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Friday October 24th 2014

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Corks ‘N Canvases

Wine, Dine and Bid at Big Brothers Big Sisters Annual Wine Tasting and Art Auction
By Jennie McKeon

It’s not just art for art’s sake.

One of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida’s signature events, Corks ‘N Canvases, will be held Friday, Jan. 28 from 6-9 p.m. at the Pensacola Museum of Art.

Tickets are $50 per person, and the proceeds are put to good use.

“The $50 goes toward mentoring costs,” said Paula Shell, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida, an organization that matches adult volunteers with children aged 6-18 for one-on-one mentoring relationships. “On average, it takes about $1,000 to support a match for a year.”

“One-hundred percent of the proceeds for this event stay here locally in our community, giving Big Brothers and Big Sisters the opportunity to reach more children facing adversity and provide them with caring mentors,” said marketing and special events coordinator Kira Lindquist in an e-mail interview.

Your ticket also entitles you to a night packed with great complimentary food, wine and entertainment. Wine tastings will be hosted by Aragon Wine Market, Wine World Wine Bar and Republic National. Heavy hors d’oeuvres will be provided by Jaco’s Bayfront Bar & Grille, Culinary Productions, Great Southern Restaurant Group and Fraley Deli Provisions. The two floors of the museum will not only be filled with wine and food, but music as well. Joe Occhipinti and his Big Band will entertain guests upstairs while Kathy Lyons will be performing downstairs.

On the art side, you will be able to enjoy a live art demonstration by Joe Hobbs and Ashton Howard, while bidding on and enjoying local artwork. Participating artists in the event include Ashton Howard, Mara Viksnins, Deborah Dunlap, Jeannine Van Reeth, Sharon Coombe, Dr. Morris Eaddy, Scott Novota, Joe Hobbs, Margaret Biggs, Ben Bogan and Kathi Gordon.

The silent auction includes a diverse array of artwork, jewelry, packages and miscellaneous items donated by local artists and businesses ranging from $15-$700. Some of the most coveted items will be a Judith Ripka necklace donated by Beré Jewelers, a Pandora bracelet donated by Elebash’s, glass art by Joe Hobbs and Scott Novota and photos from Historic Pensacola Photos. Packages include a weekend stay at Hotel DeFuniak, gift certificates to restaurants and skin care providers, photo packages from local photographers, and more.

While the event is reaching out to art and wine lovers, it is also meant to introduce the cause to those who may be unfamiliar with Big Brothers Big Sisters. Right now there are 181 children in the area who need a big brother or sister. A critical need is the site-based mentoring program. Tutors are needed to mentor just one hour a week at schools in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.

“We are trying to reach those people who may not be familiar with the organization and want to learn and do more to help our agency and strengthen our community,” Lindquist said.

If you’re looking to buy some art for a good cause, or learn more about Big Brothers Big Sisters, then get your tickets to Corks ‘N Canvases.

“Our goal for the evening is good time for all,” Lindquist said. “We hope people will walk away with a greater understanding of the organization and how beneficial the program is to the community and its future.”

“Big Brothers Big Sisters is about the children,” Shell said. “To do the work we do takes money. Your attendance and financial support will impact a child’s life.”

CORKS ‘N CANVASES
WHEN:  6-9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 28
WHERE: Pensacola Museum of Art, 407 S. Jefferson St.
COST: $50 per person
DETAILS: 433-KIDS or  bbbsnwfl.org/events