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18th Annual Bacchus Wine & Food Festival Raises Over $85,000 for the Virginia Living Museum

Newport News, VA (March 31, 2022) – The Virginia Living Museum hosted the Bacchus Wine & Food Festival for the 18th year on March 18, 2022.  Presented by Old Point National Bank, the fundraiser was attended by more than 600 guests who enjoyed fine wine, delicious food from eighteen local restaurants, and live entertainment. The event raised $85,503 in support of science education, animal welfare, and conservation. The Virginia Living Museum is a Virginia Green Certified Attraction, and the event was a Virginia Green Certified Event. 

The funds raised will further the Virginia Living Museum’s mission to connect people to nature through educational experiences that promote conservation. During the event, the museum galleries were fully open for viewing with wine and food samples intermingled throughout.  Special live Animal Ambassador Encounters brought nature to the forefront with Maxine the opossum making a special appearance. The Divine Reception, a VIP hour paired local delicacies with exclusive tastings of 90+ rated wines.  

“This event is eagerly anticipated by our community every year as a wonderful night to enjoy friends and support a great regional anchor,” explained Sarah Wilson, Development Director at the Virginia Living Museum.  “For those who missed the event, there are so many ways to support the museum today, such as becoming a member and donor.”   

The night’s wide array of entertainment included jazz music from 504 Quartet featuring Anne Perkins during the Divine Reception, and Louis Vangieri, Paul Urban and Friends, and Colonial DJ’s. A silent auction, new 360 photo booth and seasonal special exhibits rounded out the fun.  Participating restaurants included Schlesinger’s Steakhouse, James River Country Club, Smoke BBQ, The GreyGoose, Baker’s Wife Bistro, Mermaid Catering, Indulge Bakery & Bistro, Sinful Treats, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Creative Catering of VA, Cove Tavern, Jimmy Da Greek’s Deli, Chicken Salad Chick, Sweet Dreams Bakery Bar & Bistro, The Neighborhood Harvest, DD214 Smokehouse, Firehouse Coffee 1881, and Chicken Stop Food Truck. Participating breweries included The St. George Brewing Company, Tradition Brewing Company, Oozlefinch Beers & Blending, and Sly Clyde Ciderworks.

“This event was made possible by the overwhelming support of a volunteer event committee and 67 volunteers who return year after year to support the Virginia Living Museum,” pointed out Azzara Oston, Volunteer Coordinator at the Virginia Living Museum.  “Our volunteers support not only our daily operations and excellent guest experiences, but also come together to plan and coordinate large events like this.”  

True to its focus on nature, the Museum recycled over 330 pounds of glass wine bottles during the evening. Glass is 100% recyclable and can be used endlessly to make new glass without losing quality. Recycled glass reduces emissions and consumption of raw materials, extends the life of plant equipment, such as furnaces, and saves energy. Only one-third of glass material is recycled in the United States. 

The evening was generously presented by Old Point National Bank, and supporting sponsors included Priority Chevrolet Newport News, Priority Toyota Hampton, Hampton Roads Orthopaedics Spine & Sports Medicine, Consumer Litigation Associates, Abbitt Realty, Distinctive Event Rentals, M. Price, Republic National, and Jeff’s Flowers Of Course. Divine Reception Sponsors included Waltz Engineered Sales, Inc., Mulkey, Forbes, Reid, & Barton, PLC, and Bell-Key Properties, Inc. Board Host Sponsors were Andrew and Karen Velkey, Jim Burnett of W.M. Jordan Company, Inc., and Ashby Kilgore.

The Virginia Living Museum is a leader in natural living exhibits! Native Virginia mammals, plants, marine life, reptiles, amphibians, and birds are presented and honored for their ability to connect people to nature through educational experiences that promote conservation. An independent 501(c)(3) organization, the Museum is a successful public/private partnership with the City of Newport News and all guests. Accredited by both the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the American Alliance of Museums, the Museum’s high standards are its hallmark, as only fourteen institutions share this designation in the country. It is a certified Virginia Green attraction dedicated to environmentally friendly practices. Located at 524 J. Clyde Morris Blvd., Newport News (I-64, exit 258-A) it is open 9 to 5 daily. Learn more at, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, or call 757-595-1900.

Society Photos

Yolanda Long and Cleon Long, Virginia Living Museum Board of Trustees member. Friday, March 18, 2022. (Photo/Julie Martin)

Bert Winslow and Marilyn Winslow, Dr. Drina Northam, Women’s Executive Healthcare P.C., and Len Bennett, Consumer Litigation Associates, P.C. (Supporting Sponsor), Virginia Living Museum Board of Trustee member.

Marci Redecki and Ken Radecki, Virginia Living Museum Board of Trustees member. Friday, March 18, 2022. (Photo/Julie Martin)

The Honorable Ross Mugler, Virginia Living Museum Board of Trustee member, The Honorable Martha Mugler, and Sharyn Fox at the Virginia Living Museum, Friday, March 18, 2022. (Photo/Julie Martin)

Steve Hussell, Old Point National Bank, Presenting Sponsor, Sandi Hussell, Dave Martin, Sharon Martin (Old Point), Robbie Person, Peter Person, Martha Mugler (Old Point), McKim Williams (Old Point), Joe Witt (Old Point), Ross Mugler, Kathy Witt, Pinkaj Klokkenga (Old Point), Mark Klokkenga, Laura Wright (Old Point), Rebecca Kleinhample, Executive Director of the Virginia Living Museum, Friday, March 18, 2022. (Photo/Julie Martin)

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