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Local nonprofit uses bourbon to raise funds for children with autism

Donna McGraw needs help collecting bourbon to raise money for the Families for Effective Autism Treatment.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Kentucky is best known for its horse racing, college basketball and bourbon. While seeing the popular brown liquor in homes and restaurants is common, finding dozens of bottles of bourbon in a car shop is not.

“We’ve got 93 bottles as of today,” says Donna McGraw, who’s trying to collect bottles of liquor for a nonprofit.

Their goal? 200.

Donna, along with her nephew Jordan Price, collects bottles of liquor for a bourbon pull to benefit the Families for Effective Autism Treatment, a nonprofit that supports and funds autism programs for families.

Here’s how the Bourbon pull works: people donate bottles of bourbon, those at the organization’s gala buy a ticket for $25 and get a random bottle of bourbon. Last year, Donna helped the organization raise $2,500 from 100 bottles. This year, they want to double their total.

“Just because it’s one bottle, it doesn’t feel like it’s going to do much for you but it does a lot for children like Jordan,” McGraw said.

Her nephew Jordan was completely nonverbal until he was 11 years old. Now, he communicates verbally and through his iPad. 

This bourbon pull helps to provide summer camps, swim lessons and yoga. It also helps to send children with autism to special needs activities and job training but, arguably, the most important thing it does is make children like Jordan smile.

“You wouldn’t believe what these children will do if they just get the opportunity,” McGraw said.

So far, dozens of bottles have been collected but dozens are still needed. 

“I have a lot of friends but I need more than just friends," I need people that just want to make a difference in the community,” McGraw said.

If you want to donate to FEAT, you can contact Donna McGraw at (502) 741-1982 or drop off your bourbon donation to Shane’s Window Tinting at 7701 Dixie Highway or Theraplace at 4121 Shelbyville Road.

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