Geauga Growth Partnership held our signature fundraiser, HomeGrown Geauga, on Thursday, August 5th at the beautiful Sapphire Creek Winery & Gardens. The sold-out event was a magical evening with the sun, and later stars, glowing on the lawn of Sapphire Creek as guests enjoyed amazing local fare and entertainment.  
 
Geauga Growth Partnership hosts this event each year to raise funds to support our highly successful Youth Workforce Programs, which reach students in nearly every public, private and parochial school in Geauga County as they consider their future career and gain the skills they need to enter the workforce.
The event began with a VIP hour which featured a guided wine and cheese pairing to include wines and cheeses presented by Great Lakes Cheese and Sapphire Creek Winery & Gardens. Then at 6 pm additional supporters, sponsors, and community members joined the event to continue the elegant evening featuring dishes from area restaurants that included a competition for the best dish using locally sourced ingredients, congratulations to Sapphire Creek Winery & Gardens for winning the “People’s Choice” Award with a Luau style pig roast with a corn cake, blackened blue cheese macaroni & cheese, and green apple and honey slaw! Thank you to the following restaurants for creating the marvelous food and giving our guests an incredible culinary experience: Chef Jonathan Bennett, Blazin’ Bills, Brown Barn Tavern, Cibik’s Dairy Island, Element 41, Pizzeria DiLauro, Sapphire Creek Winery & Gardens, Sirna’s Restaurant, University Hospitals Geauga Medical Center, Warren’s Spirited Kitchen, and Welshfield Inn. The guests were also treated to a bourbon tasting by Tom’s Foolery Distillery.
 
Entertainment was provided by: The Acoustic Jazz Trio led by Bryan Thomas, Rick Smith Jr. who stunned the crowd with his magic, Tarot by Vitki who read guests’ Tarot Cards, Mike Lester acoustic musical stylings, and Joy Unspeakable the living statue! In addition, attendees were able to capture the moment by having their photos taken by Heidi Campany.
 
Finally, Scott Mihalic, Auctioneer, led the crowd through an amazing auction experience as bidders raised their paddles for packages such as a Trip to France, a Private Dinner for 8 at Sapphire, and a Meal Prepared by Chef Jonathan Bennett. Winners were also announced for the $5,000 Cash Raffle and the Diamond Pendant Raffle, while the Silent Auction winners were able to take their winnings home to enjoy!
 
The event was an overwhelming success with a sold-out crowd of over 300 attendees enjoying the unbelievable food and wonderful entertainment. Scott did such a superb job of getting the crowd excited and bidding on the auction packages and donating to our organization with the final Call to the Heart!