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University Relations

University of Central Missouri
Administration 302
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660-543-4640
Fax: 660-543-4943


UCM's THRIVE Program Hosts Annual Wine Fest

Contact: Mike Greife
WARRENSBURG, MO (April 19, 2012 ) – The Third Annual Wine Fest to benefit the UCM THRIVE program is planned for 6-9 p.m. Thursday, April 25, at the White Rose Pavilion, 107 Ming St. in Warrensburg.

Those attending this year’s event will enjoy a selection of heavy hors d'oeuvres from Heroes and a sampling of first class wines from around the world. They also will receive a Riedl wine stem to keep as a commemorative item.

A silent auction will feature more than 50 lots of domestic and imported world wines, along with a variety of unique items. Bidders may choose to compete for possession of UCM athletic memorabilia, a golf and dinner package from Traditions at Pertle Springs, dinner for eight as guests of UCM President Chuck and Kris Ambrose at Selmo Park, the university president’s residence, or the privilege of enjoying a Mules football game from the athletic director’s suite at Audrey J. Walton Stadium.

Jessica Rhodes, THRIVE case manager, and Steve Ciafullo, assistant professor of academic enrichment, are co-chairs of this year’s event. In the past the event has been coordinated by EXCEL, a Kansas City–based organization that provided financial support for the THRIVE program for the first two years.

“EXCEL also developed the idea and provided the leadership for the wine fest, developing it into the event it has become,” Rhodes said. “This year’s event is being coordinated by the THRIVE program staff and UCM faculty who work with the THRIVE students. All proceeds from the event go to the THRIVE Scholarship Fund through the UCM Foundation.” The scholarship fund will provide financial assistance for students who wish to attend the THRIVE program.

For Ciafullo, instructor of UCM’s Valuing Differences course, the THRIVE program has brought students to the UCM campus who have enhanced the college experience for all they meet.

“I’ve had the privilege of teaching them for all three years,” he said. “They have taught us all a great deal about patience and perseverance. This is an opportunity enjoy great food and great wine for a great cause.”

The THRIVE program at the University of Central Missouri is a unique post-secondary college initiative for individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities. In its third year, the first cohort of participants received their university certificate during graduation in May 2012 and the second cohort is set to walk across the stage this May.

Tickets are $35 per person and are available by calling 660-543-8537. A portion of the ticket price may be tax deductible. Please make checks payable to UCM Foundation. All proceeds go to the THRIVE Scholarship Fund.