23rd annual American Red Cross fundraiser

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)– The American Red Cross kicked off its annual Boot Scoot Boogie fundraiser this evening.

The event raises money for the American Red Cross of Augusta. This year’s goal was to raise $100,000 for the disaster response organization, and all of the money will stay here in the CSRA.

The event organizer said they had to move locations this year because it just keeps getting bigger, and once again, the event was sold out.

“We’re celebrating our 100 year anniversary of our Augusta chapter, so we decided to move it out to the Columbia County Exhibition Center and really have a big blow out,” Chad Harpley, the event organizer said.

Harpley said more than 700 people attended Saturday night’s Boot Scoot Boogie.

The event is a night of entertainment — all for a good cause.

Guests had dinner provided by the local BBQ restaurant, Wifesaver, while listening to 2016 American Idol winner, Trent Harmon perform. A silent and live auction was also held.

“Our funds in Augusta are used for our fire disaster teams. When someone’s house unfortunately gets burned down, we end up giving them monetary funds to sustain them until they can get back up on their feet,” Harpley said.

Jeffrey Putnam, the Executive Director of Red Cross of North West Georgia said he fell in love with helping people when he started volunteering in 1989.

“Our volunteers go out and meet with these families that have lost everything. We go out and give them hope. We provide them with not only a shoulder to lean on but financial assistance. We help them find food, find clothing, help them find a new place to live, give them emergency shelter,” Putnam explained.

He said this is the biggest Red Cross fundraising event in Georgia each year. WJBF NewsChannel 6 sponsored the event, and Brad Means and Jennie Montgomery hosted it.

“The biggest reward is knowing we’re there for them– knowing we’re able to provide that family with assistance. We’re keeping that family off the street, and helping them recover from the disaster and get back on their feet… especially with children,” Putnam concluded.

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