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February 24, 2014

Tickets are now available for the Virginia Museum of Natural History's "Grapes & Grains" fundraising gala to be held Saturday, April 26 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the museum.  “Grapes & Grains” features tastings of a wide variety of wines, specialty beers and spirits from some of the most recognized wineries, breweries and meaderies throughout the Commonwealth.  Tickets to the event are currently discounted at $45 per person now through April 1 and are $50 per person April 1-26.  Proceeds from the event will benefit the VMNH Foundation Discovery Fund in support of the museum's programs in research, education, and exhibits.  This year’s gala is sponsored by Bassett Furniture Industries and Memorial Hospital of Martinsville and Henry County.           

Participant’s in this year’s tasting portion of the event include DeVault Family Vineyards, Devil’s Backbone/Lawrence Distributing Company, Foggy Ridge Cider, Hamlet Vineyards, Hickory Hill Vineyards & Winery, Stanburn Winery, LLC, Villa Appalaccia Winery and White Oak Mountain Meadery.  Additionally, a whiskey tasting on the museum’s “Fossil Overlook” will be presented by the museum’s curators, who will explain the geological reasons whiskey from different regions naturally have a unique taste.

"We are excited about the wonderful lineup of wineries, breweries and even a meadery that are participating this year," said Stacey Reed, president of the VMNH Foundation Board of Directors.  "The ‘Grapes & Grains’ gala is the museum’s largest fundraising event of the year and it will allow the museum to continue offering high-quality educational programming, advanced scientific research, and exciting exhibits.  Having these impressive participants will go a long way in helping make that success possible."

In addition to the tastings, the dressy-casual event features heavy hors d'oeuvres donated by local restaurants, clubs and individuals, as well as a silent auction that features items ranging from weekend get-a-ways to locally crafted furniture and artisan pieces.

"The local and regional participation and willingness to help our cause has been wonderful and is very important to the success of this event," said Carolyn Seay, special events manager at VMNH.  "Every business and individual donating to the gala, whether it’s wine, beer, food, or silent auction items, has our sincerest gratitude."

In addition to individual tickets, table sponsorships are available in a variety of price ranges from $750 to $5,000, giving sponsors 10 tickets to the event, among many other benefits.

Tickets to the event are available online, at the museum box office, or by calling 276-634-4162.  Attendees must be 21 or older to attend.

To learn more about the event, including purchasing tickets and table seating, visit

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