The Rural Health Initiative (RHI) hosted their 4th Annual Wine & Cheese Tasting signature fundraiser at Crystal Falls Banquet Hall in New London on Friday, April 24th.

This yecrowd 2ar’s event was a total success, surpassing last year’s total by approximately $3,400. Overall, the community’s generosity and support directly contributed to our success of raising a total of $12,225

Doors officially opened at 7:00pm,  and the energetic and social crowd of 160+ individuals flocked from Appleton, Neenah, Black Creek, Shiocton, Hortonville, Iola, New London, Greenville, Waupaca, and other communit
ies to enjoy the fun-filled evening. The event was non-stop fun, filled with endless laughter and mingling, sampling of wines, brews and cheese, and snappin’ a picture in the photobooth with props of choice. The evening concluded at 10:00pm with guests leaving with a banana bunch, complimentary of Kwik Trip – Waupaca, adorned with a tasty recipe to enjoy at home.

Highlight Video [1min, 57 sec] – Watch to see the highlights of the 2015 event.


Wine & Cheese
Attendees openly grazed and mingled while taking their pick of 46 wines, 38 cheeses, 6 Pigeon River Brewing brews,  as well as water and soda. Wine sponsors included Larsen Cooperative and First State Bank, and water and soda was sponsored by Waupaca County Farm Bureau. 10 local cheese distributors combined efforts to provide guests the wide variety of cheeses. Additional major event sponsors included Milk Source and ThedaCare.

Grilled Cheese
grilled cheese group_Greg Hugo KristyEvery year, the Rural Health Initiative collaborates with local dairy or agricultural groups to showcase a featured food item. This year’s selection was GRILLED CHEESE. Outagamie County Dairy Promotions and Dupont Cheese sponsored the grilled cheese station, offering both cash donations and event-night volunteers to make and serve the delicious samples of 3 hand-picked recipes (The Appleton; The Carnegie; The Sophia) from the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board’s Grilled Cheese Academy. Festival Foods of New London and Waupaca County Dairy Promotions also contributed items, and

Event Activities included wine pull, money tree sponsored by Premier Community Bank, 30 silent auction packages, 22 bucket raffle items, and the 2015 Friend of Rural Health Initiative campaign. The Money Tree was the fan favorite with Bret, from Hortonville, taking home the $180 winnings, and the Wine Pull was the close the second.

Entertainment (DJ + Photobooth) was provided by Singin’ Entertainment of Shawano. A casual mix of easy listening tunes supplemented the crowd, and guests were encouraged to “say cheese” and take home a 4-picture filmstrip as a souvenir.

Behind the Scenes

Event Planning Committee
The Event Planning Committee was co-lead by two volunteers from the RHI – Waupaca Steering Committee: Jackie Suehring from Premier Community Bank (Marion) and Brenda Mazemke from Central Wisconsin Electric Cooperative (Rosholt). The two ladies coordinated with the other members of RHI – Waupaca and RHI – Outagamie Steering Committee to secure donations from all around the Fox Valley, and also from Green Bay and Milwaukee. The committees contributed countless hours at monthly meetings to coordinate details, securing donations and items, as well as meeting one week prior to the event to assemble silent auction packages and bucket raffle displays.

Event Night Volunteers consisted of 32 volunteers from local area businesses. Volunteers take their pick at various roles including: wine pourer, greeter, or assisting with silent auction/bucket raffle, or various other tasks.

A big THANK YOU goes out to each and every individual that helped out!

Where Do Proceeds Go?
All money (100%) goes directly back into the Rural Health Initiative to provide Kitchen Wellness to farm families and agribusinesses within the service areas of Outagamie, Waupaca, and Shawano counties.

Kitchen Wellness includes:

  • Preventive Health Screenings (with immediate test results)
  • Health Coaching
  • Referral information

Mark Your Calendars for 2016
The 5th Annual Wine & Cheese Tasting is scheduled for Fri,  April 24th, 2016 at Crystal Falls Banquet Hall in New London, WI.

thank you 3We are truly grateful for your support.
Now it’s out turn to give back!
 If you know of anyone in the agricultural community who could benefit from our services, please contact us. We would love the opportunity to serve them.