Auctioneer has good time raising money for fall festival

Tuesday, June 12, 2018
A lively crowd participated in the Brazil Says Thanks fundraising auction at the Community Theater of Clay County Saturday night. Many items donated by local vendors and businesses were bid upon, with the final tally that night coming in at almost $1,500. Pictured is event organizer Jared Gibbens and Brazil Mayor Brian Wyndham.

Auctioneer/Mayor Brian Wyndham let loose his jovial side Saturday night during the live auction fundraiser to support upcoming Brazil Says Thanks Festival in November.

“I just can’t get you to go above that $9 mark, now can I?” Wyndham quipped to one anxious bidder, and even got in on the bidding himself, with permission from the audience, when a large stuffed Looney Tunes plush toy of the character “Taz,” sporting a leather jacket, came up on the auction block. “Can I bid on this too?”

Wyndham did, and ended up taking the iconic Tasmanian Devil home, “He’s going on the back of my motorcycle.”

Live-auction event organizer Jared Gibbens takes a break with the iconic Looney Tunes plush toy “Taz” before the event started Saturday night at the Community Theater of Clay County. “Taz” was heavily bid upon by the crowd, but the large plus toy wearing a leather motorcycle jacket went home with Mayor Brian Wyndham. The mayor asked special permission from the crowd to bid on the toy because he was the celebrity auctioneer.

It wasn’t a full house for the auction, but event organizer Jared Gibbens was excited by the crowd that did show up.

“It was a lot bigger response than I figured there would be for our first event like this. We weren’t really sure what to expect, but this was terrific,” said Gibbens, who plans on making the auction an annual event. “The community has really supported us, and we’re really grateful.”

Gibbens and the members of Veterans Stronghold, the group organizing upcoming Brazil Says Thanks Festival on Nov. 10 at Forest Park, will be getting ready for their next fundraising project -- a gun raffle -- and working on the Facebook page that will be posting more information about the festival lineup.

The comedic headliner for the event is YouTube’s Donnie Baker, with two more comedians scheduled to appear, as well as live music for the free public event that will honor military veterans and their families. Organizers hope the festival becomes an annual event where veterans and their families can join with the public in fellowship, enjoy some food, music and other entertainment.

Brazil Says Thanks T-shirts are available for purchase by contacting Jared or his wife Heather Gibbens at 812-605-0535 or by email at

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