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'Collection treasures': Bourbon auction raises over $3 million for tornado victims

The Kentucky Distillers' Association partnered with Bourbon Crusaders charitable organization and Bourbon curator Fred Minnick.

FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Kentucky Bourbon Benefit raised over $3 million in six days for the Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund.

The Kentucky Distillers' Association, Bourbon Crusaders and Fred Minnick partnered to host this auction. Their live-stream finale alone raised $1.77 million.

"The response was tremendous, far beyond our wildest hopes," said R.J. Sargent, founder of the Bourbon Crusaders. "Our members pulled out treasures from their collections and the community responded enthusiastically."

Distilleries including Angel's Envy, Brown-Forman, Beam Suntory, Four Roses, Diageo, Heaven Hill, Michter's, Wild Turkey and Rabbit Hole donated over $1 million to the relief fund directly, and Beam Suntory donated an additional $500,000 to the Red Cross. 

These personal donations raised the overall donation amount to nearly $5 million.

Over 5,000 people bid for the 429 slots. Kentucky had the highest amount of bidders, followed by Ohio, Florida then Texas. The furthest bidders were from Puerto Rico and Guam.

A collection of bottles from Carr's Steakhouse in Mayfield named the "Mayfield Collection" sold for $69,475. These proceeds nearly matched the sale price for the bottles. Half of the proceeds are going to Carr's 29 employees. 

For a complete list of the auctioned lots and their prices visit www.KentuckyBourbonBenefit.com.

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