You get to eat, drink and be merry.
They get a chance at an education they may not otherwise be able to afford.
The third-annual Unwined - Sip, Savour & Mingle fundraiser is set for this Saturday (May 4) and serves as a key fundraising initiative benefiting Douglas College students facing financial challenges.
Representing a partnership between Coquitlam Centre, Douglas College and the Coquitlam Foundation, the evening's events include live jazz courtesy of Douglas College students, food offerings from a host of local restaurateurs, and samplings of local beers, wines and coolers.
"You often have to go to [Downtown Vancouver] to get to events, but this one is just right here on your doorstep and it's an amazing deal," said Hazel Postma, the college's associate vice-president of external relations.
"All the local restaurants that are participating are super generous with their portions - it's not like you get a tiny little nibble."
Local foodies can look forward to samplings from Pasta Polo, the Cactus Club, Cobs Bread, Micky's Irish Public House and Orange Julius, among others.
New to this year's event is a concerted effort to match the food vendors alongside the various wine tasting booths to offer complementary choices and pairings.
"So if a particular food focuses on fish, for example, then we would put them near the winery that offers a lot of white wines," Postma said. "So there's a to and fro in between the food samplers and the beverage people."
One fixture that's back from last year's fundraiser is the balloon draw, which will ultimately net the winners a couples' weekend at Sparkling Hill Resort & Spa in Vernon.
The prize includes two nights worth of accommodation, a buffet breakfast, dinners and special welcome cocktails, as well as $300 in spa vouchers and access to the KurSpa and its seven themed rooms.
Now in its third year, the event began as a springboard to help Douglas students, and was conceived of by members from both the Coquitlam and Douglas foundations.
In its first two years, the event raised about $14,000 for the Douglas College Foundation, Postma said.
"Both of us are concerned about education: the Coquitlam Foundation has bursaries for Tri-Cities students, and we have well over 3,500 students from the Tri-Cities who come to the college," Postma said.
"We're always looking for support."
Tickets for Unwined - Sip, Savour & Mingle cost $35 until Friday (May 3), or $40 at the door on the day of the event. Tickets can be ordered by calling 604-777-6168, online at coquitlamcentre. com/unwined or at the guest services outlet in Coquitlam Centre.
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