Hulk Hogan, Bubba the Love Sponge, help raise $70,000 for Plant City charity (channel 10)

March 19th, 2010 by

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PLANT CITY ( A self-employed contractor was given the keys to a bright yellow Chevrolet Camaro today – the grand prize in a drawing that raised $70,000 for local charity.

Retired wrestler Hulk Hogan and Tampa-based radio show host Bubba the Love Sponge were on hand as Gary Willetts, 43, was presented with the sports car. The two celebrities promoted the contest that helped Unity in the Community.

“Bubba and Hulk Hogan, a closely friend of Bubba’s, have gone over and beyond what was expected of them,” said Steve Hurley, owner of Stingray Chevrolet, were the ceremony took place

Bubba in particular was instrumental in spreading the word, Hurley said.

“I should have known that Bubba would blow the event sky high,” he said.

The drawing was held Sunday on the last day of the Florida Strawberry Festival, where the car was displayed. Willetts, who bought four of the $5 tickets, said he couldn’t believe it when someone from Stingray Chevy called.

“They had to convince me that I had won,” he said.

Willetts, who helps set up equipment at entertainment venues, said he heard of the contest about three weeks ago and stopped by Stingray Chevrolet to buy tickets.

Willetts, his wife Gina Belli and daughters Josie Willetts and Tiera Palisano were on hand today as Hogan – and the Camaro – made a grand entrance. Hogan was riding in the passenger seat as a Stingray employee drove the car into the showroom to the applause of a crowd that included city and strawberry festival leaders.

The car included Hogan’s autograph on the dashboard and the colors were inspired by the former wrestler’s corporate colors.

“Having Hulk Hogan’s autograph put this fundraiser over the top,” Hurley said.

Bubba said the fundraiser was a cooperative effort.

“The success of this event was due to us having Unity in the Community, Stingray Chevrolet and the Hulkster on board,” Bubba said. “The stars were aligned just right.”

Unity in the Community helps the needy in the Plant City area.

Unity’s founder, Joyce Jordan, cried when she was presented with the check. She said the charity’s executive committee would decide how to spend the windfall.

“The whole thing was breathtaking,” she said.

The Hulk Hogan Edition Camaro was equipped with a 304-horsepower V6 engine, 21-inch wheels and a designer trim package. Stingray Chevrolet and Bubba the Love Sponge’s nonprofit BLS Foundation each donated $15,000 to buy the car so all ticket sales went to the charity.

“This created a new level of exposure for Unity in the Community and it also proves what the man behind the microphone is really all about in Bubba the Love Sponge,” Hurley said.

One Response

  1. i love money

    every charity event should be like this 100% going to charity. Thank you from everyone who wants to be like bubba’s.

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