric Degerman/Great Northwest Wine)

The winery’s first batch benefitted the Westport, McCleary, Montesano, Grays Harbor, Squaxin Island, Ocean Shores, Aberdeen, and Cosmopolis police departments, as well as Washington State Patrol, Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Hoquiam and Ocean Shores fire departments. Dubbed “8 Hands Sanitizer,” it is now available for commercial sale.

“As liquor manufacturers we normally work under strict restrictions regarding giving away any products,” the Roberts family wrote in an email. However, the federal and state government approved the donation and allowed the winery to produce sanitizer for public sale, a trend many distilleries in the United States have followed since the outbreak.

“We have close family members and dear friends on the front lines fighting this virus,” the family wrote. “We are grateful to have the opportunity to assist.”

Since 2008, the winery has donated more than $500,000 to local charities. The winery makes 40 award-winning wines and has been awarded more than 500 medals from international competitions.


WSU is brewing its own FDA-approved hand sanitizer, “COUGAR CLEAN,” for employees at the Pullman campus.

More than 35 distilleries and a number of wineries in Washington state are also making hand sanitizer.