ATHENS — With no threat of rain and the sun shining, the Spalding Memorial Library and Tioga Point Museum hosted its 7th annual Wine and Dine + a Brew or Two event on Wednesday with local wineries, breweries and restaurants.
Planning for the annual event begins in February with a committee made up of the library’s board of trustees and members of the museum. “A lot of effort” goes into making the event possible, according to the event coordinators.
“It’s a collaborative effort between the museum and the library. This is a big deal for us, especially for the museum,” said Todd Babcock, president of the Tioga Point Museum and member of the board of trustees of the library.
The event included a Chinese auction, a silent auction, wine and beer tasting as well as numerous food vendors, including Mooney’s Sports Bar & Grill, Yanuzzi’s and O’Briens Inn. The auction items, food and drinks were all donated by participating vendors.
The event usually gets around 300 attendees, according to Janet Gigee, the previous director and a member of the board of trustees of the Spalding Memorial Library. An unofficial count had about 273 attendees for the wine and dine event on Wednesday.
This event is also primarily volunteer-run, as well, with board of trustee and library and museum staff help run the show. But also helping out were Athens Area School District students.
“We reached out to the school district, and they got some students here from the history club and the national honor society to help out because some of the vendors will bring food, but they’re trying to run a business too, so they can’t have some of their staff here to serve food. So, it helps out to have the students and the volunteers to serve the food or even manning the table out front,” Babcock said. “It’s great to have the help from the students, and it’s great to get them involved in the community too and make them part of this. We really appreciate their help coming out and we can’t do it without them.”
The proceeds of the event, mainly from ticket sales, are split between the library and the museum.
“Right now, we’re using it mostly for operating cost and to help update exhibits or buy materials. Some of the things we’re doing is scanning documents that we have in the collection so we can make them publicly available, just trying to protect and preserve what we have,” Babcock said.
Babcock commented the library and museum may create a special project later down the road to build a gazebo or to do more landscaping details with the money made from the event, but for now, what the museum and library make from the event will go towards “keeping the place open.”
Overall, the museum and library are thankful for the outpouring support for the annual event.
“We appreciate the support of the public (and) the businesses, they’ve been tremendously supportive of this,” Babcock said. “We couldn’t do it without all the volunteers and the donors and the people serving food, and the donations and gift certificates.
“Thank you to the community because without them, it wouldn’t happen,” Gigee said. “It wouldn’t matter how much work we did if the community didn’t support us.”