story and photos by Ruby Dean
Bost presented its signature fundraiser Grape Escapes “A Vine Affair” on Friday (March 7) and the 12th annual event was held at the Epicenter by Movie Lounge.
Guests had their choice of samplings of more than 350 wines from around the world and food samplings from 13 restaurants and caterers while mingling. The Dave Holland Ensemble provided live entertainment for the guests featuring vocalist Tabetha Graves.
According to Shannon Fawcett, assistant executive director, the hopes for the event was to raise $100,000.
The venue was moved this year to the Epicenter by Movie Lounge.
“Movie Lounge partnered with Bost and only charged a minimal fee. Supporters were happy about the move and were very excited with the venue,” Fawcett said. “We are also very appreciative of our sponsors. … This year, we had $12,000 more in sponsors.”
The popular wine pull was back again this year. Volunteers working the wine pull sold corks with numbers on them for $40 each. At the end of the night, the bottles were given to the winners with the corresponding corks. Wines were priced from $25 to $600.
New to this year’s event was the Sykes-sponsored door prize, a $3,000 John Mays Jewelry shopping spree. All attendees were eligible to win, but the guest had to be present to win. A special live auction was held with auctioneer Tim Dunn at the helm. Bidders had the chance to win a flawless Hearts on Fire diamond pendant, Dallas Cowboy Sky Box tickets and sideline passes for two, a week stay for six to eight guests in a private villa at Barton Creek in Austin, Texas, and other prize packages.
The funds raised from Grape Escapes go directly to fund things the government does not such as maintaining a fleet of more than 55 passenger vans that pick up and take home many of the children and adults we serve that would not otherwise have access to the education and services they receive. The funds also go to provide classroom supplies and facilities maintenance.
Bost serves more than 1,000 individuals with mental, physical and developmental disabilities in 34 counties in Arkansas, but the majority of the individuals we serve are right here in Sebastian and Crawford Counties.