By Katie Benfield
Yesterday, the Big Kahuna fundraiser came to a close at Appalachian Mountain Brewery with the Don Ho-Down Celebration and the crowning of the Big Kahuna.
AMB was full of people of all ages, dressed in Hawaiian garb. The tables were decorated with flowers reminiscent of exotic and relaxing destinations. The decorations took all the guests on a mini-vacation to the relaxed and laid-back atmosphere one would find on a beach. Despite the rain, everyone in attendance was smiling, enjoying the environment and the live band that was playing some great tunes at the front of AMB.
The Habitat for Humanity had a tent set up right outside the back of AMB with the leaderboard of who was in the lead was set up for everyone to see and keep track of who the Big Kahuna might be.
Over the last two and a half months, twelve benevolent community leaders competed to raise awareness and as much money as possible to help the Habitat for Humanity build its new home in the High Country.
All of the contestants have been reaching out to everyone that they know in order to raise as much money as possible to benefit the Habitat for Humanity and, in turn, our community. All of the proceeds from the event will go towards helping Watauga Habitat’s next partner family to have a decent, safe, energy-efficient, affordable place to live in the eco-friendly GreenWood neighborhood.
Right up until 8 p.m., nobody knew who the winner might be. There was no telling if it would be Jenny Miller, who remained in the lead the majority of the time, Matt Vincent who was close behind her or a dark horse that was going to pop out of nowhere to claim the title and the crown.
However, as 8 p.m. hit, the winner was announced.
Although all of the contestants put in the best effort that they could to raise money for such a good cause, the Big Kahuna crown went to Jenny Miller who raised $12,632.43!
“I am so proud of all of the Kahunas. They did it! What a joy getting to know them, their families and dogs,” Allison Jennings, Director of Development for the Watauga County Habitat for Humanity, said. “With the community’s help, Watauga Habitat for Humanity is transforming lives through affordable ownership.”
Overall, the Big Kahuna fundraiser raised a whopping $51,150.97!
The competitors were as follows:
Patrick Beville – IONCON
Charles Crabbe – ProBenefits
Jim Rogers – Appalachian Custom Builders
Jesse Miller – First Security Insurance
Dusty Washburn – Blue Ridge Realty
Pete Herbert – The Dogwood Café
Justin Davis – Blowing Rock Town Tavern, Owner
Jenny Miller – Community Volunteer
Matt Vincent – VPC Builders
Ed Tausche – Cedar House, LLC
Phil Norman – Green Valley School
Christy Kennedy – Kennedy Household CEO and Zumba Addict