LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentuckians will have the opportunity to lend support to the people of the Bahamas’ Great Abaco Island, which was ravaged by Hurricane Dorian earlier this month through the “Bluegrass for the Bahamas” fundraiser announced today. The initiative is being led by Lexington-based sports marketing firm bdG Sports, which manages multiple events in the Bahamas, including the Great Abaco Classic, a professional golf tournament on the Korn Ferry Tour played each January in Abaco.
“Our company and staff have had the good fortune to work multiple events in The Bahamas over the past decade, and Abaco is near and dear to our hearts,” said Brooks Downing, President and CEO of bdG Sports. “And as been reported, Abaco took the brunt of the Category 5 storm. The damage reports are incomprehensible. In addition to a significant death toll, most of the homes were destroyed in Marsh Harbour and the entire power grid on the island was rendered useless.
“Through our business ventures, we have created tremendous partnerships there with Tourism, the Abaco Club, which plays host to our tournament, the Abaco Beach Resort, where most of our participants and Golf Channel staff resides, transportation companies, groceries and through hundreds of local staff who work our event each year. Because of these many relationships, this event isn’t just another natural disaster, it’s a storm that’s affected friends and family. So God calls us to help those in need, and I’m hopeful that many of our friends in the Bluegrass will help us provide much needed support as thousands rebuild their lives in The Bahamas.”
The multi-level fundraiser will be highlighted by a charity event on Wednesday, Oct. 23, at Malone’s Prime Events in Lexington. The evening activities, which run from 7-10 p.m., will include a sampling of favorite menu items from Bluegrass Hospitality Group, open bar and charity auction. Live auction items will include:
- A 5-day/4-night golf vacation for two at The Abaco Club on Winding Bay, including accommodations in one of the club’s luxurious cabana suites and unlimited golf on its Scottish-style tropical links golf course, rated No. 1 in The Bahamas.
- A five-bottle collection of Pappy Van Winkle bourbon (10-, 12-, 15-, 20- and 23-year bottles).
- A trip for two to Las Vegas for the University of Kentucky men’s basketball games vs. Utah on Dec. 18 and Ohio State on Dec. 21 with accommodations at Aria.
Tickets for the evening are $100 and can be purchased at www.bluegrassforthebahamas.com. The website also features #AbacoStrong tumblers and shirts with proceeds from all sales being donated to the cause.
All funds raised by bdG Sports will be donated to the Abaco-Winding Bay Relief Fund, a charitable organization created expressly for this effort with 501(c)3 status applied for and pending. All funds received will be used to provide assistance specifically to the people of Abaco in the form of food, shelter, medical aid and supplies, and assistance in the island’s clean-up and rebuilding efforts.
bdG Sports also has issued a challenge to its other event operators at each level of the PGA Tour, to include Champions and Korn Ferry Tour events. In addition, it has requested shoes and apparel from all 700+ NCAA Division I men’s and women’s college basketball teams.
“Kentuckians have proven time and again to be a very generous people,” added Downing. “And I’ve been blessed to build a pretty extensive network, both here locally and around the country. It is our hope that we can deliver something of substance to help those who are in tremendous need.”
Full information on supporting the campaign can be found at www.bluegrassforthebahamas.com.