On Wednesday, September 16 from 6 to 9 p.m. Valhalla Vineyards hosted its first fundraising charity event. The Blue Ridge Autism and Achievement Center was the chosen charity for the first event, which Rob Ferguson, Events Coordinator at Valhalla Vineyards, said they hope to be a monthly or bi-weekly event, catering to different charities each time.
Ferguson said that the idea came about a few months ago, while Valhalla Vineyards was looking for ways to help local charities and boost activity at the vineyards during the week.
“This is a series we are trying to do. We are picking Wednesdays because it’s in the middle of the week and a slow time for us. We plan to have one charity a month or one every other week,” Ferguson said. “We know everyone is struggling.”
Valhalla decided to open their doors to local charities and offer wine tastings for $10. Those who attend are allowed to bring their own meal and have dinner overlooking the mountains. Ferguson said that a percentage goes to the charity, 25 percent for 60 people and 30 percent for 70 people.
During the Blue Ridge Autism and Achievement Center’s fundraiser, music was played and participants were included in a raffle to win a photo and a pair of wine glasses and a bottle of Valhalla wine.
Angie Leonard, Executive Director of the Blue Ridge Autism and Achievement Center, said that Valhalla Vineyards contacted them about the fundraiser.
“It’s a focal on what Valhalla is doing for the community,” she said.
Leonard said that the center is a non-profit organization that serves kids with unique and learning challenges in the Roanoke Valley and Lexington. She also said that the money made during the fundraiser will go into their general fund.
“There are so many charities. They aren’t huge fundraisers but small things add up,” Ferguson said.