Every year, FIM hosts an elegant evening of wining and dining in support of a very special cause. On November 10, the annual Wine Dinner returned to FIM Dort Music Center in style, with new culinary delights, a refined wine tasting, and some of the largest proceeds to date, which will directly support the Music Around Town Program.
Carolyn Stubbs, Chair of the committee who organized the sold-out event, has been part of the planning committee since the inception of the Wine Dinner in 2006. “It is a wonderful and fun event,” says Stubbs. “It’s always interesting to see what choices the chef and sommelier will come up with.”

Each course of the carefully curated meal is expertly paired with an appropriate wine by Michael Cregar, a Certified Sommelier. Cregar, who has participated in the Wine Dinner since 2014, and Executive Chef Nick Neff, new to the event this year, worked together with the committee to create an exquisite menu featuring wines from the Pacific Northwest.

“I thought [the event] was a great success,” says Cregar, one of the founding partners of Woodberry Wine. “This year featured Oregon and Washington wines and the menu and wine pairings were great. I look forward to bringing new and exciting ideas each year!”

It wasn’t just the wines that created a buzz this year, though. Guests were particularly pleased with Chef Neff, who recently launched his company, Bon Vivant Catering. “The food was just outstanding. We had lots of compliments,” says Stubbs of the new cuisinier.

Cregar adds that he hopes to see Cheff Nick back at the event next year. “[He] executed a great evening of culinary adventure, and his service staff was flawless,” he says.

Of course, planning an impactful event takes a significant time investment. The committee begins meeting in Spring to plan for the dinner that takes place in November each year. From theme and décor to “research and development” in the form of wine and food tastings to design the perfect menu, the committee is dedicated to creating an attractive event that will raise significant funds for FIM. “The whole committee worked very hard making sure that people knew about the dinner, and everyone helped provide really wonderful auction items,” Stubbs says.

The silent auction consisted of a variety of fine wines and cultural experiences, and raised record-setting proceeds

this year. Those funds will directly benefit the Music Around Town (MAT) program, which produces free and low-cost performances throughout the community.

“Music Around Town speaks to a lot of the members,” Stubbs says of the committee’s choice to raise funds in support of the program. Formerly known as Music in the Parks, MAT offers music, dance and theatre in public venues around the greater Flint area. “It’s a wonderful way to get directly into the community, to spread the word about what happens at FIM, and share wonderful music with people,” Stubbs says.

This isn’t the first time Stubbs has chaired this committee, and she’s not yet sure if it will be the last, but overall, she says she had a lot of fun in the role this year. “Everyone had good ideas and worked very well together. And we had wonderful support from FIM through our liaison, Marget [Gusumano]. She is fun and easy to work with,” says Stubbs of her committee experience. “We just want everyone to know how fun this event is every year, and we hope people will reserve room for Wine Dinner on their calendars next November.”

Platinum Sponsors

Dr. Cathy O. Blight &
Mr. Edward Davison

Gold Sponsors
Ms. Carolyn Stubbs &
Ms. Susan Schneberger
Keith & Kimberly Whitmore

Bronze Sponsor
Dr. Donna Fry

Friend Sponsor
Mr. & Mrs. Bernard McAra