Approximately $85K Raised In One Afternoon
Darren Doyle, story and photos:
What started out as an idea from a couple of local guys to help out some needy Edmonson County families at Christmastime 18 years ago has grown into one of the region's favorite benefit auctions, landing several one-of-a-kind items and high-dollar merchandise.
Santa's Helping Hands, INC. held their 18th annual charity auction at Edmonson County High School on Saturday, November 5th, which brought in approximately $85,000 for local families in need. The eye-popping number is approximate because money is still trickling in from additional donors that could not attend the auction.
Co-founder and SHH Inc. board member Mark Wardlow said the crowd was the largest to date.
"I really don't know where to start," he said. "If I start trying to name people to thank, the list would be a mile long and I know someone would be left out. We are incredibly grateful and humbled by this year's event. Some of our biggest money-raising items this year was our concrete foundation package, donated by David Lindsey and Timmy Garner, a custom golf cart, our UK vs. UL men's basketball ticket package, hand-signed and numbered Thomas Kinkade prints, and of course our authentic signed sports memorabilia. When you have great folks donating items like these and then great folks who come out to bid, you end up with great results."
Wardlow said that the board wanted to thank Principal Jonathan Williams at ECHS and the entire school system for their support and the use of the high school, along with the ECHS boys basketball team for helping set up the gym and unloading and loading merchandise. He also wanted to thank the following corporate sponsors: Alford's Pharmacy,
"There were also a ton of random volunteers that helped clean up, load, and just be there for us," he said. "Not just Saturday, but throughout the year. It's amazing what a small community can do when it comes time to help their own. We have a lot of children in our county that are in difficult situations, which they can't help. Most of them wouldn't be able to have a Christmas if it weren't for others that are willing to help."
Gun raffle winners were also announced on Saturday, that included Freddie Wayne Jaggers, the winner of a custom Edmonson County edition 30-30 Henry rifle, Ricky Keith, winner of a Henry Golden Boy .22, and Henry Stevenson, winner of a standard Henry .22.
Wardlow said the annual SHH shopping day is set for Sunday, November 27th at Walmart on Morgantown Road in Bowling Green. More information will be announced closer to the date.
All the money raised throughout the year goes to Edmonson County families, only, and there are certain criteria that must be met to receive benefits from the charity. Letters of request may be submitted to Lifeskills, the local FRYSCs, Community Action, and Head Start.
"We are extremely humbled and blessed to see the totals for this year," said Wardlow. "We can't do this without the support of the community and we are amazed once again. Thank you to everyone that helped in any way."