When Marklund's event-planning team reached out to Bob Evanosky to take part in an auction item for a fundraising event, he did not merely say yes. Evanosky, owner of Aspen Lane Wine Company in Aurora, decided he wanted to do as much as he could to help Marklund raise as much as possible in one night.
The event was Marklund's "Angel Songs Soiree" held earlier this fall in Barrington Hills.
More than 200 guests attended, enjoying a strolling dinner, and participating in both silent and live auctions. Marklund is a suburban nonprofit organization that cares for children and adults with profound developmental disabilities.
Evanosky, an accomplished home winemaker, combined his love of making wine with creating a business that would provide a sustainable source of income to a select group of nonprofit organizations, much in the same way as the Newman's Own company founded by actor Paul Newman. Evanosky selected Marklund as one of his nonprofit partners since helping individuals with serious disabilities is a cause near to his heart.
All three of his children were born with rare degenerative condition. Yet through this tragic circumstance, Evanosky and his wife, Sonya, have maintained a positive spirit and are both very passionate about helping others through their winery.
For the "Angel Songs Soiree," Bob not only offered his wine as part of one auction package, but three different packages. He also attended the event in order to serve samplings of his product to guests prior to dinner, and, during the auction, he and Sonya spoke to the audience about their story and their mission.
"There is a purpose to telling our story that evening," Bob said. "We hoped to engage and energize people to support Marklund by purchasing our wines."
The auction packages were a success.
First, he will bring his winery trailer to dispense his Aspen Lane Sangria at a private party/corporate event for 100 guests. Second, he will offer his varietals as part of a "Wine, Dine & Chocolate VIP Experience" for 20 guests, pairing his wines with Guittard Chocolates.
The third auction package was the big one -- "The Wine Lover's Perfect Gift." Guests bid $1,000 each on 26 cases of custom-labeled wine from Aspen Lane.
Bottom line, Aspen Lane's participation helped in netting around $38,000 for Marklund.
It was a great night," he said. "All of these people will get a case of wine with their own custom label on it and, hopefully, serve it to friends and family, which will start an important discussion. By personalizing this offering, the wines will help spread awareness of Marklund."
"We are happy to partner with Bob and the Aspen Lane Wine Co. as they exist to give back to organizations serving children and adults with developmental disabilities," said Heather Graves, Chief Development Officer at Marklund. "Because Marklund is a choice benefactor of every bottle sold through their wine club, and every bottle served at our special events -- it truly is a win-win!"
Learn more about the Aspen Lane partnership with Marklund and other ways to support Marklund by visiting www.marklund.org.
With locations in Bloomingdale, Geneva and Elgin, Marklund is a nonprofit organization that provides residential, therapeutic, vocational, and educational services to children and adults with severe and profound developmental disabilities. Its mission is to make everyday life possible for individuals with profound disabilities.