Unique bourbon raffle to benefit Springfield Arts Council

Event chairs Bridget Houston and Greg Rogers display raffle tickets and one of the art pieces that will be for auction for the Springfield Arts Council's 44th annual Salute to the Arts Benefit Auction. The auction, which will be done virtually, will feature up to 40 items including vacations, getaways, art and more beginning April 10 through May 1. Proceeds benefit the Arts Council's programs including the Summer Arts Festival. Contributed photo

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Event chairs Bridget Houston and Greg Rogers display raffle tickets and one of the art pieces that will be for auction for the Springfield Arts Council's 44th annual Salute to the Arts Benefit Auction. The auction, which will be done virtually, will feature up to 40 items including vacations, getaways, art and more beginning April 10 through May 1. Proceeds benefit the Arts Council's programs including the Summer Arts Festival. Contributed photo

New fundraiser offers prizes for those who enjoy bourbon, traveling or both.

The Springfield Arts Council (SAC) is allowing the toasts to the new year to continue by raising a glass on a new fundraiser.

The first SAC Great Bourbon Raffle offers a chance to win three big prizes for those who enjoy bourbon, traveling or both. Tickets cost $25 each or five for $100 and the drawing will be the evening of Thursday, Jan. 20; participants don’t need to be present to win.

One of the SAC’s signature annual fundraisers is a November wine tasting, which was canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic. As many people missed it, fundraiser organizers Mark Stephenson and Greg Rogers thought back to a request they frequently got at the tastings – to include a bourbon-tasting table.

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Bourbon and bourbon tastings have gained in popularity recently and as gatherings are still questionable, the answer was to do a raffle with bourbon as the focus. Stephenson had done similar fundraisers and it bloomed from there when he and Rogers went to work.

“Bourbon is so popular right now and we knew we could get three bourbon-themed prizes,” said Stephenson.

The three prizes include a two-night stay in the Bourbon Manor Bed and Breakfast in Bardstown, Kentucky, along with tours of several top distilleries; closer to home is a premium bourbon-tasting for eight at the world-renowned Century Bar in Dayton hosted by owner Joe Head; and five bottles of specially-selected premium bourbon with whisky glasses.

Tickets will be on sale through 6:30 on Thursday and the winners will be drawn at a private event at COhatch that evening and a video will be posted right after the drawing with the announcement.

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Stephenson said the sales have already brought in $10,000 to $12,000, which will go toward various SAC programs. To purchase tickets, call the SAC office at 937-324-2712 or contact any SAC board member.

Stephenson is hopeful the wine tasting event will return this fall and that the bourbon may become a part of that or as a raffle.

“Not everyone likes wine and not everyone likes bourbon, so it’s a possibility. We hope people will support this,” he said.

For more information, go to the SAC website at www.springfieldartscouncil.org.

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