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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

URI to hold fourth Grapes and Grain Fundraiser to benefit women’s athletics

Media Contact: Dave Lavallee, 401-874-5862

URI’s first lady, Alex and Ani founder to host event at president’s house

KINGSTON, R.I. – May 20, 2013 – Want to spend an evening enjoying fine wines and craft beers with exquisite foods prepared just for the occasion?

Then you should join Lynn Baker-Dooley, the first lady of the University of Rhode Island, Carolyn Rafaelian, designer, founder and creative Director of Alex and Ani, and

Friends of URI Women’s Athletics for An Evening of Grapes & Grain.

Now a “presidential event” in its fourth year, the event will be held Saturday, June 8, from 5 to 8 p.m. on the lawn of URI President David M. Dooley’s house. Tickets are $100 per person, but $50 of the total is tax deductable. For more information or to register for the event visit http://advance.uri.edu/programming/events/athletics/grapesgrain.htm.


There is also an event exclusive allowing individuals to further support URI Women’s Athletics. For an additional $100, they can buy the Grapes Charm Bangle. The bangle represents wisdom-hospitality-fortune, and may bring them the good fortune of winning a basket valued at $1,500, filled with gifts from Alex and Ani, Teas & Javas, and Carolyn’s Sakonnet Vineyards. Only 250 bangles will be sold for the special drawing.

Launched in 2010, Grapes and Grain was designed to raise critical funding for URI women’s athletics. Since arriving on campus, raising awareness and support for women’s athletics has been a priority for Baker-Dooley.

“This year I am pleased to be joined by Carolyn Rafaelian, who is serving as the honorary chair. “Together, with the support of several URI partners, we are working to host the most successful event yet with a goal of raising $100,000.”

Rafaelian, who was presented with an honorary degree during Sunday’s 127th URI commencement, said she is pleased and honored to be playing a leadership role in this year’s event. Carolyn’s Sakonnet Vineyards, Alex and Ani and Teas and Javas are providing lead support.

“From the moment Lynn spoke to me about this event, I knew it was something I wanted to be involved with. I'm all for women helping women realize their goals” Rafaelian said. “Lynn's passion for women's athletics inspired me to help. The event appeals to me on many levels, as one who has several key members of my team who were former college athletes, and as the new owner of Sakonnet Vineyards, it's my pleasure to serve as honorary chair.”

Rowing coach Shelagh Donahoe is grateful for the support of women’s athletics.

“We set high goals for our teams, and every dollar raised helps us to achieve these goals. Lynn Baker-Dooley’s commitment to women’s athletics is awesome. This event is a lot of fun and I am looking forward to June 8th!”

“Last year the money from grapes and grain helped fund an overseas trip to the Henley Women’s Regatta in Henley, England,” Baker-Dooley said. “The trip was a great experience for the women and the racing was fast. This allowed the team to train for an extra month and set us up to have a very successful season.”

South County Hospital Orthopedics Center is a premier sponsor and Nestle Nutrition is a silver sponsor. The Mews Tavern is a team sponsor. Other sponsors include Weedweavers of Wakefield, Coventry Lumber, Gencorp Insurance Group and the Thomas M. Ryan Center.

The evening will include a wide selection of fine wines and specialty beers presented by Wakefield Liquors, along with select foods provided by area businesses: Mariner Grille, Wildwood Catering, Phil’s Restaurant, Meadowbrook Inn, Oscar Food Company, Breachway Grill, SoHo Restaurante, Lurgio Imports Top Shell, Grilled Pizza Crusts, American Mussel, Kabuki and Sweet Althea’s.

Another highlight of the event will be an auction of unique items donated by members of our local community

Pictured above
Carolyn Rafaelian