Sold-out Bourbon & Bubbles Gala raises money for Bardstown’s GO Center

FlatLick Express entertained the crowd attending Saturday night’s Gala fundraiser for the Guthrie Oppotunity Center.


Nelson County Gazette / WBRT Radio

Monday, April 23, 2018 — A sold out crowd of 370 people were wined and dined at one of Bardstown’s premier fundraising events Saturday night.

The Bourbon and Bubbles Gala was held to “build the future” at the Guthrie Opportunity (GO) Center in Bardstown.

The evening began with guests walking on a red carpet then being greeted with a glass of champagne. Once inside the GO center, guests mingled while enjoying hors d’oeuvres provided by Divinity Fine Catering and a selection of bourbons from Kentucky’s finest distilleries, including Heaven Hill, Barton 1792, Jim Beam, Willett, and Lux Row. Guests could also bid on an array of 30 silent auction items, from jewelry and handbags to vacation getaways and bourbon paraphernalia.

The sit-down part of the evening was welcomed by Kim Huston, who served as master of ceremonies. Huston, president of the Nelson County Economic Development Agency (NCEDA), and a former WBRT radio personality, introduced “GO Center celebrity” Mary Philomena Hagan. Huston also served as an auctioneer while Hagan’s painting was auctioned off and sold at $3,500. The announcement welcomed a roaring round of applause for Hagan and her painting.

Huston also announced the GO Center’s goal for a garden to grow fresh fruits and vegetables. She persuaded those in attendance to donate, and in just one night, $17,000 was raised for the GO Center garden, which is expected to be fully functioning this year. Lettuce is already growing.

Guest then enjoyed a three-course meal was provided by Divinity Fine Catering consisting of a mixed green and smoked Gouda salad, a main course of beef tenderloin (donated by Boone’s Butcher Shop), salmon filet with orange ginger glaze, as well as assorted rolls, mashed potatoes, roasted asparagus, and baby carrots. Dinner was finished with a choice of pecan pie or apple pie with bourbon sauce.

GO Center Board Chairman and Bardstown Mayor Dick Heaton spoke to the crowd about the importance of the GO Center and its impact on the community. The underlying tone of the evening was the same — to continue moving forward with “work that changes lives”.

The night continued to liven up with more drinks and a live auction, and well-known local Joey Hayden announced the 11 live auction items, including more bourbon paraphernalia, paintings, golf outings, and travel opportunities.

Guests then danced to the bluegrass music of FlatLick Express.

Cindy Hutchins, GO Center executive director, said it takes a lot of people to make Bourbon and Bubbles happen.

“It takes an army,” Hutchins said. “It all happens so fast, but it’s very exciting and well worth it.”

For example, the tables were set by GO Center associates with volunteers overseeing them.

“That’s the key,” Hutchins explained. “When they get to see (their work) with their own eyes, then they want to be a part of the work.”

Hutchins also said the participants seem to be really excited working at the GO Center and being actively involved in Bourbon and Bubbles.

“Their work happens behind the scenes”, she said. “They’re very appreciative of what they do here, and it shows; they get it.”

Next year, Hutchins hopes to serve food that’ll be grown in the GO Center’s garden, with lettuce already growing. The Nelson County Community Foundation, Leadership Nelson County and United Way have helped the GO Center start on the garden. She said people are really excited about it.

Donations have made the GO Center what it is today. The not-for-profit is always looking for more business partners and volunteers.

The GO Center mission is to provide and sustain a nurturing environment that promotes learning, creates a sense of independence and provides lifelong support to the developmentally disadvantaged in Nelson County.

For more information about The GO Center, visit their website at http://www.guthrieopportunitycenter.org/.


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