Stimulate your mind and social side at URI’s Big Chill Weekend, Feb. 8-10

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KINGSTON, R.I. – January 17, 2013 – Want to have a great night out while stimulating your intellect in one of Rhode Island’s historic buildings?

Then you’ll want to be at the University of Rhode Island’s Big Chill Weekend opening night at the 135-year-old, but completely renovated, Providence Public Library.

The wine tasting and passed hors d‘oeuvres Feb. 8 at the Providence Public Library’s Indoor “Garden” Courtyard is an addition to this year’s Big Chill festivities. Price is $60, and Russell Morin Fine Catering will cater. The menu for the event from 6 to 8 p.m. is bacon-wrapped scallops, smoked chicken empanada, Pacific rim beef skewer, mission fig pizza and grilled Pacific rim vegetables. Join special guest Ann Hood ’78, American novelist and short story writer, in the Indoor “Garden” Courtyard.

“It’s an exciting way to start a great weekend that benefits student scholarships at URI,” said Peter Miniati, honorary co-chair with his wife Sandy Miniati, both of the class of 1985. “I am sure people will marvel at the beautifully restored library while enjoying great wine and food.”

The celebration includes events Friday, February 8 through Sunday, February 10, with the main event, the Blue Tie Wine Pairing, Dinner and Auction, Saturday, Feb. 9 at the Rosecliff Mansion in Newport. Tickets for that event are $250 per person. For a full list of activities, go to

“We know that URI alumni and our URI friends will find something to enjoy because we have such a wide variety of great events,” Sandy Miniati said. “The Blue Tie gala at Rosecliff is our premier event, and it features an exquisite five-course dinner and desserts by Russell Morin Fine Catering and wines from Newport Vineyards and Bellevue Wine and Spirits.

“And after the dinner and the auction we want everyone to join us at the Hotel Viking’s Bellevue Bar for live Jazz,” she said.

If you want to enjoy any of the events at some of Rhode Island’s most beautiful and fun destinations, it’s best to register now at

As always the main event Saturday night, Feb. 9 will feature the Big Chill Auction, with plenty of great prizes and surprises. Among the hot items are a signed Tom Brady jersey, a freshwater pearl necklace, weekend in Vermont, Family Day at Fenway Park and golf at Point Judith Country Club. Some of the fun, quirky items are, a signed novel from URI’s own Ann Hood, and the chance to have a character in your name in her next book, piece of floorboard signed by Celitics great Paul Pierce, paired with two tickets to a Celtics game, two fun trips, one for a Sonoma Valley Wine Experience and the other to St. Kitts.

“Of course this is a fun weekend to celebrate the University, but we can’t forget that it is all about scholarships for students,” Sandy said. “Last year we raised, $60,000 and now our total over the years is $1.4 million. The University and its students do wonderful things, but we must all pitch in to make sure those who study at URI have the opportunities to succeed.”

Other main events of the weekend are:
Friday, Feb. 8

• Craft Beer Tasting, Mews Tavern, 6 to 8 p.m.

• Craft Spirit Tasting, Mews Tavern, 6 to 8 p.m.

• URI Athletic Hall of Fame Dinner, 6 p.m. Quidnessett Country Club.

Saturday, Feb. 9

• Men’s basketball vs. St. Bonaventure, 2 p.m., Ryan Center. Private luncheon at 12:30 p.m. in north concourse, $30, includes game ticket and lunch. If you already have a ticket, enjoy lunch for $15.

Sunday, Feb. 10

URI Department of Athletics celebrates National Girls and Women in Sports Day.

• Pre-game, multi-sport clinic, 12:30 p.m., Mackal Field House, open to all children 12 and under. All participants will receive a certificate of participation, a URI goodie bag and a ticket to the game.

• Women’s basketball vs. Massachusetts, 2 p.m., Ryan Center.