Joke account ends up bringing in thousands for charity - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Joke account ends up bringing in thousands for charity

The account started as a joke (Source:WALB) The account started as a joke (Source:WALB)
People showed up to show off their dogs (Source:WALB) People showed up to show off their dogs (Source:WALB)
Webby the grill was auctioned off (Source:WALB) Webby the grill was auctioned off (Source:WALB)
The event benefited the Humane Society (Source:WALB) The event benefited the Humane Society (Source:WALB)
WORTH CO., GA (WALB) -

Man's best friend was celebrated at the Bark in the Park event near Sylvester Saturday. 

Funds from raffles, auctions and games went toward the Humane Society. 

A Worth County official volunteered his time at the event, after a crowdfunding campaign he set up went viral.  

It all started out as a joke. Anticipated storm damage in Worth County didn't pan out, but Tax Appraiser Ben Barbee teased that his grill, named Webby, was left devastated. 

"Maria went outside and was checking out some things. There was no real damage," Barbee said. "Me, being my smart-tail-self, decided to play a joke and rigged the grill up to look like it had a lot of storm damage."

To take the joke even further, Barbee started a GoFundMe account. Barbee said he was about to have his last laugh and take down the page but, then, someone donated.

"Before I could delete the page, someone donated that I did not know," Barbee said. "I had no idea how to return the money. So, I just ran with it."  

Funding for the account snowballed. Barbee said people from Atlanta to South Florida were donating money. So, he left the page up to raise funds for local non-profits. 

Part of the money went to the Salvation Army and the rest, which Barbee said he let donors decide on, got cut to the Best Friends Humane Society. 

"It went farther than anyone ever expected, but, we're thankful for him for doing that," Josh Beckstrom, Secretary of the Best Friends Humane Society, said. "It was kind of a joke in the beginning, but it got serious and it's really going to help out with what we need for operational expenses." 

Webby became the star of the show and was auctioned off at the Bark in the Park event.

 Barbee kept his joke going strong saying he'll miss the grill that became a big part of his life.

 "It's like losing a child," Barbee said.  

The comical campaign ended up raising around $2,600 for the Humane Society, all thanks to a little joke aiming to make a big difference. 

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