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Wine & Cheese Tasting Benefits Rural Health Initiative in Outagamie, Waupaca County

4th Annual Event on April 24 at Crystal Falls Banquet Hall

The Rural Health Initiative in Outagamie and Waupaca Counties are hosting the 4th Annual Wine & Cheese Tasting on Fri., April 24 to raise funds and awareness for the organization, which improves the health of area farmers by bringing healthcare directly to them.

The event will be held from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Crystal Falls Banquet Hall in New London and feature 46 varieties of wine, 38 kinds of cheese, and six local brews. The Wine & Cheese Tasting also includes a wine pull, silent auction, and plinko.

All funds raised benefit the Rural Health Initiative in Outagamie and Waupaca counties. As part of the program, a medical professional visits area farmers at their home and conducts a preventative health screening that provides immediate results. Farmers and their families can also receive health coaching and referral information, if necessary, to local health practitioners. The confidential program is provided free-of-charge.

The cost for the Wine & Cheese Tasting is $25 in advance or $30 at the door. Open-seating sponsorships are also available for people and businesses who buy at least eight tickets. In return, the sponsor’s name will be listed on the event’s table tents. For more information or to buy tickets, please contact

Shaya Hintz, program manager, at shaya@rhiwi.org or call the main office at (715) 524-1488. Tickets are also available online at www.wiruralhealth.org or can be purchased in person at Festival Foods in New London, First State Bank branches in New London, Clintonville, Manawa, Waupaca and Dale or Premier Community Bank branches in Bear Creek, Iola, Waupaca, Manawa, King, Fremont, and Marion.

The Rural Health Initiative started in Shawano County in 2003 and later expanded to Outagamie and Waupaca counties in 2012 and Marathon County in 2014. RHI Executive Director Rhonda Strebel said the initiative brings members of the local business, agriculture, and medical communities together to support farmers. She said many farmers are either underinsured or do not time away from their busy schedules for preventative care. The RHI fills that void by conducting free basic health screenings and offering advice and referrals, Strebel added.

The Rural Health Initiative started in Shawano County when ThedaCare and Shawano Medical Center joined with the county extension service, the county public health department, and local schools, with regional agribusiness collaborative and financial partners to help improve farmers’ access to healthcare. The same model is being used in Marathon County but with Marshfield, Ministry, and Aspirus health systems.