Renee Berg

By Mankato Free Press
Published: November 11, 2021 12:00 am
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The second annual Sips 4 Shelter fundraiser is 1-5 p.m. Saturday and will feature nine purveyors in North Mankato.

All Minnesota-based breweries, wineries and distilleries, the purveyors will set up at the Circle Inn in North Mankato’s parking lot. Last year the event wasn’t held because of COVID-19, and in 2019 it was a field-trip style fundraiser where participants got on buses and went to four wineries and then met up at the end.

Organizers hope to see about 200 people this year. They are eyeing a fundraising total of $10,000 for the 2021 Sips 4 Shelter, with all proceeds going to Partners for Housing’s three homeless shelters in Mankato and St. Peter.

For $75, attendees will get beverage tasting from brewers and vintners, food from The Pelican food truck, live music by the Jeremy Poland Band, all-you-care-to-eat s’mores, a take-home item made by Mankato Craft Co., silent auction, wine wall and games. Or for $35, people can enjoy music, food and unlimited soft drinks.

After the event, attendees can stay for a Dazy Head Mazy reunion concert. Gates open at 6 p.m. and the band will play at 7 p.m. Admission is $15 at the gate, and only $10 for Sips 4 Shelter attendees who want to stay later for the concert.

Coffee, hot chocolate and outdoor games and activities will be available to help keep people warm. There will also be blankets and heaters.

“A lot of people are interested in Minnesota breweries and wineries and they’re also interested in getting together, but staying safe while doing it,” said Kirsten Becker, communications manager with Partners for Housing. “Since it’s an outdoor event, they can see their friends without worrying about being in enclosed spaces.”

Becker said attendees can get a taste of what area breweries, wineries and distilleries have to offer, and research future potential day trips.

Funds raised this year will go toward projects Becker says aren’t glamorous but are necessary, such as replacing crumbling concrete steps, a new roof, and remodeled kitchen and bathroom spaces at the Partners for Housing shelters. Even utility bills are important to pay, with electricity alone totaling $1,000 at the three shelters.

Partners for Housing used to be known as Partners for Affordable Housing but rebranded in 2020. “Our focus is to help people who have been facing homelessness or who are at risk of being homeless,” Becker said.

To become involved with Partners for Housing or to donate, call 507-387-2115 or go online to www.partnersforhousing.org.