WGVU to host annual wine tasting event

Courtesy Photo / facebook.com
Timothy Eernisse

Courtesy Photo / facebook.com Timothy Eernisse

Julie VerHage

Students and faculty looking for a night of jazz music, gourmet foods and a sampling of domestic beer and wine need look no farther than WGVU’s “Food, Wine, and all that Jazz” event on Friday. Plus the event allows attendees to support the university’s own broadcasting station.

WGVU, a broadcasting service of Grand Valley State University, will host the annual fundraiser from 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Grand Rapids Public Museum.

Each year, WGVU and D&W Fresh Market hosts a premier wine tasting event dating back to 1991 when WGVU hosted its first wine event, then named “Tasteful Selections.” They have seen a steady increase in attendance, growing from 600 to 900 attendees.

Guests will have more than 300 wine selections to choose from, along with 25 tables of select gourmet foods provided by D&W Fresh Market. Jazz music from Deb Alexander & Co. will play during the event, which includes a wine auction and discounts on wines ordered throughout the evening.

Tickets to the event are $50 per person in advance or $60 per person at the door and are non-refundable. Guests must be 21 years or older to attend. The event typically sells out early, so guests are encouraged to reserve their tickets soon.

WGVU works closely with GVSU, partnering on several projects during the year. WGVU has a unique source of funding in comparison with other commercial radio or television stations, and this upcoming event is one example of their fundraising efforts.

“As a 501¬©3 Non-Profit Organization, we have supporters donate to us to keep us going,” said Timothy Eernisse, WGVU’s Development and Marketing manager. “Seventy percent of our revenue comes from individuals financially contributing to WGVU, 9 percent from GVSU, 8 percent from the federal government, 11 percent from business sponsorships and the remainder from grants and other revenue sources.”

Faculty, staff, and students are often found in the studio located in the Meijer Public Broadcast Center on GVSU’s Pew Campus. They also have individuals from five separate departments aiding in the development of the WGVU Engage Committee, which will be a leading resource for WGVU’s Community and Outreach and Engagement.

There are currently 38 student employees at WGVU, along with six student interns and three GVSU Scholarship Recipients. Eernisse brought attention to the various opportunities for students to learn about broadcasting.

“From behind the scenes in radio and television to engineering to marketing and development, we are always looking for volunteers to assist WGVU and to support students in anyway we can,” he said.

Programs run all day, every day on all of WGVU’s channels. The channel focus varies from Laker Athletics to information on international programs around the world. This provides a variety to appeal to a broad audience, as their television broadcast area reaches from Mason County to LaPorte County in Northern Indiana.

Tickets to Food, Wine, and all that Jazz are available by calling 800-442-2771, and more information can be found at wgvu.org. The event is sponsored in part by Edward Jones, Ed Koehn Auto Group, the Grand Rapids Symphony, Northpoint Bank and Opera Grand Rapids.

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