Eblen Events

To help continue the outreach of the Eblen Charitable Group, a family of fund raising events has been developed not only to raise the funds but also to thank our supporters for all they have done throughout the year.

No organization can operate without the funds it takes to provide the assistance it offers, and the Eblen Charitable Group is not any different. The money raised through donations, events, programs, and other opportunities is used as a tool to help provide the assistance to the children, adults, and families that the Eblen Charitable Group serves.


The Southern Conference has been known for decades for their high academic standards, tremendous faculty, staff, and their nationally recognized athletic teams.

But SOCON is known for so much more as they bring their highly contested conference basketball championships to Asheville each March.

Not only to bring excitement and a top level of competition of the men’s and women’s basketball title to the US Cellular Center but they also show what true champions they are.

Each year, Southern Conference Basketball joins Eblen Charities, Ingles Markets, Arby’s, the Brumit Restaurant Group, and area host hotels in collecting food for the Hoops Against Hunger program. A $5 discount per ticket being given for anyone bringing food to the sessions.

The food is then be distributed to area schools through the Arby’s JoyFull Holidays at Home and the Ingles Food for Thought programs.

“The Southern Conference is proud to #jointhefight again this year by participating in Hoops Against Hunger. Childhood hunger does not take a day off when schools are not in session and Hoops Against Hunger is specifically focused on providing food for children at times when other programs aren’t able to provide the critical everyday support that many children depend on. As in past years, we are especially proud to offer fans attending this year’s Southern Conference Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships opportunities to help out either with on-site food donations or cash contributions. Our goal is to make this a record breaking tournament for the Hoops Against Hunger program,” says Geoff Cabe, Senior Associate Director of the Southern Conference.

For more information on Hoops Against Hunger please visit www.hoopsagainsthunger.net. For more information on the upcoming Southern Conference Tournaments please visit www.soconsports.com

WLOS Spring Clean Coat Drive:

Beginning in 2009, the WLOS-TV Spring Clean Coat Drive has brought nearly 100,000 coats and a great amount of warmth to children and adults in western North Carolina. This 18 hour marathon has become they first sign of spring for so many in our mountains.

In partnership with WLOS-TV, My-40, Ashley HomeStore, Eblen Charities, Two Men and a Truck, and Asheville Cleaners the WLOS-TV Spring Clean Coat Drive has provided a great place for neighbors who are cleaning out their closets to donate the coats they may no longer need.

The coats collected during the drive are separated and cleaned during the summer and are distributed beginning in October. Coats are collected and given out throughout the year.

All sizes and styles of coats that are new or gently used, for the thousands of families that Eblen Charities serves each year seeking help in keeping warm during the frigid winter months.

Why a Spring Coat Drive?

After a long winter, many may be tired of their old coat’s style and most children will out grow this year’s coat before next winter arrives. So instead of putting them in boxes to store away or throwing them out, the folks at WLOS-TV came up with the idea that asked the question “why not donate them to a good cause?”

It also seems to be a good time, as people begin to clean out overcrowded closets, to get rid of those bulky winter coats that take up so much space. Also, many retailers will be discounting winter wear to make way for their Spring & Summer lines, so it’s a great time for those who wish to donate to purchase new coats as well. So there is no better time to collect coats.

Operation Prom Dress:

Springtime is certainly a welcome sight in our mountains with warmer weather, budding flowers, and spring break and high school tradition that is anticipated since the beginning of each school year.

Along with the warm spring breezes also comes the proms and military balls that can easily be the highlight of their academic year. But for many young women those memories will never happen for one very simple reason – the price of the dress they would wear to their formal is just out of reach.

Eblen Charities Operation Prom Dress provides dresses to every young lady in our community who may not be able to afford one at no cost and helps provide the memories that so many of their friends will be experiencing as well.

Since Operation Prom Dress began, hundreds of girls who may have not had the chance to go to the prom have chosen from hundreds upon hundreds of gently used and new dresses.

Thanks to the generosity of hundreds of people throughout our community, iHeartMedia, 99.9 Kiss Country, Star 104.3, and Asheville Cleaners, a great many of the girls who thought they may be sitting at home will now be joining their friends and classmates on prom night.

Sharon Fish, graduation specialist for Buncombe County Schools, said the dresses mean so much to the young women who will be wearing them on prom night “The prom dresses make a huge difference,” she said. “Some of these girls may be parents, who are working to support a child. The prom may otherwise be out of reach financially without this program. When we walk into the Bon Marche building, and they see the vast selection, you can see their faces light up. It becomes a reality that just for that one special night they can be Cinderella at the ball, and it doesn’t cost them anything,”

“Eblen Charities provided us with beautiful gowns for a memorable night.” adds Chief Alexis Gutierrez of Erwin High School

If you know of any young lady in need of a prom dress, or have one you would like to donate, please contact Susan Riddle at Eblen Charities at 828-255-3066 ext.21 or via email at [email protected]

Leadercast Asheville:

The world is looking for great leaders to follow. And great leaders are what the Keller Williams – Avadim Technologies – Andrew Institute Leadercast-Asheville is all about.

Leadercast-Asheville helps provide the tools that empowers young and experienced leaders alike you with life-changing insights from the best minds and practitioners in business, sports, politics, entertainment, innovation, and public service.

This unique daylong event is broadcast live from Atlanta and simulcast into communities across the globe and brings hundreds of community leaders, executives, board members, educators, students, and others from every aspect of western North Carolina to be challenged, inspired, and encouraged.

“This is a tremendous opportunity not only for the Andrew Institute, Eblen Charities and the Center for Social Enterprise, but for our entire community,” states Dewey Andrew, founder of the Andrew Institute for Leadership and Public Service. “To be asked to host this event is a great honor and will not only once again bring the utmost in leadership training to the mountains but will also touch tens of thousands of lives that Eblen Charities serves each year.”

Presenting Sponsors include: Keller Williams Realty, Avadim Technologies, Biltmore Church, iHeartMedia, Roger Aiken, Dewey Andrew, Ingles Markets, A-B Tech Community College, Applied Solutions, Asheville City Schools, Beverly-Hanks Realty, Biltmore Company, Biltmore Farms Hotels, Biltmore Oil, Buncombe County Government, Buncombe County Schools, Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office, Campbell & Shatley, PLLC, Care Partners Foundation, Chick-fil-A, Cliffs at Walnut Cove Realty, Express Employment Professionals, First Citizens Bank, Kimmel & Associates, Mission Hospital, Rick and Denise Guthy, Simply Home, Wicked Weed Brewing, and WLOS-News 13.

Corporate sponsorships are available and can be reserved by contacting Amanda Putnam at [email protected]

The Wicked Weed/Brad Johnson Celebrity Golf Classic:

It started with a simple idea for a small golf tournament and turned into an organization that has touched more than a million lives of children, adults, and families in need in western North Carolina.

And since that first ball was placed on a tee at Reems Creek Golf Club in the Spring of 1990, Eblen Charities has grown beyond anyone’s wildest dreams.

Every May, in partnership with Super Bowl XXXVII Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Brad Johnson and the fast growing global brand of Wicked Weed Brewing and the Cliffs at Walnut Cove has set the standard for golf tournaments across western North Carolina and has touched hundreds of thousands of lives.

“I always look forward to this time of year, coming back to Asheville, and being able to be part of this wonderful event,” says Brad. “I get a chance to see my old friends, family, coaches and teammates from Owen. But most of all, it’s coming back home and joining Eblen Charities, Verizon Wireless and all the sponsors, teams, and their outreach that touches so many children, adults, and families in their times of need here at home. I have yet to see a more effective organization anywhere than Eblen. It is great honor for me be be part of their outreach and serve as honorary chairman.”

This event is more than Wicked Weed’s, Brad’s, and Eblen’s signature event. It is where Eblen Charities began and everything we have done since that time is because of it. Without the courage and vision of Milo Garren, Joe Ward, Harry Giezentanner, Jamie Blue, Guy Roberts, Steve Whittington, George Scott and the others in the early years, the work of the Eblen Charities may have never happened.

Eblen Charitable Group BOOsters:

The BOOsters are happy little friendly ghosts sold throughout the month of October in area banks, restaurants, cleaners, convenience stores, and many other businesses. For only $1.00, anyone can purchase a BOOster, place his or her name or business card on it and have it displayed. This is a great way to decorate area businesses for the holiday while providing fun, friendly competition, and funds to help continue the outreach of the Eblen Charities.

Eblen Charitable Group Pumpkin Sales: Much like the BOOster sales, these bright paper pumpkins are sold for $1.00 during the month of October in area schools and Ingles Markets. This program sponsored by Outback Steakhouse, Ingle’s Markets, Pepsi, and Clear Channel radio stations benefits the programs of the Eblen Charities  and helps provide a community program to the area schools with the premise of children helping children. Schools also have the opportunity to win prizes and equipment for their school. The school with the most over all sales is awarded the Frank Lewis Memorial Award, named in memory of our long time friend and Buncombe County educator, Frank Lewis.

The Eblen Charities Walk, Run, or Roll 5K/10K:

The Walk is a fun individual, family or team event to benefit Buncombe county students and their families. Your support of this event will enable Eblen Charities to continue to assist more than 125,000 families annually through medical care & supplies, prescription assistance, travel assistance, dental & physician care, and funding assistance for food, rent, heat, & other emergency aid.Participants on bikes, strollers and skates are all welcome to participate in this easy walk through the main campus of AB Tech.

The Walk is held on the second Saturday in October. Thanks to a strong partnership with Buncombe County Schools, Asheville City Schools, as well as many area businesses and supporters, we had more than 800 participants and raised nearly $30,000 to help local families in need in our community! 100% of the proceeds from Eblen’s 5K/10K Walk, Run, Roll go directly to help local families.

The Walk began 18 years ago as the Heroes for Hope 10K, a fundraiser for Cystic Fibrosis in honor of Dana Jarrett, and has evolved into one of Eblen’s biggest fundraisers, with money raised going into the General Funds, which helps so many families with emergency assistance needs.

Thanks to our 2018 Walk Sponsors: Presenting Sponsors include Outback Steakhouse, A-B Tech, Ingles, Pepsi, iHeartMedia and Designs by Eddie Gumm, Platinum Sponsors include Express Employment Professionals, Great Beginnings and Great Smiles Orthodonics, Judd Builders, Campbell Shatley, PLLC, McKinney Insurance and Mark and Mary Moody, Gold Sponsors include Beverly Hanks & Associates, Sleep Number, Gillespie Dental Associates, Sizemore McGee, First Citizens Bank, Carland & Andersen Inc., Dave & Peggy White, Biltmore Company, Fletcher Collision Center, Forest Dermatology, Mosaix Group, Inc., shopmissionhealth.org and ACE Hardware. Also thanks to Chick-fil-A Merrimon Ave, Party Boulevard, Sky Zone Trampoline Park and TD Bank for sponsoring prizes and giveaways, as well as many other businesses who supported Eblen Charities and the Walk!

The Avadim/Heath Shuler Fall Golf Invitational:

The Avadim/Heath Shuler Fall Golf Invitational brings together teams in the fall to raise money for families served by Eblen Charities, helping assist tens of thousands of families with emergency needs.

Thanks to Avadim, Health Shuler, Ingles, Arby’s, Pespi, Wicked Weed, the Cliff’s at Walnut Cove, Skyland Distributing and all the teams that come out to support Eblen Charities.

Giving Thanks at Thanksgiving:

Created by Cleveland Cavaliers and UNC Tarheel basketball star and NASCAR analyst Brad Daugherty, Giving Thanks at Thanksgiving provides thousands of turkey dinners to those who may be without Thanksgiving dinner.  Thirteen hundred Turkey dinners are distributed to the families that Eblen Charities serve.

Thanks to Ingles, Duke Energy, Health Shuler, Well Fargo Advisors, Friday Staffing and many supporters of Eblen, hundreds of families can enjoy the holidays without the concern of having a meal they all can share. He has truly have made the Thanksgiving holiday something for which we all can be thankful.