Wine in the Pines – a thank you from ICF: Opportunity for community to say thanks, too

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Each year, the Idyllwild Community Fund allocates thousands of dollars to local organizations. The annual Wine in the Pines is both a celebration of this effort and a fundraiser to augment the coffers to increase the aid to the Hill.

The third-annual event is from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday, July 9, at the Rainbow Inn.

The event is free and entertainment is led by emcee Conor O’Farrell. It also includes a silent auction and raffle. Two t’Suite — Nelms McKelvain on piano and Julie Holmes on cello — will soothe the environment during the afternoon with their repertoire from early Baroque through 1950s, 1960s and 1970s standards, Gershwin, Broadway’s finest, country, rock and today’s Top 40. Refreshments, including wine and craft beer, from local brewer Don Put will be available throughout the evening.

The celebration brings the community together to support the mission of providing grants to local nonprofit organizations to help them accomplish critical goals that enhance the quality of life for all our residents.

The Idyllwild School Youth Grantmakers is the principal beneficiary of Wine in the Pines. Youth Grantmakers was originally a program for high schoolers to learn about philanthropy. Five years ago, ICF’s parent organization — The Community Foundation — founded a pilot grant program at Idyllwild School for middle-school students.

Due to its success, the Community Foundation wanted to expand its efforts to other schools, which resulted in less funding available here. ICF uses the proceeds from Wine in the Pines to augment the Youth Grantmakers funding.

“It’s absolutely necessary to sustain the Youth Grantmakers program,” said ICF President Marshall Smith.

The silent auction is the source of the money. This year, some of the items include photo prints, a night at the Idyllwild Grand Lodge, two nights at the Creekstone Inn, season tickets to the Idyllwild Master Chorale performances and Jazz in the Pines tickets, according to Suzanne Avalon, ICF board member and organizer of the event.

“The community has been very cooperative,” she said. “Nobody has turned me down. All are very willing to help. A lot of nonprofits in town would not exist without the Community Fund assistance.”

The Idyllwild Youth Grantmakers consists of local middle-school students who review proposals, conduct site visits and recommend grants for funding as part of a comprehensive, multi-session, afterschool philanthropy program. The initial Youth Grantmakers award was $2,000 in 2012. The maximum allocation has been $4,000 and this spring, they award $3,000 to three separate local groups.

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