28th Annual Celebrity Auction with Martina McBride Raises More Than $154,000 for YWCA
The Family Zone on the corner of Demonbreun and 4th is a place to have fun. Over the course of the weekend, it’s been home to a gigantic CMA Fest 40th birthday party, a family picnic and the Ultimate Air Dogs competition.
But on June 12, Country Music fans had the chance to give back to an organization that’s supported families throughout Middle Tennessee for years—the Nashville YWCA. At the 28th Annual Celebrity Auction hosted by Martina McBride, fans donated more than $154,000 to help the organization’s violence awareness and prevention program in Middle Tennessee.
“I can’t tell you what this means, not only to me, but to the thousands of women and children who will be helped,” said the five-time CMA Award winner. McBride brought down the house the night before at LP Field with her performance of “A Broken Wing,” an emotional song about a woman who breaks free from an abusive relationship.
Country stars of all ages and genders donated items to the auction, but those donated by McBride herself seemed to be crowd favorites. The dress McBride wore to the Grand Ole Opry’s comeback performance after last year’s flood was sold for $27,000.
Host Storme Warren of GAC hyped a personal tour of Blackbird Studios given by McBride herself as “the ultimate album release party.” The package included an autographed microphone and the chance to listen to McBride’s unreleased album with the artist herself over a glass of her signature wine.
After a ferocious bidding war, Dayna Jones, a 30-year-old from South Dakota, won the package, rolling the total amount raised for the YWCA over $100,000.
“You only live once, I guess,” said Jones, laughing.
Other popular items included handwritten lyrics by various Country artists, including Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland, Miranda Lambert, Bill Anderson and Zac Brown. Several signed guitars were also auctioned off. Keith Urban’s signed guitar was sold for $4,000, prompting Warren to quip, “A lady up here just about passed out.”
Auctioneers Nelson Bandy, Amon Ringemann and George Weatherby kept the audience laughing throughout the auction, with Bandy reassuring them, “It’s only gonna hurt for a little while!” Nashville YWCA Director of Volunteer Services Abby Sasser said the organization is extremely grateful for the fans’ generosity. “It’s always amazing. We just have so much fun, and CMA is so good to us.”
If the smiles on their faces as they left the auction tent were any indication, it seems the fans thought it was pretty amazing as well.