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Annual Uncorked event returns

August 21, 2018

The Odessa Family YMCA will be raising money for their new childcare facility through their annual event Uncorked: A Wine Tasting Experience.

The YMCA staff anticipates about 300 people to participate in the Thursday event throughout the evening. Those that attend will also receive a 9 oz. stemless wine glass souvenir.

Wendy Hilliard, an Odessa Family YMCA group fitness supervisor, said this event is a fun way to get the community together and raise funds for the childcare facility renovations. The facility YMCA acquired was formerly the Compass Academy Charter School building on Pagewood Avenue, a YMCA flyer stated.

“We are one of Odessa’s largest childcare providers and I don’t think a lot of people realize that,” Hilliard said.

She said that in order to meet the community’s needs and adapt to the influx of people moving to the area due to the oil boom, and accommodate parents in emergency situations they needed to expand.

“With all of those influences we are busting at the seams and we just need more space and an opportunity arose that it was too perfect to pass up,” Hilliard said.

She said she plans on seeing a mixture of people from the community attend the fundraiser. Odessa resident, Becky Balerio, said that the purpose of the fundraiser is what attracted her to the event.

“Odessa has gotten more people and we as a community need to come together to help where we can,” Balerio said.

Hilliard said she experienced a bit of nostalgia at this event last year when she stepped foot into Dee’s Bistro and Grill, formerly the location of the Ector County Library and the presidential museum.

“My favorite aerobics instructor actually showed up and I hadn’t seen her in over 30 years, back when I first started [at the YMCA] doing her class, and now here I am teaching,” Hilliard said. It’s a generation thing of everybody coming together across the board.”

“It was so popular last year we knew we had to bring it back,” Odessa Family YMCA CEO Crissy Medina stated in a press release.

The fundraiser will provide both sweet and dry wine to sample and food catered by Dee’s Bistro and Grill, which is included in the ticket price.

“We have some heavy hors d’oeuvres planned, our famous fruit salsa and cinnamon chips and our really famous fried green beans and dill sauce,” Cathi Echols, Dee’s Bistro and Grill co-owner, said.

Echols said this is the bistro’s second year hosting the fundraiser and she is looking forward to seeing new faces in downtown.

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