The first ever Beer and Wine Fest was held Saturday, Aug. 24 with approximately 170 people taking the opportunity to sample from the 60 different beers from 19 different breweries and 20 different wines from five different wineries available.

Organizer Justin Kunsman, who worked the better part of six months to get the event off the ground, said, “I would like to personally thank everyone that made this first event of mine go off without a hitch. From all the monetary sponsorships to raffle/door prizes everything was phenomenal! I couldn’t be happier the way the event took off and went. Thank you to ALL of the volunteers that came to help I truly appreciate everything you all did. We did well enough to do it again next year.”

Kunsman also expressed his gratitude to all the attendees of the event.

Financially, the event did well enough to give $1,000 each to four different organizations in the community. The checks were given out during a lunch meeting of the Bloomer Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, Aug. 29.

School District of Bloomer superintendent Brian Misfeldt was on hand to give a report on the district to chamber members in attendance. He accepted the check from Kunsman for the school lunch program where the money will go to provide hot lunch to students whose parents fall behind on lunch payments so no student has to go without a hot lunch. Parents will still be expected to make their accounts current as soon as possible but in the mean time kids won’t have to go without a hot meal.

The second check was given to the Bloomer Area Aquatic & Recreation Center’s “Swim With Tim” fund. The Swim with Tim fund provides money for swimming lessons and open swimming for students who couldn’t otherwise afford lessons or swimming. Merle Richter the BAARC’s president accepted the check.

The third check went to the Bloomer Police Department’s K9 program. Officer Brandon Poppe and K9 Rocky, who were on hand at the chamber meeting to also report on their work in the community, accepted the check. Rocky has proven invaluable not only for detecting drugs but also for public relations work in the community. Most of Rocky’s recurring expenses, such as food and veterinary bills, are paid through fundraising efforts by the police department and donations from the community.

And lastly, a check was presented to the Blackhawk Education Foundation—accepted by Chris Conard and Kayla Kunsman. The Blackhawk Education Foundation provides school supplies for all of the public school elementary students in Bloomer and plans to also help fund special projects and/or travel for groups and organizations in the school district. Misfeldt, who is also on the board of the Blackhawk foundation gave the example of covering the costs of the Bloomer High School jazz band to visit a recording studio and record a CD. Once the jazz band has a CD it can enter competitions that require a CD. Misfeldt also said money could be used for field trips that district isn’t able to fund for small groups of students.

If you enjoy the first Beer and Wine Fest, or you missed it, you’ll want to mark your calendar and save the date for the second annual Beer and Wine Fest to be held on Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020.