MSU BILLINGS FOUNDATION & ALUMNI NEWS—This past May, Montana State University Billings Foundation & Alumni celebrated three decades of the Wine & Food Festival. Since the festival began, the event has raised over $6.8 million.
Marking the 30th anniversary, the festival did not disappoint. The 2022 Wine & Food Festival has raised over $300,000 during the three-day event, boosting the overall total amount to date to $7.1 million. “We are excited to report the 2022 Wine and Food Festival was a great success. Thank you to all who helped support the event; we truly appreciate everyone’s contribution,” said President & CEO of the MSU Billings Foundation & Alumni, Krista Montague. “Thanks to our staff, volunteers, vendors, and generous donors, we will be able to help make a positive impact on MSUB students through scholarships. We hope everyone had a great time and look forward to planning the 2023 event.”
Senior Development Officer Jeanne Moller, who has managed the event since 1994 said, “The 30th Wine & Food Festival was a fantastic celebration of fine wine, delicious food and exceptional fellowship. Our volunteers once again delivered a magical celebration and our guests were extremely supportive and generous with the end result providing assistance for our students.” This was Moller’s final festival, and as she passes on the baton, she adds that it was a great way to note a hallmark year.
The May events featured incredible food, delectable wines, and beautiful décor. The 2022 festival kicked off with three nights of fun-filled events starting with the popular Winemasters Symposium which took place on Thursday, May 12 at the Northern Hotel, followed by the Wine and Food Pairings on Friday, May 13 at MetraPark, highlighting a host of Billings’ local restaurants and an amazing collection of world-class wines. The event wrapped up with the grand gala on Saturday, May 14 with its “Fine Finish,” a spectacular affair that has garnered major support over the years.
The culmination of the events was the appearance of world-renowned Winemaker, Rick Sayre from Rodney Strong Wine Estates in Healdsburg, California. Although no stranger to the event, Sayre captivated guests with his winemaking knowledge from around the world including Sonoma County and Rodney Strong Vineyards. The crowning hour of the Saturday occasion featured the incredible story of tragedy and triumph of MSUB student, Tessa Butt. Her story inspired others to help raise thousands in scholarship funds for MSUB students like herself. “Tessa’s story is inspiring. She has not only beaten the odds to get to where she is today but proved what scholarship dollars can do to impact the life of a student. We are proud that Wine & Food Festival creates significant support for MSUB students like Tessa each year and are so grateful for our supporters and donors who believe in the mission of our university to deliver transformative education which empowers students to succeed,” said Montague.
“I appreciate the generous support our donors give to our students,” said MSUB Chancellor Stefani Hicswa. “Their gifts are truly making a difference.”
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