Reservations are being taken for Wine in the Wild, hosted by the Great Bend Zoological Society and presented by Nex-Tech and the City of Great Bend. This fundraiser will take place from 5-8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10, at the Great Bend-Brit Spaugh Zoo.
Making a reservation today would be helpful, because the caterer needs to know how much food to prepare, said Karen Neuforth, president of the Zoological Society. But reservations can also be made in the days to come and the night of the event.
All of the most popular features of the first Wine in the Wild in 2015 are back: wine tasting, heavy hors d’oeuvres, live music and animals.
There are some changes; this year will also feature craft beer tasting, and as guests leave each will receive a souvenir beer glass. Another change is that Wine in the Wild is being held earlier in the evening and earlier in the month. The added daylight should give guests more time to enjoy the animals.
The zookeepers will provide educational talks as they present some of the zoo’s animals. Music will be by the Jay Bennett Little Big Band, directed by Marc Webster.
Guests can snack and sample beverages at stations set up throughout the zoo, or relax at tables set up in the tent. The silent auction in the tent will feature some framed photos and “art” by zoo animals, a number of gift baskets and other donated items, including a guitar and a 10-foot decorative windmill. “Local businesses have been very kind,” Neuforth said.
Another popular feature returning in 2016 is the “Buy It Now” board. This board is full of coupons that seek donations for specific purposes, such as “Feed a tiger for a day” or “Buy an enrichment toy for an animal.”
“All of the proceeds from Wine in the Wild will be used to help improve our zoo,” Neuforth said, adding that is also the mission of the non-profit Zoological Society. For example, the group recently donated money so the zoo could purchase Norbert, a three-banded armadillo. He’s a South American cousin of the larger North American nine-banded armadillo.
Individuals must be at least 21 years old to attend this event. The cost for reservations is $35 for one person, or $60 per couple. Each additional reservation is $30, and those who buy five for $150 will receive a sixth reservation for free. Reservations can be made in person at the Raptor Center in the zoo or at the Great Bend Chamber of Commerce. They may also be made online at gbzoosociety.org.