By Rebecca Jones, special to the News-Times
BEAUFORT — Giving is not just about making donations, it is about making a difference. The annual Beaufort Wine and Food Festival, which was first established in 2004, started as a weekend event and was held in the streets of downtown Beaufort. It has since donated over $740,000 for local non-profits. To them, it is all about making a difference in the community.
Brooke Cash and Kristen Prescott are the new co-executive directors. Cash said, “I got involved with this organization last February. The organization was in a state of transition, after postponing its second large-scale event. I had an extensive background in community work and fundraising.” Prescott said, “Our family relocated to Carteret County during the Covid pandemic last summer. I was furloughed from working in the event industry and wanted to see where my skill set would be best suited in the community. Innovative planning and creative thinking have been a key component to revitalizing what Beaufort Wine and Food has been able to accomplish during such a difficult year.”
Beaufort Wine and Food is back with an amazing weekend line-up of events. On Oct. 7-10 they will host the first-ever Sip and Sea Weekend. After witnessing the difficulties that the local hospitality industry and food providers have endured during the uncertain times of Covid-19, they decided to make the events a celebration of all things local to Carteret County. They will be highlighting the wonderful work from our land and sea farmers, local chefs and restaurants, and our own unique Down-East culinary practices- all while sipping great wine.
They could not be more excited about the beneficiaries. After careful consideration, they have selected four community organizations to benefit from the festival efforts.
Dining on the Docks will benefit the Carteret County Public Schools Foundation. Money raised from the evening will be earmarked to fund the resources needed for a tutoring program, targeted to students that have significant gaps in learning due to classroom time missed after Hurricane Florence and during Covid-19.
Sip and Shop will benefit The Maritime Museum in Beaufort. Money raised at the fashion show will be earmarked to help fund a commercial fishing exhibit planned for the museum. This exhibit will enhance the experience of guests visiting the museum as well as raise awareness for the history of our prosperous fishing roots and the food and work stability it has provided to the county.
A Shuckin’ Good Time will benefit the Aquaculture Technology Program at Carteret Community College. The money will directly fund equipment that supports instruction. This program gives valuable skills to support our region’s growing fisheries opportunities. Graduates of the program go on to start oyster farms, make profitable fisheries careers, and obtain jobs that support our local waterways.
Blues, Bubbles, and Brunch will benefit the Broad Street Clinic. Money raised from this event will be earmarked for heart rate monitors the organization desperately needs. These heart rate monitors will allow patients to be monitored by tele-med.