Villa Collina bash benefits Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee

Barton Racing and Villa Collina owner Dr. Eric W. Barton presents a $10,000 donation to Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee on Jan. 1. The donation was raised through the “Bees Knees NYE: A 2020 Affair” New Year’s Eve celebration at the mansion, which is the largest home in Tennessee. Michael Torano, right, accepted the donation on behalf of Second Harvest.

Barton Racing and Villa Collina owner Dr. Eric W. Barton hosted a New Year’s Eve bash to benefit Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee, resulting in a donation that will provide 30,000 meals to people in East Tennessee.

Following “Bee’s Knees NYE: A 2020 Affair” at Villa Collina on Dec. 31, Barton presented a check for $10,000 to the nonprofit.

“We are grateful for everything Eric Barton has done to help address hunger in East Tennessee,” said Elaine Streno, executive director of Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee. “One in five children and one in eight adults are at risk of hunger in the 18 counties we serve. This donation allows us to start the new year with some momentum as we continue the fight to end hunger in East Tennessee.”

The New Year’s Eve event featured local music and arts performances, a silent auction and a fireworks show to ring in 2020.

“I’m honored to be able to open the doors of Villa Collina for this New Year’s Eve celebration and other events that benefit our community and local nonprofits,” Barton said. “Second Harvest Food Bank provides vital services to East Tennessee. In just a few hours, we were able to raise money to help a worthwhile organization.”

Click here to see an image gallery from the event.

Barton has hosted several fundraising events for nonprofits at Villa Collina, including the 2019 Talk Derby to Me benefiting East Tennessee Children’s Hospital Pain & Palliative Care; 2017 and 2018 events in support of the Knoxville Opera Guild; three years of hosting the University of Tennessee’s School of Music Holiday Musicale; and the 2017 Marine Corps Ball celebrating the birthday of the U.S. Marines.

Second Harvest Food Bank is the East Tennessee region’s largest hunger-relief charity, operating programs in 18 counties. The food bank secures and distributes more than 20 million pounds of food and grocery products annually through a network of 550+ partnering nonprofit organizations such as food pantries, soup kitchens, emergency shelters and schools. For more information on how to support Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee, visit https://secondharvestetn.org/.