Return of Taste of Wine & Cheese breaks records
For the City Times
STEVENS POINT – On April 22, the return of the 18th annual Portage County Taste of Wine & Cheese event raised over $250,000 for youth programs at the Boys & Girls Club of Portage County, a record-breaking amount. With over 600 guests and supporters, and more than 150 sponsors, this year’s event became the most successful in its history.
Included during the evening were over 80 types of wines from around the world, dozens of specialty cheeses, hand-crafted local brews, desserts, fruits, a large silent auction, a Green Bay Packer Bus Trip raffle, a Dippin’ for Bling event, and a wishing tree comprised of items needed at the Clubs.
The event continues to be one of the largest social fundraising nights in Portage County. “You could feel the energy inside the hangar from all our guests. People were excited to be out networking again, having fun with one another, and supporting their community,” added Mikayla Kleifgen, Director of Development & Marketing for the Boys & Girls Club.
A big hit during the event was the Miami Yacht Cruise, a private charter out of Miami, Florida. Presented by Jon and Annette Vandehey along with Yacht Captain Ovidiu Astalus, the three day cruise prompted a bidding war, resulting in an impromptu second donation and sale of another cruise, raising $52,000 alone.
The staff at the Boys & Girls Club recognize that the success of this event would not have been possible without the support of local businesses and individuals who contributed to creating a fantastic evening. “We are so thankful for the hundreds of people and businesses who contribute to making this event a fun and successful one for our attendees. This is the most funding we have ever raised in one night for our Club members,” according to Kleifgen.
Funds raised assist the Boys & Girls Club in providing free, healthy meals every day at each of the Club sites, daily assistance with homework, fun activities, and being a safe place for children while parents are at work during the school year and summer months.
At the VIP pre-tasting event, Taste of the Vineyard, a new Fund-a-Mission activity invited guests to raise funds to improve the outdoor courtyard at the Berard Center, pay for college students to be mentors for Club members this summer, cover the operational costs to serve Club members for a year, bring Club members to the
Copps Municipal Pool, and feed Club members free lunch each day this summer.
One hundred percent of the proceeds raised at the event directly benefit the youth who attend the Boys & Girls Club of Portage County.