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The first Developmental Services Inc. winter wine festival drew nearly 300 people and raised $1,300. That was in 2009, and the event was held at the Loft in downtown Columbus.
Within two years, the increasing popularity of the event prompted DSI to find a new venue to accommodate the crowd. While waiting for completion of the Commons, the event was held at the Bartholomew County 4-H Fairgrounds in 2011.
Last year’s festival drew 600 people and raised an estimated $16,500 for DSI, which serves more than 1,800 people in 39 counties in Indiana, said Tom Harpring, director of communications for DSI. About 300 of those people live in Bartholomew
On Feb. 23, Columbus-area residents are invited to raise a glass to benefit Developmental Services at the fifth annual D’Vine Winter Wine & Beer Festival from 1 to 7 p.m. at The Commons.
“It’s been a great event for us and has taken off beyond expectations,” Harpring said.
Attendees receive their choice of a commemorative beer or wine glass and may sample wine and beer from more than a dozen local microbreweries and wineries, including Power House Brewing Co. and Simmons Winery. The festival also features a silent auction, food and live entertainment.
Bidding for the silent auction will be from 1 to 5:30 p.m., said Amy Shumaker, director of development for DSI. Items up for auction include
original artwork from the Southern Indiana Center for the Arts, gift certificates, and tickets to area attractions such as museums, Holiday World and an Indianapolis Indians game.
Making their debut at the festival are local singer/songwriter Cari Ray and the classic rock band Shelf Life.
“What I love about organizations like DSI is they bridge the gap of understanding, which is what I think is so wonderful,” Ray said. “They provide the opportunity for these people to get to do what we do every day. DSI helps educate the general public and other businesses about the value of every individual and integrity they deserve.”
Describing her music as Americana-style that runs the gamut from folk to blues, Ray says her alto voice is similar to Sheryl Crow or Bonnie Raitt.
“By putting me together with Shelf Life, it’ll be a good mix,” Ray said.
“We’re all very community-minded,” said Chuck Wills, lead guitarist and singer for Shelf Life. Any opportunity that a nonprofit has to provide information about their cause in front of a large group of people is a great thing, he said.
“Music is a great tool to bring people together,” Wills said.
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