Kari’s Access Awards Sees Record Support at Annual Wine Tasting Fundraiser

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Attendees enjoyed food and appetizers from several local vendors and businesses. Photo: Olivia Kennah | SweetwaterNOW

ROCK SPRINGS– The Sweetwater County Events Complex was buzzing with kindness last Friday during the 7th annual Kari’s Access Awards Wine & Beer tasting fundraiser. Many local and regional vendors showcased their wine and beer selections alongside food and appetizers provided by local businesses.

Live music was provided once again by jazz band Affirmation while attendees mingled through the silent auction, raffles, games and tasting stations.

Larry Fusselman, father of Kari and founder of KAA spoke during the event and thanked everyone for supporting the cause that promotes “…. helping students achieve success, keeping kids in school, and paying it forward!”

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The 2020 event saw record attendance and support, raising over $52,000 for local youth. All proceeds from the event benefit students enrolled in Sweetwater School District #1 through an endowment fund.

Kari’s Access Awards is an endowment named in honor of Kari Fusselman, a former student of School District #1. Photo: Tonette West

The Kari’s Access Award fund gives School District #1 students access to non-traditional scholarships. These scholarships allow students to participate in outside programs, enhancing learning and personal growth beyond their daily school activities. To date, over 415 non-traditional scholarships have been awarded to local students of all ages.

Students can apply directly or are recommended through friends, teachers and family. The scholarships are then awarded based on a set criteria composed of need, attendance, and academics.

Bob Merriman, Young’s Market Co., and Brittany Soltis discussing the diverse selection of wine being served at one of the tasting stations. Photo: Olivia Kennah | SweetwaterNOW

Kari’s Access Awards receives 100% of their funding from private donations and their annual fundraiser. 

The committee is all-volunteer and includes community members passionate about the future of our local youth. They include: Jessica Maser (Chairperson), Kayci Arnoldi, Art Castillo, Gary Collins, Weston Lamb, Kori Rossetti-Slaugh, Stacee Hanson, and Andrea Tate.

Kari’s Access Awards opens new opportunities to students; bringing out the best in each student one child at a time.

If you would like more information on Kari’s Access Awards, or to ask about how to recommend a student for application, please call Larry Fusselman at 307-350-5267.