LEXINGTON, Ky. – Central Kentuckians will have the opportunity to provide help to the people of the Bahamas’ Great Abaco Island, which was ravaged by Hurricane Dorian last month. bdG Sports, a Lexington-based sports marketing agency, will be accepting donations of supplies and new apparel at a tractor trailer, donated by Longship, from Oct. 21-27 in the parking lot of the Landsdowne Shoppes in Lexington. The donations are being accepted as part of the “Bluegrass for the Bahamas” fundraiser, also which will include a charity event on Wednesday, Oct. 23 at Malone’s Prime Events.
bdG Sports, which manages numerous college basketball tournaments and professional golf events across North America, has been organizing the fundraising efforts and has already received more than 2,500 pieces of donated apparel, with more on the way. For the past three years, bdG Sports has managed the Great Abaco Classic, a professional golf tournament on the Korn Ferry Tour played each January in Abaco. The PGA TOUR announced this week that this year’s edition of the Great Abaco Classic will be moved to Nassau, while Abaco begins recovery efforts.
“The support for ‘Bluegrass for the Bahamas’ from our networks in college basketball, the professional golf community and right here in Central Kentucky has been humbling,” said Brooks Downing, President and CEO of bdG Sports. “Longship has graciously donated a semitruck for us to collect supplies which we will then transport to South Florida for shipment to the Bahamas. We have thousands of pieces of apparel for those Abaconians that have lost everything due to this storm. We also are starting to collect building supplies, which also can be delivered to the truck. There are thousands of Bahamians who lost everything due to Hurricane Dorian and we want to help them rebuild so that Abaco can be rebuilt.”
As a Category 5 hurricane, Dorian is on record as the worst storm in the history of the Bahamas, with sustained winds of 185 mph and gusts to 225 mph when it made landfall on Sept. 1 in Abaco. More than 56 people died in Abaco and Grand Bahama, the two northern-most islands which suffered a direct hit, and more than 600 are still missing. Marsh Harbour, the main city on Great Abaco, lost 70% of its homes, and the power grid on the island was rendered inoperable. Damage is estimated to exceed $7.5 billion.
Donations will be accepted each day from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 4-7 p.m. at the truck which will be located in front of The MouseTrap. A full list of needed supplies can be found at www.BluegrassForTheBahamas.com with building supplies (sheetrock, plywood, roofing materials, tools, etc.) being among the biggest need at this time. All clothing donations should be new.
Malone’s Prime Events will play host to the “Bluegrass for the Bahamas” charity event on Wednesday from 7-10 p.m. Tickets for the event are $100 and includes a sampling of favorite menu items from Bluegrass Hospitality Group, open bar and charity auction. Live auction items 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.
- A 4-day/3-night stay for two at any Sandals Resorts property.
Silent auction items will include a weekend stay at Hyatt Regency Coconut Point in Bonita Springs, Fla., golf opportunities at Southern Highlands in Las Vegas and TPC Scottsdale in Arizona, a year-long membership at Lexington Tennis Club, a Kentucky Castle gift package and a speciality bottle from Makers Mark. There’s even a chrome football helmet donated by the Kentucky football team.
Tickets for the evening 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. For those from outside the Central Kentucky area that wish to donate supplies, an Amazon Wish List can be found on the website with automatic shipping to bdG Sports.
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 active 501(c)3 status in the United States. 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.