Barbecue and bluegrass. Chili and country.
When it comes to raising money for upgrades to Roeland Park’s R Park, pairing a cuisine with a musical genre has proved to be a hit.
Next on tap for the Citizens Fundraising Initiative for R Park is a liquid variation on the theme. On March 25, the group will host its first-ever Spring Wine Fling — with classical the music of choice.
“We’ve lived in Roeland Park for more than 40 years, and this is the first time I can remember something focused around wine,” said Gretchen Davis, an organizer.
The event, to be held from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Roeland Park Community Center, will raise funds to build three shelters at R Park, which sits on 5.4 acres at 5535 Juniper Drive, site of the former Roeland Park Elementary School.
More than 30 different wines will be served by five Kansas wineries: Aubrey Vineyards, Holy-Field Vineyard & Winery, Rowe Ridge Vineyard & Winery, White Tail Run Winery & Vineyard and Wyldewood Cellars Winery.
Houlihan’s, Nothing Bundt Cakes and Sweet Ideas will serve food, Mission’s BP gas station will provide soda and water and 3Cups Media will give out wine glasses.
The music will be performed by Jeremy Martin’s Cello and Fellows, which features a string quartet and a singer.
Thanks to the generosity of the event’s sponsors, 100 percent of the money raised will go towards construction of the shelters, which will likely cost about $150,000, Davis said. Two small shelters over existing picnic tables and one medium-sized shelter are slated to be built.
The two food-and-music fundraisers thus far have been well received, and Davis expects more success with wine added to the mix.
“People have a good time, and they leave feeling good about living in Roeland Park and about making a change for our city,” Davis said.
Since its founding in 2014, the Citizens Fundraising Initiative for R Park has raised $120,000 for the park upgrades.
In February, the Roeland Park City Council approved a master plan for a series of upgrades to the park. In addition to the shelters, upgrades could include restrooms, a sidewalk, art spaces, tree plantings, new tennis courts and the paving of gravel paths.
Tickets for the Spring Wine Fling are $35 in advance and $40 at the door. To buy tickets or for more information, visit http://www.myrpark.org/events/spring-wine-fling.