UPDATED: Hundreds of Thousands Raised for Charities at Holiday Bash 2013

"It's a huge fundraiser for all of the different charities. This is something they depend on at the end of the year, and this time of year, people are open to that, they're open to the giving and making this part of their holiday season, and if this doesn't get you into the holiday season, nothing will," said the National Corvette Museum's Debbie Eaton.

UPDATED 12/20/13 9:25PM -- Holiday Bash Coordinator Paula Kirby says after choosing to postpone the event two weeks due to the threat of severe weather, many worried it wouldn't be a success, but Kirby says the event still sold out.

"The minute people would back out of a ticket because of previous plans, we sold the ticket. We had a packed house, and people stayed the whole night. When we got to the last item, I looked and we still had 80 percent of the room bidding and participating and supporting those charities. It really is magic. I mean Holiday Bash is just special," said Kirby.

Kirby says based on the response, bidders must have felt some of the items up for auction were pretty special too.

"51,000 for six couples to go and eat at Ronnie's barn, and so he's just so generous to donate that again this year, and that was fabulous. We also had the gingerbread dream house that went for $51,000, and again this year, the American Hero, which he was not able to attend, but did a video through Skype and 2 wheelchairs go to two veterans, and $25,000 a piece goes to Center for Courageous Kids," said Kirby.

Another big fundraiser was the Peyton Siva experience, which benefitted all of the Holiday Bash charities.

"We actually had somebody in the room that was on the phone with Peyton's mother-in-law, and it got up to $10,000. His mother-in-law was with his wife, and I got her on the phone and I got her on the phone and said, can we do two? They said yes. So $20,000 for Peyton Siva," said Kirby.

Kirby says the auctions alone raised more than $307,000 for 15 area charities, and that does not include money raised from the tickets to the event and concert last month. Kirby says people were still making monetary donations to some of the charities.


BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) --The threat of an ice storm may have postponed Holiday Bash a couple of weeks this year, but it didn't kill the holiday spirit. Tonight, hundreds gathered for an evening of entertainment and giving.

"It's a huge fundraiser for all of the different charities. This is something they depend on at the end of the year, and this time of year, people are open to that, they're open to the giving and making this part of their holiday season, and if this doesn't get you into the holiday season, nothing will," said the National Corvette Museum's Debbie Eaton.

Fifteen non-profit organizations will benefit from the money made tonight from ticket sales and auctions. That's money they say they need this time of year.

"We service Allen, Barren and Warren counties, and so this allows us to at the end of the year when funds are somewhat drying up and everything, it allows us to give back to so many more that we wouldn't be able to serve through the year," said Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Central Kentucky CEO Susan Waggoner.

Those charities play a huge part in helping event coordinator Paula Kirby carry out the event.

"It's a wonderful experience to see so many people jumping in and doing whatever is needed to make sure this event is good for all the people who come. From putting table covers on, chairs covers on... to just transforming the National Corvette Museum into this wonderful, spectacular Holiday Bash event," said United Way of Southern Kentucky Sr. Director of Resource Development Ellie Harbaugh.

This year, those non-profits had to set up for the event twice thanks to the weather, but after all they say it was well worth it.

Waggoner says in its first three years, Holiday Bash has raised more than $600,000 for the non-profit organizations, a number they will continue adding to after the profits from tonight's event are tallied.


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