2018 Wine & Food Festival is ‘huge success for MSU Billings students’

MSU BILLINGS FOUNDATION NEWS—The MSU Billings Foundation celebrates another successful year of its annual Wine and Food Festival and an increase in proceeds, totaling about $335,000 (revised from initial $315,000 calculation 8/15/2018) in net funds raised for the Foundation and MSU Billings student scholarships. The week-long festival, which highlights fine wine and culinary mastery, is the Foundation’s largest fundraising event.

Success started early this year, with half of the 11 festival events selling out the first week tickets became available. Guest chef demonstrations, wine and food tastings, and even a craft brewing symposium drew crowds of food and beverage enthusiasts. The week concluded with two events under the “grand” white tent on the MSU Billings campus, including a social tasting with 14 vendors from Montana and the region.

The sought-after Wine and Food Festival finale brought over 450 people to the gala for live and silent auctions, gourmet food and wine, and philanthropy. The evening kicked off with a $500,000 donation to the Yellowstone Science and Allied Health Building project by Carl and Barbara Ueland, which created an atmosphere of generosity under the tent. The heads or tails game and student scholarships saw the most significant fundraising increases.

Cody Walters, an MSU Billings student double-majoring in psychology and biology, may have had a hand in encouraging bids on student scholarships with his heartfelt testimony of hard work, determination and Yellowjacket pride.

Walters said, “MSUB is a small school that provides unique opportunities for hardworking and motivated students. These scholarships mean more to us than you will ever know.”

Even new MSU Billings Chancellor Dan Edelman and his wife, Sandee, joined in the fun, giving nearly $10,000 toward auction items and scholarships that night.

“This year was a huge success for MSU Billings students,” said Foundation President and CEO Bill Kennedy. “Students benefit when the community supports the MSU Billings Foundation and scholarships.”

Wine and Food Festival organizer Jeanne Moller thanks the many generous sponsors, donors, guests and volunteers who made this year’s event happen. Preparations for the next festival have already begun.

“Over the coming year, nearly 300 volunteers will have a hand in the planning and execution of our 2019 festival, which I know will be bigger and better yet!” said Moller. “We could not do it without everyone coming together in support of MSU Billings and its students.”

To get involved or learn more about Wine and Food Festival, visit winefoodfestival.com or contact Jeanne Moller at (406) 657-1623 or jmoller@msubillings.edu.

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