Nashville, Tenn. (October 28, 2011) – For the seventh year in a row, the Franklin Wine Festival at the Factory in Franklin generated thousands in revenue for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee. The month-long Festival event, which this year included a unique series of Vintner’s Dinners and wine tasting seminars, concluded with a Grand Tasting event on Oct. 21 that attracted wine aficionados of all backgrounds from the Middle Tennessee area and beyond. This year, the Festival accrued a grand total of $135,000 in support of Big Brothers Big Sister of Middle Tennessee.
Hosted by Cool Springs Wines & Spirits and supported by Nissan, the Grand Tasting event on Oct.21 offered more than 350 wines and culinary tastings from the area’s finest restaurants and caterers. The wine experts with Cool Springs Wines & Spirits really outdid themselves this year - festival goers enjoyed delicious vintages rarely found at similar functions, such as Constellation's Estancia, Domaine Serene's Saintsbury Carneros, Rutherford Ranch, Ravenswood Sonoma County Old Vine, Francis Ford Coppola Director's Cut, and Armand di Brignac Champagne. They also enjoyed samplings from several Middle Tennessee area dining staples and caterers, including Stoveworks, Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville, The Melting Pot, Saffire, Chef’s Market & Take Away, and The Cocoa Tree.
The Franklin Wine Festival Grand Tasting event also offered guests the opportunity to participate in both a live and a silent auction and vote for their favorite “King and Queen of the Vines” ruling over the Grand Tasting event. This competition was a philanthropic effort with contestants vying for the crown and tiara by having the highest fund-raising total at the conclusion of the evening. The 2011 King of the Vines is Gary Wynn, a local Realtor and supporter of Big Brothers Big Sisters; and the 2011 Queen of the Vines is Olivia Billingsley, membership director for the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and a volunteer Big Sister with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee. Wynn and Billingsley raised more than $3,500 in their royal quest.
“Events like the Franklin Wine Festival are both a marketing outlet and fund-raising vehicle for Big Brothers Big Sisters,” commented Lowell Perry, Jr. – CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee. “This is the premiere social event of the season for folks in Middle Tennessee to enjoy some amazing wines hand selected by our partners at Cool Springs Wines & Spirits, food from many generous restaurants and caterers, and other opportunities for guests to invest in mentoring children in Middle Tennessee by joining Nissan in supporting this effort. We applaud everyone who contributed to our being able to serve 135 children waiting for a Big Brother or Big Sister right now because of this event’s success.”
Prior to the grand tasting event, Festival participants in the Middle Tennessee area were indulged by a series of preparatory wine and culinary tasting opportunities. The Franklin Wine Festival Vintner’s Dinner series returned this year with all new chef-selected wine dinners from Sperry’s, Stoney River Legendary Steaks, and Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse. Also, as a complement to the vintner’s dinner series, the Festival introduced a variety of wine tasting seminars, including a Wine Tasting 101 seminar at Cool Springs Wines & Spirits, cigar and scotch appreciation seminars at Woody’s Smokes & Brews, and cooking demonstrations at Whole Foods Market in Franklin and Viking Cooking School in The Factory at Franklin.
The funds raised by the Franklin Wine Festival will be used to serve more children with a mentor throughout Middle Tennessee through Big Brothers Big Sisters programs. Funding is used to conduct background checks on volunteers to ensure child safety, and provide ongoing support for children, families and volunteers to build and sustain long-lasting relationships. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee served 2,812 children in 2010 with a mentor.
“This event continues to grow every year, which reinforces what we already know—our neighbors here in Middle Tennessee will generously spend their time and money to support programs like Big Brothers Big Sisters—programs that help people overcome adversity and change their lives for the better,” said event chair Andrea Stilwell. “We’re grateful for the support of our event sponsors, including Nissan and Cool Springs Wines & Spirits, and for the support of the community, which is how Big Brothers Big Sisters is able to recruit volunteers and reach more children. In addition, many thanks go out to all those who worked so hard to make the Festival a success.”
For more information about Big Brothers Big Sisters, visit www.mentorakid.org or call (615) 329-9191.
About Big Brothers Big Sisters
Big Brothers Big Sisters is providing children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever. These improvements help children create better schools, safer neighborhoods, and make healthier choices.
The organization depends on investors to help recruit volunteers and reach more children. Funding is used to conduct background checks on volunteers to ensure child safety, and provide ongoing support for children, families and volunteers to build and sustain long-lasting relationships.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee serves children all across Middle Tennessee in Metro Nashville/Davidson county as well as Williamson, Rutherford, Cheatham, Hickman, Dickson, Robertson, Sumner, and Wilson counties. To better serve children, the agency also has satellite offices in Murfreesboro and Springfield.
For more info, visit www.mentorakid.org or call (615) 329-9191.
2011 Franklin Wine Festival Queen of the Vines Olivia Billingsley and King of the Vines Gary Wynn.
The Queen and King of this event were donated by the participant’s fund-raising totals on behalf of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee, beneficiary of the Franklin Wine Festival.
Hundreds gathered at The Factory in Franklin to raise a glass for Big Brothers Big Sisters during the Franklin Wine Festival last weekend. The event raised $135,000 to support mentoring children throughout Middle Tennessee.
Nashville Photography Club, with permission