In 1994, Kyle and Lisa Rayl organized a small, charity beer and wine tasting that drew in 100 people and raised $1,400 – barely enough to cover the event’s expenses.
They donated the $1,400 to Bona Vista and covered the expenses themselves.
Kyle Rayl said he envisioned growing the event every year and someday donating $25,000 to the charitable organization that works with both adults and children to improve their lives. He never once imagined being able to give Bona Vista twice that much.
That’s the goal this year, though.
He said he wants to raise $50,000 on Saturday, the 20th anniversary of Soupley’s Greatest Spectacle in Tasting.
Brittnee Burton, director of development and public relations for Bona Vista, said that’s a real possibility, too.
Last year the event brought in $47,000, and with 42 sponsors this year, the event is $5,000 ahead of where organizers expected to be, she said.
“We’re hoping to push it up over that this year,” she said. “We love this event. It’s our favorite. It’s our biggest fundraiser.”
It raises two or three times as much as any of Bona Vista’s other fundraisers, making it a critical piece of the organization’s funding.
To meet its goal, the event has to draw at least 800 people out to the Bona Vista grounds to feast on food from local restaurants and sip wines and craft beers provided by Soupley’s and its suppliers.
Burton said organizers work hard to keep the event fresh to those people who look forward to coming out each year. How do they do that, though?
“Here is how,” she said. “Food vendors change each year, new drinks are introduced, and we have one of the biggest silent auctions in Central Indiana with different and exciting donations from the community each year. This year for the first time we have Mike Milligan and Steam Shovel as live entertainment.”