The Martin Elementary Junior Beta Club will not participate in a fundraiser that would have auctioned a commemorative bottle of Buffalo Trace whiskey to support the school-affiliated youth organization. 

Instead, Buffalo Trace has agreed to transfer the bottle to another local nonprofit organization, the Young Professionals Alliance.

“We do thank Buffalo Trace for their outstanding contribution to so many great charities across the country and hope that the community will come out and bid and support the Young Professionals Alliance,” Brad Buffkin, Junior Beta Club sponsor, said in a statement to the Chronicle.

Buffalo Trace has bottled its 6 millionth barrel of Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey and selected 400 nonprofit organizations across the country to receive the commemorative bottles. Each bottle includes a special box with a stave from the barrel and a brochure explaining the significance of the commemorative bottle.

The company hopes the barrel raises $500,000 for worthy causes across the country. Other nonprofit organizations selected include the Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Nashville Public Television, Second Harvest of Middle Tennessee, Boys and Girls Club of Greater Kingsport and JDRF of Knoxville, which supports research and advocacy for type 1 diabetes

Buffkin had come across a website to enter the drawing for the commemorative bottles last spring while scrolling through a social media website. The company required bottles go only to registered nonprofit organizations for the purpose of raising funds. 

A motion to permit the fundraiser via an auction handled by a local business failed with a 4-4 vote of the Cumberland County Board of Education in August. The matter had been set to return to the school board in September. However, the change in the award means the board does not have to revisit the item.

The YPA is a local nonprofit organization of young professionals in the community. It supports various charitable causes, such as feeding programs, youth organizations and school system activities, and supports civic engagement by hosting elected officials. It provides business networking opportunities, as well. 

According to Buffkin, individuals had already shown interest in bidding on the commemorative bottle before the August school board meeting. He said bidders should keep an eye out auction details at a later date, adding the organization planned to partner with Tabor’s Pawn Shop for the display and auction of the bottle.

Heather Mullinix is editor of the Crossville Chronicle. She covers schools and education in Cumberland County. She may be reached at hmullinix@crossville-chronicle.com.

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