Dancing is back at URI’s Big Chill Weekend

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Top fundraiser for student scholarships is weekend extravaganza

KINGSTON, R.I. – February 19, 2015 – Get your dancing shoes out of the closet because this year dancing is back at the University of Rhode Island’s Big Chill Weekend.

Dancing will be a feature of the Blue Tie Wine Pairing Dinner and Silent Auction Saturday, March 7 from 6 p.m. to midnight at the Providence Public Library.

The Blue Tie event is the signature event of the Big Chill Weekend, which runs from March 5 through 8 and is the University’s top fundraiser for student scholarships. Guests will enjoy dinner and dessert by Russell Morin Fine Catering and a selection of wines from Newport Vineyards. The program will also feature dancing to the live music of Brass Attack. The cost is $250 or $225 for dues-paying members of the URI Alumni Association.

NBC 10’s Gene Valicenti will be the guest auctioneer and the Bid for a Cause segment. Last year, Bid for a Cause generated $50,000 of the $115,000 of the total raised for scholarships during the Big Chill Weekend. A silent auction preview can be viewed at alumni.uri.edu/bigchill.

Michael Brandmeier, chief executive officer of Toray Plastics America, and his wife, Maryann, are the honorary chairs of this year’s event. Toray has a long history of support for the University, including its backing of last fall’s successful bond campaign that will provide $125 million for new College of Engineering facilities. Longtime supporters of URI’s engineering program, Toray and the Brandmeiers have also been deeply involved with the Big Chill Weekend.

URI Alumni Relations Interim Associate Director Shana Greene said the entire program will be fun and exciting, but it has one major focus, supporting URI student scholarships.

“URI is an important part of our community and the Rhode Island economy, and there is nothing more critical than supporting URI’s talented students,” Greene said. “We have a variety of events, from the formal to the casual, and they are all fun ways to support students and their efforts at the University. We look forward to an exciting four days and invite you to participate.”

For a complete list of events and sponsorship information, go to alumni.uri.edu/bigchill.

The Big Chill begins with a cocktail party Thursday, March 5 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Jacky’s Waterplace and Sushi Bar, Providence. Asian appetizers and a special signature Rhody cocktail will be offered. There is a cash bar.

The cost is $15 and $13.50 for dues-paying members of the Alumni Association.

Friday, March 6 from 6 to 8 p.m. will feature a wine tasting at Newport Vineyards. While sipping fine wines, you’ll enjoy sumptuous appetizers. Cost is $50 and $45 for alumni members.

Also that night, a craft beer and spirit tasting will be held at the Mews Tavern, Wakefield. Sample a wide range of craft beers and spirits while munching on delicious pub fare. Cost is $50 and $45 for alumni members.