THE SOCIAL FRONT

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Art of Wine

The 20th Annual Art of Wine, Arkansas’ premier wine event benefiting arts education programs at Walton Arts Center, was held July 19 and 22. The event kicked off with the Winemaker’s Dinner, which featured a collaborative menu from Chef Elliot Hunt of Atlas the Restaurant and Chef William Mauk of Ella’s Table paired with award-winning and highly rated wines by E&J Gallo. Uncorked!, a wine-tasting event, featured more than 650 wines from around the world and small bites from 30 local restaurants. Lisa Auten and DJ Jonteal provided entertainment. Attendees could also shop Eden’s Flower Truck and Underwoods Fine Jewelers pop-up shops. In total, 1,000 people attended both events, which raised more than $125,000 for arts education. www.waltonartscenter.org

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Ride for a Healthier Tomorrow

Arkansas Children’s Northwest hosted the 2nd annual Ride for a Healthier Tomorrow event throughout the month of June benefiting the hospital and its mission to help kids get better today and healthier tomorrow. The event raised $23,555 total, which was revealed at an in-person celebration with sponsors and participants July 14 at Arvest Ballpark in Springdale. Russ Taylor, the top individual rider, received a bundle created by Gearhead Outfitters for raising more than $1,000. www.archildrens.org

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Summer Social

The Cancer Challenge hosted its Summer Social event June 24 at the Heroncrest Event Center in Springdale. Approximately 450 guests attended the event sponsored by Presenting Sponsor WhyteSpyder. This year, the Cancer Challenge is celebrating its 29th year and is proud of the $14.2 million invested in Northwest Arkansas for cancer care programs and services that provide critical services for people here in our community. The event featured food, drinks, live music by Dial Up, axe throwing and corn hole, and special guest four-time Olympian Chaunte Lowe, brought to guests by Proctor & Gamble. Two annual Cancer Challenge awards were presented at the event. Zach Watts and Marcy Stokes were given Volunteer of the Year awards, and Karrie Tran was awarded the Hidden Hero Award. The silent and live auctions combined raised a total of $52,235 to support local programs and services in Northwest Arkansas. www.cancerchallenge.com

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Red, White & Baby Blue

On June 24, the Jackson Graves Foundation hosted its 18th annual Red, White & Baby Blue event, presented by Collier Drug Stores, at The Garden Room in Fayetteville. Approximately 50 people attended the event featuring live music by Amber and Kevin with special guest Ed Nicolson, a silent auction, and a raffle for 50 collectible sports cards featuring former Razorback athletes. The event also included remarks from founder and President Angie Graves and Executive Director Audre Darling. Nearly $20,000 was raised for the foundation’s projects, including the Audrey Harris Vision Neonatal Conference and the Stabilization Room at Washington Regional. A new partnership with Ronald McDonald House Charities was also announced to support their NICU Essentials Closet in Little Rock. www.jacksongraves.org

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Battle of the Banks

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Arkansas hosted the 5th Annual Battle of the Banks at Topgolf in Rogers on June 22. Hosted by David Erstine and Somer Adams, the event was also sponsored by Birdie sponsors CitiScapes Magazine and Ernst & Young; Par sponsors Signature Bank, Arvest, First Security Bank, City Title & Closing, E & S Properties NWA; and many other area banks as Green sponsors. Board member Tom McDonald was the event's emcee. Teams joined together to battle for a chance to win top golfer, worst golfer or the team spirit award. The top golfer award went to Zach Brown with First Western Bank, worst golfer went to Cheyenne Stone, a Big Sister with the organization, and the most spirit award went to First Security Bank for the 4th year in a row. Through the event and donations, the organization raised $35,000, all of which will stay local to support new Big and Little matches in Northwest Arkansas. www.bbbsnwa.org

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Champions of Literacy

Ozark Literacy Council hosted its Champions of Literacy event at the Fayetteville Public Library on June 8. More than 250 guests gathered to honor the champion, Dr. John L Colbert, for his advocacy within the community, his leadership in Fayetteville Public Schools and his dedication to creating an equitable learning environment for students of diverse backgrounds. The event featured a cocktail hour as well as delicious hor d’oeuvres and a four-course dinner prepared by two-time James Beard Award semifinalist Chef Rafael Rios of Yeyo’s Mexican Grill. In total, the event raised $30,000 to support Ozark Literacy Council’s mission to build a welcoming, inclusive and empowered community through literacy. www.ozarkliteracy.org

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Chefs in the Garden

The Botanical Garden of the Ozarks hosted the 14th Annual Chefs in the Garden at its location in Fayetteville on May 24. Chef Matthew Cooper, of the soon-to-open restaurant Conifer and formerly of The Preacher’s Son in Bentonville, served as honorary chef to a crowd of approximately 900 people. The event featured samples from 15 local restaurants, catering venues and chefs, as well as entertainment by the Ashtyn Barbaree Trio. Chef Marshall Shafkowitz and the team from Brightwater won the People's Choice Best Chef award. Chef Jordan Wright of Wright’s BBQ won both the People’s Choice Best Bite and Chef’s Choice Best of the Best awards. The award for Chef's Choice Most Creative Bite went to Chef Rosalba Aptakin of Berretto. Part of Chef Wright's award included a donation of 10,000 lbs. of protein from Tyson Foods to the NWA Food Bank. The event raised $90,000 for the garden, with $2,225 going to the NWA Food Bank to support 17,500 meals. www.bgozarks.org

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Go Red for Women Expo and Luncheon

The Northwest Arkansas office of the American Heart Association hosted its 16th NWA Go Red for Women Luncheon on May 17 at the Rogers Convention Center. The event drew about 800 people and grossed roughly $550,000 to increase women’s heart health awareness and serve as a catalyst for change to improve the lives of women locally, nationally and globally. The event included free health screenings and a silent auction, as well as a boutique and expo area. The luncheon program celebrated a heart survivor and featured fashion and mommy blogger Ali Manno, best known as the Season Six Bachelorette and from Season 14 of “The Bachelor.” This year’s co-chairs were Paula Ryan, senior director of beauty for Walmart, and Megan Timberlake, senior vice president at Procter & Gamble. The event is nationally sponsored by CVSHealth. Others included Life is Why sponsor The Emerson Group and signature sponsors GSK, Harps Food Stores, Procter & Gamble and WhyteSpyder. nwagored.heart.org

Latte

Panther Gala
Panther Gala

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Panther Gala
Panther Gala

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Panther Gala

On May 14, St. Joseph Catholic School, located in Fayetteville, held its annual Panther Gala at the Fayetteville Town Center with presenting sponsor Nabholz Construction. Father Jason Tyler kicked off the evening with a prayer, and approximately 250 guests enjoyed dinner, drinks, dancing, a photo booth, a wine pull and entertainment by DJ Brock. The evening also included both a silent and live auction. In total, the event raised more than $100,000 to support the school and its programs. www.sjfayschool.com

Gala for Education and Access
Gala for Education and Access

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Gala for Education and Access
Gala for Education and Access

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Gala for Education and Access

TheatreSquared hosted its annual Gala for Education and Access on May 12 at the Fayetteville Public Library. The event featured an outdoor cocktail hour with live music by Funk Factory. Guests enjoyed a three-course dinner by Chef Matthew Cooper of The Preacher’s Son and a performance by Tony Award-winner Santino Fontana throughout the evening. More than 450 people were in attendance. Guests honored Esther Silver-Parker with the Arts Advocate Award for her dedication to arts and education, Margaret and Dick Rutherford were presented the Cornerstone Award for their leadership and commitment to theater, and the Arts Educator Award went to Spencer Sutterfield of Parkview Arts and Science Magnet High School. In total, the event raised more than $200,000. This support will allow T2 to reach 20,000 students and teachers this year and support ticket access programs across Arkansas. www.theatre2.org

Mini Derby
Mini Derby

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Mini Derby
Mini Derby

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Mini Derby

The 10th Annual Mini Derby hosted by Equestrian Bridges gathered more 400 attendees May 7. The event featured music by Boom Kinetic, live miniature horse racing, mint juleps, open bar, best-dressed contests, raffle drawings, silent auction and a Kentucky Derby watch party on a huge screen. The event raised more than $50,000 for the Rogers-based nonprofit — all proceeds went directly to scholarships to help children and families in Northwest Arkansas through Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies. The organization is still campaigning to raise funds as they develop the future Wellness & Riding Center in Lowell, minutes off the interstate on more than 100 acres of land that has been donated to the organization by Johnnie and Johnelle Hunt Family. www.equestrianbridges.org

Pawject Runway
Pawject Runway

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Pawject Runway
Pawject Runway

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Pawject Runway

On May 6, The Animal League of Washington County hosted its first-ever Pawject Runway at the Fayetteville Public Library Event Center. The event included dinner, drinks, a silent auction and live music by Red Ambition. Approximately 350 guests enjoyed a fashion show by local boutiques with rescue dogs strutting down the runway. The event raised more than $50,000 for animals in need in Washington County, with a portion of the proceeds helping to fund efforts supporting animals in Ukraine. www.animalleagueofwashingtoncounty.org

UnGala FUNraiser
UnGala FUNraiser

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UnGala FUNraiser
UnGala FUNraiser

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UnGala FUNraiser

Northwest Arkansas’ most outrageous fundraiser, the Scott Family Amazeum’s UnGala FUNraiser presented by Nabholz Construction, returned to the Amazeum in Bentonville on May 6. The museum welcomed more than 250 ticketholders from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. for activities inside and outside the venue. Tom Ward, executive vice president and chief ecommerce officer for Walmart U.S., was this year’s honorary chairperson. The event featured a one-acre Playscape with one-of-a-kind activations, as well as the debut of POP!, a music and dance installation created by Gentilhomme. More than $85,000 was raised to support Amazeum accessibility initiatives. www.amazeum.org

One Haute Night
One Haute Night

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One Haute Night
One Haute Night

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One Haute Night

On May 5, the annual Beach Bingo Bash and the Haute Trash Couture Fashion Show fundraising events were combined into One Haute Night at the Fayetteville Public Library. Approximately 265 guests attended the event, supporting the Elizabeth Richardson Center and its mission to enhance the lives of individuals with disabilities, featuring a beach-themed night with live music by the Rachel B Band, a cocktail hour, a silent auction, delicious savory and sweet hors d’oeuvres, bingo games with prizes valued over $150 a piece, and a fashion show to end the evening. The event raised more than $55,000 benefiting the center. www.ercinc.org

Wine Dinner
Wine Dinner

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Wine Dinner
Wine Dinner

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Wine Dinner

The Jones Center’s Sassafras Wine Dinner returned in person May 5 at Sassafras Springs Vineyard and Winery in Springdale. Honorary co-hosts Gene and Cheryl Long, owners of Sassafras, opened up their beautiful venue to 120 donors and guests of The Jones Center. Jon and Melody Richard served as the evening’s event co-chairs.  Spectrum Brands served as this year’s Signature Sponsor. The evening included a special four-course dinner, featuring a braised short rib, presented by Chef Case Dighero of Edible Culture, with Derek Kilpatrick of Sassafras Springs providing wine pairings with each course. The Jones Center CEO Terri Trotter, Scott Jordan of Civitas Inc. and Marlon Blackwell of Marlon Blackwell Architects shared future programming plans and the latest renderings of the 54-acre Jones Campus Vision Plan. Nearly $70,000 was raised to support summer programming for families at The Jones Center.www.thejonescenter.net