Conscious party: A Taste of the Vineyard

THE MORE, THE MERRIER: Big Brother Big Sister of Henderson County's outreach coordinator Steve Kirkland, far left, calls the nonprofit's upcoming fundraiser "a combination of an agency event — where we're naming the Big Brother and Big Sister of the Year — and a community social event." Proceeds will support more mentoring for youths, most of whom reside with a single parent or other relative.
THE MORE, THE MERRIER: Big Brother Big Sister of Henderson County's outreach coordinator Steve Kirkland, far left, calls the nonprofit's upcoming fundraiser "a combination of an agency event — where we're naming the Big Brother and Big Sister of the Year — and a community social event." Proceeds will support more mentoring for youths, most of whom reside with a single parent or other relative. Staff photo by Jordan Foltz

WHAT: Dinner and drinks to benefit Big Brother Big Sister of Henderson County

WHERE: Saint Paul Mountain Vineyards

WHEN: Friday, May 19, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

WHY: Continuing a partnership that Saint Paul Mountain Vineyards struck up almost two years ago, the winery (and cidery) will host Big Brothers Big Sisters of Henderson County for A Taste of the Vineyard. The second-year fundraiser includes dinner, beverages by Saint Paul, a live auction and award presentation.

“We’ll be on the back deck of a newly restored historic barn on the property,” says BBBS outreach coordinator Steve Kirkland. “You’re high up, looking down on the orchard. It’s going to be a fantastic setting.”

From there, guests can help themselves to a low country boil, including shrimp, potatoes, corn, sausage, and bread — all made by Great Food for Any Mood. “They fix it in big cookers, put brown paper down on the table and pour all that stuff out on the table,” Kirkland explains, “and people come up and fill a bowl. … It’s fabulous.”

BBBS will also recognize top volunteers and its two Big of the Year Award recipients, who Kirkland says were selected for their longevity and involvement with the program as well as the significant impact they’ve had on their “littles.” These particular mentors have been matched with the same youths for about seven to eight years each. “Both this little brother and little sister are graduating from high school and going on to college this year,” he says. “So [these are] just tremendous success stories.”

Before the night winds down, several high-ticket items will be up for auction, including Carolina Panther and Charlotte Hornet tickets, passes to the Biltmore, season tickets to the Flat Rock Playhouse and a vibrant, autumn-inspired painting by local artist Jonas Gerard.

Proceeds from the event will support the Henderson County chapter of BBBS, which currently serves 75 matches (a big and little) that meet one-on-one in one of two capacities: The community-based program includes enrichment activities like “walks, hikes, plays and things of that nature,” Kirkland says. “And the other program is a school program. … [In that, an elementary school] child comes out of class and does 30 minutes of academic work with the big and then 30 minutes of games, walking outside, talking and friendship exchange. Then — high-five — the child goes back to class, and the volunteer says ‘I’ll see you next week!'”

Visit bbbswnc.org/a-taste-of-the-vineyard for more information or to purchase tickets ($35). Admission includes dinner, one drink and auction participation.

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About Kat McReynolds
Kat studied entrepreneurship and music business at the University of Miami and earned her MBA at Appalachian State University. Follow me @katmAVL

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