For fiscal year 2016–17, the St. George Wine Club contributed a total of $12,500 in charitable giving to the greater St. George community, an increase of more than $2,500 given by the club during the prior fiscal year.
Due to donations made by club members at each monthly social, the club was able to offer “mini-grants” ranging from $500 to $1,000 to the Kayenta Arts Foundation, the Elks Scholarship Foundation, the DiFiore Center for Arts, and Education and Zion Music Ensembles. Additionally, the club funded a $1,000 visual arts scholarship at Dixie State University’s college of the arts, established five smaller scholarships for DSU art students, and contributed to DSU’s Raging Red Performing Group for a total of $9,500. Another $3,000 was distributed to performing artists at socials throughout the year.
Each month from September through June, the St. George Wine Club gathers at various Washington County venues to socialize and enjoy live entertainment. During the past year, locales included the Kayenta Outdoor Theater, Munson Ranch in Ivins, the Elks Club, the DiFiore Center, and the Eccles Center for the Arts, where DSU President Richard Williams and provost Michael Lacourse were on hand to greet attendees. At each gathering, members share potluck appetizers and their favorite vintages with a requested $10 donation directed toward the event’s performers and the month’s selected charity.
“It’s a really fun, easy way to raise money for great causes,” said St. George Wine Club board member Jane Mankey. “It’s always wonderful to help community members connect with one another, especially those who are new to our area. Many lasting friendships have been created at St. George Wine Club socials.”
Since its founding by Phil Loomis and his wife in 2011 as a casual means for a few friends to gather over alcoholic beverages, the St. George Wine Club’s member rolls have seen steady growth with a current membership of nearly 1,700.
“With the increasing numbers of retirees discovering how wonderful St. George is, we receive requests for information about the club year-round,” said Doug Hamilton, a club administrator. “Quite often, people who are considering a move to this area find us via Google before they’ve even visited St. George. They’re happy to know that there are others here who enjoy good wines and good conversation, and they’re excited to support our goal of raising funds for arts and education.”
The St. George Wine Club is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit social, philanthropic, and educational organization registered under A.R.T.S., Inc.