Biggest Event To Date With Another Record-Breaking Total
Darren Doyle, story and photos:
For a tiny town that doesn't have a stoplight, Brownsville and Edmonson County knows how to have a big-time event. They've once again shown that they know how to care for their own with another record-breaking year at the annual Santa's Helping Hands, INC. benefit auction, which was held this past Saturday at the Community Center.
Over $50,000 was raised at the auction (auction items plus food sales and item raffles), which bested last year's event by more than $9K. Organization co-founder Mark Wardlow said all the credit goes to the community that supports the event, which in turn, supports Edmonson County's own needy seniors and children.
"We can get all the items, cook all the food, and work to put everything together, but that would mean nothing without our community showing up and making the difference that they do every year," Wardlow said. "We were blessed with good weather, which brought out a huge number of people that opened both their hearts and their checkbooks. A good time was had by all, and our volunteer auctioneers kept the mood lively and entertaining."
Wardlow said he tried to list all the businesses, organizations, and individuals that donated items or helped in any way, but the number quickly became to large to manage; however, he noted some of the largest auction items that sold on Saturday.
They included a handmade miniature barn with accessories donated by Dennis Basham ($3,000), a signed Pete Rose jersey donated by Scott Lindsey of Rafferty’s ($3,000), UK vs U of L tickets donated by State Rep Michael Meredith ($2,700) and a signed Mickey Mantle item donated by Scott Lindsey of Rafferty’s ($2,500). Also included were two leather recliners and a leather couch donated by Jacob’s Furniture ($2,200).
Wardlow also credited the large amount of volunteers that work behind the scenes that put in countless hours to gather donated items, set up the community center, prepare food and helped clean up after the event. He also wanted to thank the volunteer auctioneers, Jake Keith and Jeremy Spainhoward.
"This year has been a huge success for us with our golf tournament, raffles, and obviously our auction--but again, without the support of our county and all the volunteers, this would not be possible," he said.
This year's total that included the year-long activities directed by SHH, INC. volunteers is somewhere in the neighborhood of $60,000, Wardlow said.
"Also for those interested in shopping with us, the shopping date is set for December 1st a 3:00pm," he added. "We always meet in the garden center of Wal-Mart on Morgantown Rd, which is the same place we have been for 15 years now. We encourage you to come out and help us shop. The more the merrier for us."
Santa's Helping Hands, INC. is a local non-profit organization run by Edmonson County residents which all work voluntarily. Team members work all year long to raise money and to prepare for the annual auction.