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Sturgeon Bay: Wine sales aid Skatepark Initiative

6:28 AM, Jun. 12, 2013  |  Comments
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How does wine from California help build a skatepark in Sturgeon Bay? Enter John Verbeten.

Verbeten - the local rep for vintner Kenny Likitprakong's Banyan, Folk Machine and Hobo label wines - was retrieving his car at Young Automotive in Sturgeon Bay when he overheard a conversation between Matt Young and Laurel Hauser, co-chairs of the Sturgeon Bay Skatepark Initiative.

He didn't have to hear much of their enthusiasm before he quietly interjected, "I know a skateboarder in California who makes wine. He might be willing to help the project."

A few phone calls later, Verbeten had secured Likitprakong's pledge to donate a portion of every bottle of his wine sold in Door County during June, July and August, to the Sturgeon Bay Skatepark. John Verbeten and his wife, Pamela Murphy, decided to match Likitprakong's contribution and "Wine for the Skatepark" was born.

Verbeten began enlisting restaurants and wine shops to participate in the promotion while the Sturgeon Bay Skatepark Initiative sought pledges from individuals and families. According to Hauser, the response was great and the number continues to grow.

"When we add up all the pledges, every bottle of Banyan, Folk Machine and Hobo wine sold raises over $6 for the skatepark," Hauser said. "It's an easy way to help a good project. If you're having dinner out, order a bottle. Or, pick up a bottle for a hostess gift."

Likitprakong's wines are available at 23 restaurants and retailers around the county from Sturgeon Bay to Gills Rock. Madison Avenue Wine Shop in Sturgeon Bay will be hosting a tasting of Likitprakong's wines from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Verbeten and others from the Sturgeon Bay Skatepark Initiative will be on hand to answer questions.

"Wine for the Skatepark" posters identify participating establishments, and an updated list is available at www.sbskate.org.

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