URI’s Alumni Association Big Chill Weekend, Feb. 13-14

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KINGSTON, R.I. – January 26, 2008 – Time is running out to reserve a spot at the University of Rhode Island Alumni Association’s Big Chill Weekend. With family-friendly and adult activities scheduled for Friday, Feb. 13 and Saturday, Feb. 14, URI alumni and friends can customize an entire weekend of fun and help raise money for student scholarships. This year, Big Chill Weekend combines URI’s traditional Winter Gala and Young Alumni Weekend, bringing alumni and friends of many generations together for celebration, networking, sports events, dinner and dancing. Space is limited and reservations are required by Jan. 30. Get full details and purchase tickets at www.uri.edu/bigchill.

The weekend’s main event is the Alumni Association’s Big Chill Scholarship Evening and Auction, to be held at the Newport Hyatt Regency, which concludes with the chance to bid big on dozens of fabulous live and silent auctions items. Auction items include travel packages such as a one-week stay at Hilton Head’s Sea Pines Resort with golfing options; jewelry including an 18-inch sterling marcasite onyx teardrop necklace and matching chip earrings; and signed sports memorabilia from the Boston Red Sox and Celtics, New York Yankees and others. Rhody Ram fans surely won’t want to miss bidding on several exclusive Rhody sports packages, including the opportunity to join Athletic Director Thorr Bjorn as guests in his private Ryan Center suite for a catered dinner and men’s basketball game. The auction also includes gift baskets, artwork, and much more. Guests can also take a chance on a seven-day Carnival Cruise, valued at $3,590, in a raffle.

Prior to the auction, attendees have two different dinner options. Those who select the “Blue Tie Wine Pairing” will be transported to Newport’s beautiful Rosecliff Mansion for an exquisite five-course sampling of food paired with Gloria’s “Old Vines” limited production, single vineyard wines. The menu, prepared by Fine Catering by Russell Morin, includes such delicacies as port poached cherries with creamy cheese in a golden phyllo purse and Asian pears wrapped in house cured coriander and Szechwan peppercorn gravlax, paired with sparkling Roederer Estate Rose; potato-crusted day-boat scallops with cauliflower crème, toasted pignoli, and tangerine reduction, paired with Gloria’s “Old Vines” Sauvignon Blanc; and grilled petit filet of beef, king oyster mushrooms, roast garlic strata, and veal glace paired with Gloria’s “Old Vines” Cabernet Sauvignon. A basket of Gloria’s “Old Vines” Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Zinfandel, Cabernet, and Roederer will be featured in the silent auction, courtesy of alumnus John Callaghan, Class of 1980. The Blue Tie Wine Pairing costs $200 per ticket.

Back at the Hyatt, URI friends, supporters, alumni and fans who choose the “True Blue Affair,” will enjoy a festive dinner with dancing to the live sounds of Nancy Paolino and the Black Tie Band. Tickets are $80 per person or $65 per person for URI graduates of the last decade and their guest. For those who cannot attend but wish to support student scholarships, donations can be made by contacting the Alumni Office at 401-874-2242.

Earlier in the weekend, the URI Alumni Association will host a variety of low-cost events for the whole family. Friday, Feb. 13 offers networking with other URI supporters at the Mews Tavern in Wakefield or the Coast Guard House in Narragansett, the URI Athletic Hall of Fame Induction Dinner at Quidnessett Country Club in North Kingstown, and a late-evening social gathering at Narragansett’s Coast Guard House with a DJ and cash bar.

Saturday, Feb. 14 offers a chance to experience the URI Kingston campus firsthand, starting with a free campus tour at 9:30 a.m. followed by a delicious brunch at Hope Commons, URI’s newest and nationally recognized eating establishment, at 10:45 a.m. At 11:30 a.m., the women’s basketball team plays against Richmond University, followed by the men’s match against St. Louis University at 2:30 p.m. at the Ryan Center in Kingston.

Ticket prices and times vary by activity. Friends and alumni are advised to make their reservations early at www.uri.edu/bigchill or by calling the Alumni Association at 401-874-2242. The RSVP deadline is January 30, 2009.