Fifth annual Wanderlust travel raffle and silent auction to benefit Brooks Fund

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The fifth annual Brooks Fund ‘Wanderlust’ Travel Raffle is less than a week away, and this year’s event is shaping up to be the most anticipated to date. The raffle drawing party is set for this Friday, June 12, from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., at the Lane Motor Museum, 702 Murfreesboro Pike in Nashville.
 
Travel raffle tickets are $50 and are on sale now at thebrooksfund.org. Each ticket purchased is good for a chance to win a $2,000 travel voucher and will grant admission to the party on June 12. Admission to the party without the purchase of a raffle ticket is $35.
 
Proceeds from the event benefit the H. Franklin Brooks Philanthropic Fund of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, a charitable fund dedicated to encouraging the inclusion, acceptance and recognition of Middle Tennessee’s LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community. The raffle has raised nearly $100,000 over the past four years; money that goes back into the local LGBT community through grants awarded to community programs by the Brooks Fund.
 
“The funds we raise during the annual ‘Wanderlust’ raffle are vitally important to the support and development of programs that enhance the quality of life for the LGBT community in Middle Tennessee,” said Suzanne Bradford, Brooks Fund board chair. “All the money raised goes directly back into our endowment and lets us create this tremendous legacy of giving. It’s a way for all folks in Middle Tennessee to forever give back to local nonprofits. That is what makes us unique.”
 
The $2,000 travel voucher can be used all at once or in installments, so the amount of travel is entirely up to the winner. In addition to the raffle drawing, door prizes, including Southwest Airline tickets and a set of luggage, will also be awarded. The raffle winner does not have to be present to win, but the door prizes will only be awarded to party goers.
 
Last year’s winner, D. Bilbrey of Middle Tennessee, noted that ‘Wanderlust’ not only serves the Brooks Fund as its biggest fundraiser, it also works double duty as a way to inform the community about the fund and its mission. He chose to use the voucher in installments.
 
“I had never heard of the Brooks Fund before last year’s ‘Wanderlust’ party. A friend suggested I purchase a ticket and attend the event. I have to say the party alone was well worth the cost of the ticket,” Bilbrey explained. “A lot of people would have expected me to take some exotic or far away trip, but I chose to use the voucher differently. I chose to use my winnings to pay for airline tickets on some trips and hotel accommodations on others making each a little less costly. I also must say that Tom Hill at International Travel was great to work with over the past year in handling the travel voucher funds.”
 
According to this year’s ‘Wanderlust’ co-chairs, Ellen Pryor and Jane Kleiman, the event has ‘grown up’ and found an appropriate new home at the Lane  Motor Museum.
 
“The move to the Lane Motor  Museum wonderfully underscores the evergreen ‘Wanderlust’ theme: travel. What a spectacular backdrop it will be, with magnificent cars and motorcycles from all over the world, not to mention an airplane hanging from the ceiling,” said Pryor. “We are so grateful to Jeff Lane of the Lane Motor Museum and the wonderful staff for making ‘Wanderlust’ at the Lane Museum possible.”
 
Kleiman describes her involvement with the event as a way to use her event and fundraising experience to help the event become an annual favorite. “I enjoy getting diverse groups together. I am very social, and got involved with ‘Wanderlust’ because I felt it needed to be boosted from just a raffle ticket drawing to a signature Nashville event. I wanted to be a part of that evolution,” Kleiman explained.
 
Brooks Fund board member Beth Vincent, who is no stranger to volunteer work in and out of the LGBT community, is once again at the helm of this year’s ‘Wanderlust’ silent auction, which also takes place during the party. Party goers can expect to see the largest selection of donated items since the raffle’s inception in 2004.
 
“I personally am a silent auction junkie. I love seeing the wonderful donors who come forth in the community, and I want to support them in turn,” said Vincent. “I take it a step further and try to shop with these vendors throughout the year. A charitable heart goes a long way.”

Vincent said this year’s silent auction will offer many items in the areas of artwork, services, restaurants, merchandise, travel, and entertainment including an original Brother Mel metal sculpture, a crayon sculpture by Herb Williams, a travel package from the Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau and a set of signed books by famed author, Augusten Burroughs. 

In addition to the raffle drawing and door prizes at Friday’s event, ‘Wanderlust’ guests will enjoy entertainment by DJ Mindub, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.
 
For more information about the Brooks Fund or the event, please contact Michael McDaniel at mmc@cfmt.org or 615-321-4939.