Big Lick Entertainment’s first event since the pandemic will raise funds for mental health resources


Vinton, Va. (WFXR) — It’s no surprise that this year has been tough on the event and hospitality industry and although many miss events as a source of entertainment, events in the region often provide fundraising for essential services.

Thus, when Big Lick Entertainment’s JD Sutphin called the National Alliance on Mental Illness Roanoke Valley to collaborate on what will be the first event the entertainment company has hosted since February, the answer was yes.

The Woodland Wine and Swine dinner will take place on September 5th from 6 – 10 p.m. A socially-distanced farm-to-table experience will feature smoked meats, southern sides, and desserts served tableside. The event is taking place outdoors, where there will be live music by Low Low Chariot, a cash bar, and wine pairings that are included with ticket purchases.

“We wanted to do something that could be socially distanced and fun but also really raise money for a wonderful nonprofit which is NAMI of Roanoke Valley.”

JD Sutphin, Owner of Big Lick Entertainment

NAMI Roanoke Valley has lost all fundraising events this year due to COVID-19. As a nonprofit that relies heavily on fundraising, this event will help them to continue to provide free mental health services.

“We all know that that the second pandemic to COVID-19 is the mental health pandemic. We are in a mental health crisis right now, people are spiking with anxiety, being overwhelmed, depression from isolation, and we want to make sure that they have what they need and we are a resource.”

Mary Wilson, Secretary National Alliance of Mental Illness Roanoke Valley

Sutphin and Wilson hope this event will be a next step to normalcy and aid in connection.

“Whether we’re connecting people to charities, people to each other, people to other businesses – to have to be distanced from each other for so long and not be able to host anything like this has been really hard. It’s a big emotional toll, it’s a mental toll, so we knew that the very first thing coming back to help someone that helps mental health in our community was a huge priority.”

JD Sutphin, Owner of Big Lick Entertainment

The event’s max capacity is one-hundred guests. It is sure to be a good time for a good cause at Vinton’s magical Woodland Place. For more information on the event or to purchase tickets, click here.

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