Smithfield VA Events donates over $236,000 for 2023-24 season

Published 5:29 pm Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Smithfield VA Events, the nonprofit organization that hosts the town’s annual Bacon & Bourbon Music Fest, BOB Fest and Wine & Brew Fest, celebrated the end of its 2023-24 season on May 8 at the Smithfield Center by donating $236,485 back to the community.

The three festivals have netted $1.8 million in contributions since 2012.

From early May through August 31 st each year, Smithfield VA Events accepts applications for $5,000 or $10,000 grants from nonprofits that serve or benefit the Smithfield and Isle of Wight County community. For the 2023/24 season, the Board of Directors awarded 11 Benefiting

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Organization Grants totaling $75,000.

Recipients of this year’s $10,000 grants were:

  • 1750 Courthouse
  • Isle of Wight Historical Society
  • Smithfield Rotary Club
  • Smithfield High School Junior ROTC

Recipients of this year’s $5,000 grants were:

  • Sundays at Four
  • Smithfield Little Theater
  • Smithfield Packer Youth Sports
  • Isle of Wight NAACP
  • Virginia Historic Southside Master Naturalists
  • Kiwanis Fishing Clinic of Smithfield
  • The Lions Club of Smithfield

Smithfield VA Events also donates tickets, tables and chalets to local organizations. This season, $15,085 was raised by groups from raffling or auctioning donated items at their own fundraising events.

Special donations totaling $5,275 were made to Smithfield Music, Isle of Wight Rescue, Smithfield Volunteer Fire, the Community Help in Progress (CHIP) program and $8,300 was given to the Town of Smithfield for the Windsor Castle Park fund.

The remaining $132,825 was donated to 53 organizations that volunteer at the festivals or made on behalf of the hours worked by over 100 Individual, Superstar or Board Member volunteers. A total of 8,833 hours were volunteered this season.

The evening also included the recognition of four retired board members: Dave Vermette (2019-2023), Neil Parker (2017-2024), Renee Rountree (2010 – 2021) and Randy Pack (2010-2021).

“Every single one of you contributed your time & talents to this organization as a volunteer, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart,” said Festival Director Gina Ippolito. “Renee, your dedication, and Randy, your leadership as President, for eleven years took the vision that a small group of citizens had and have created something that does so much good for our community.”

Larry Saint, president of Smithfield VA Events, said, “We have not held a full season of festivals

since 2018/19. That is just crazy to think about, but between COVID canceling five fests, and the hurricane in the fall of 2022, it’s been three years since we have held all of them. It was also not only a full season, but a very successful one. We are very proud that it was our second highest year ever in community donations, especially since we are dealing with about a 35% increase in production costs.”

Saint continued recapping the season by saying, “Thanks to the continued support of Smithfield as our Presenting Festival Sponsor, along with our other sponsors and fest attendees made this season great! We would like to also thank TowneBank. They have been a festival sponsor of every fest since 2012, but this season they increased their support as a corporate partner to Smithfield VA Events, as the Presenting Sponsor of our Manor House Dinner Series, and as our Community Enrichment Sponsor. This enabled us to launch our new website, It is a place, that through short videos, we tell the amazing stories of the impacts our contributions have on organizations and the community. I speak for the entire Board when I say, it feels so good to be back to supporting the community, and we look forward to hitting that $2 Million Milestone next season!”

Smithfield VA Events’ stated mission is to bring well organized, first-class events to the town of Smithfield and in doing so, support local nonprofits, charities, civic groups and strengthen the community by benefiting tourism and local business.