The Boys and Girls Club of Portage County expects to sell out of tickets for its 10th annual Portage County Taste of Wine and Cheese benefit from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, April 4, at the Noel Group Hanger of the Stevens Point Municipal Air Port, 4501 Highway 66.
Tickets are $60 per person and can be purchased at the Boys and Girls Club, 1007 Ellis St., Stevens Point, or online at bgclubpc.org.
More than 600 people turned out for last year’s tasting and Kevin Quevillon, executive director of the Portage County Boys and Girls Club, said he expects a sellout crowd of 800 people to attend this year.
“We really grew last year and this year looks to be even more,” Quevillon said. “If you plan on going better buy your tickets soon.”
Last year the event raised $85,000 for the Boys and Girls Club, up from the $66,000 of the year before. Money is raised through the price of the tickets, a raffle, a silent auction and donations from people attending the event. Items for the raffle and the silent auction are all donated by local businesses.
Quevillon said approximately 10 percent of the club’s yearly operating budget is raised in during this one event.
“It is fantastic to see this generosity in the community; that is always something that continues to surprise me, but in a good way,” said Brittany Melby, director of development and marketing for the Boys and Girls Club.
The evening will entail offerings of more than 100 types of wine, 25 varieties of high end cheese, fruit, bread and oil as well as desserts catered from @1800 and handcrafted beer from Central Waters, O’so Brewery and Stevens Point Brewery.
Items such as Green Bay Packers tickets, a gift basket from Grazies, 18 holes of golf for four at the Wisconsin River Golf Club and a $1,000 cash prize will be raffled off. Raffle tickets can be purchased from now until the time of the drawing. Tickets are one for $5, three for $10 or eight for $20.
Melby said one part of the evening that stands out for her is watching people buy tickets even when they have no interest in the items, but still want to donate to the cause.
“It’s really neat to see, it’s like a whole community effort to jump in and support kids,” Melby said. “I think everyone feels that it is worth putting the money towards it (the Boys and Girls Club) because they are making a difference, even with a small donation.”
In celebration of the 10th anniversary, the directors decided to add a few features to the event, such as a tasting of handcrafted bourbons.
Sippin’ for Bling, a staple feature at every year’s tasting, will happen again this year. Attendees can purchase a ticket for Sippin’ for Bling and have the chance to win a half-carat diamond worth approximately $1,500, donated by Lee Ayers Jewelers.
Everyone who purchases a ticket will gather together, select a glass of wine, toast and drink at the same time. Glued to the bottom of one of the glasses will be a large fake diamond. Whoever selects the glass with the fake diamond wins the real one from Lee Ayers.
“It’s a fun social event, it’s a great place to see people and be seen. But it is also a great cause as well. Who wouldn’t want to have wine and cheese for the Boys and Girls Club?” said Melby.
The event is sponsored in part by News Line 9, Midwest Communications, Rockman’s Catering, The Noel Group, Travel Guard, Delta Dental, and Trig’s and Cellar 70.
All wine at the tasting comes from Trig’s and can be purchased by the bottle at the event. Trig’s will have a booth at the jet hanger and will sell bottles of wine at a discount.
“It is such a cool thing that we are celebrating our 10th anniversary and that we have this event that is so popular among businesses and sponsors and donors,” Quevillon said. “I think the event is something that has become of great value to people, because it is so much fun but also because it is a networking opportunity and a chance to get out after a long winter.”