Michigan Wine Month Challenge Raises $10,000-Plus for Hospitality Workers


The Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association (MRLA) and Michigan Wine Collaborative hosted the #MichiganWineMonthChallenge in May to raise money for The Michigan Hospitality Industry Employee Relief Fund. The public purchased tickets to be entered to win prize packages at Michigan wineries from across the state.

All proceeds from the #MichiganWineMonthChallenge benefited The Michigan Hospitality Employee Relief Fund. The relief fund was created by the Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association to provide grants to the state’s hospitality industry employees who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We owe a tremendous thank you to our partners at the Michigan Wine Collaborative for generating this idea and raising funds for a much-needed resource for Michigan’s hospitality employees,” says Justin Winslow, President and CEO of the MRLA. “It has always been clear that our industry is innovative and resilient, but it’s in these true times of hardship that show just how much our industry and our state can come together for the common good.”

“Our goal with the Wine Month Challenge was to raise awareness for the wine industry in our state that has been greatly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic while also doing some good by raising money to support the hospitality industry’s hardworking employees,” says Brian Lillie, director of hospitality & distribution at Chateau Chantal and a Michigan Wine Collaborative board member. “This partnership with the MRLA did just that.”

Here are the packages and their winning bidders:

  • Package 1:  A Taste of Love, from Loves Winery in Ludington: Gloria Estrada
  • Package 2:  A meal for 6 with the Modales Wines Family: Steve Diller
  • Package 3:  Table of 4 at MAWBY Wines: Mary Ciminskie
  • Package 4:  Seasonal Sipper Club Membership at Amoritas Vineyards: Dawn Polihonki
  • Package 5: 2 Lads Winery, Dinner for 2 and Wine Month Club: Chris Kelsay
  • Package  6: Vintage Garden Wine Dinner at Fenn Valley Vineyards: Wanda VanSingel
  • Package 7: Private Dinner for 8 with the Wine Makers and Owners at St. Julian Winery & Distillery: Lori Revard
  • Package 8: Double Gold Experience for 6 at Left Foot Charley: Donna Egan
  • Package 9: Wine Dinner with Founders at Chateau Chantal Winery: Kristen Simon
  • Package 10: Dine in the Vines with Todd Oosterhouse & Cornel Olivier at Bonobo: Yvonne Allen
  • Package 11: Bike Tour and Vineyard Experience at Shady Lane Winery: Michelle Laninga
  • Package 12:  VIP Tour & Barrel Tasting for 8 with Wine Club Membership at St Julian Winery & Distillery:  Richard Lackey
  • Package 13:  The passion behind our Wine, Winer Experience at Black Star Farms: Michael Palchesko
  • Package 14:  Picnic Lunch for 4 with Wine at Hawthorne Vineyards: Owie Lanctot
  • Package 15:  Wine Dinner for 8 with Winemakers at St. Julian Winery & Distillery: Deelynn Wright

More information for The Michigan Hospitality Industry Employee Relief Fund can be found at mrlaef.org/relief-fund.


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