This experiential event under the autumn stars is Lake Norman's most anticipated annual night out for charity. This year will be an intimate event with no more than 250 tickets available. Ticket holders will enjoy music by "Greenhouse Jazz Ensemble," all-you-can-indulge food and dessert tastings, open bar with wine, liquor and top-shelf bourbon (Buffalo Trace, Sazerac, Maker's Mark, etc.), premium cigars, craft beer from local breweries, spirits tastings from official brand ambassadors, unmatched silent and live auctions, raffles, fire pits, and more.
We've combined the best of years past, from VIP style lounge seating to top shelf bourbon, and included it in this year's ticket price.
Every penny raised enables the Lincoln County Child Advocacy Center ("CAC") to hire therapists specially trained in trauma and abuse, pediatric doctors and nurses specially trained in providing medical assessments for children who are abused, and family advocates who provide support and critical resources to families as the case moves through the justice system. All these services are provided free through the CAC.
"Cigars, Bourbon & Benefactors" is the brainchild of Ross Bulla, immediate past-chair of the Lincoln County Child Advocacy Center. If Oprah can share her favorite things, then Ross saw no reason not to introduce his favorite and rare bourbons and premium, hand-rolled cigars to others in a fun and charitable environment. 2021 marks Ross' 4th year hosting the event, which had 125 attendees who raised $49,000 in 2017; 250 attendees who raised $89,000 in 2018; and over 350 who raised $150,000 in 2019.
Among other things, the federal Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) established a Crime Victims Fund. Criminal fines, forfeited bail bonds, penalty fees, and special assessments that are collected by US Attorney’s Offices, US Courts, and the Bureau of Prisons are directed to the Fund. (No taxpayer dollars go toward the fund.) The Crime Victims Fund provides financial assistance to a variety of programs, services, and activities that support and assist victims of crime, including programs serving victims and survivors of child abuse, sexual assault, domestic violence, trafficking, drunk driving, assault, homicide, and other crimes. Funds are awarded to states governments by the US Department of Justice. The Crime Victims Fund is the primary funding source for victim services in all 50 states and six US territories.
In NC, funds are distributed through a Victim Assistance Grant administered by the Governor’s Crime Commission. Part of the Grant is also funded by the federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Many CACs, like ours, are funded through this Grant.
· In Fiscal Year 2020, federal VOCA funding was cut by 25%.
· In Fiscal year 2021, federal VOCA funding was cut by 67%.
This resulted in a reduction of what North Carolina receives, decreasing it from $103 million in 2018 to only $52 million in 2020.
That trickles down to us…
Our share this year was $326,700. Next year, it is only $67,947. Sadly, 78.62% of our CAC’s budget is funded by the Victim Assistance Grant.
Hope Springs Builders
Mike Johnson's Hickory Toyota
Palmetto State Armory
The Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor
Carolina Eye Care
Advanced Family Eye Care
Knox Law Center
The Lake Norman Company
Ingle Builders, Inc.
Micah & Alexia Scott
Del Kingett & Dave Popa
Blake & Shere Loftin
R&P Eudy Construction, Inc.
Heartbeats - A Pregnancy Care Center
Sandra Dunn | Southern Homes of the Carolinas
Glenn Pickersgill | Precision Creations Custom Metal Art
The Meating Place
The "Little Ladies"
Because this is primarily an outdoor event, nearly all smoke drifts skyward making it virtually unnoticeable. (Smoking is not allowed inside.) We'll have plenty of beer, wine, liquor, and soft drinks to satisfy all tastes.
No. Small plates are served at various food and dessert stations, allowing you to wander and experience it all at your own pace. You won't leave hungry, but a late-afternoon snack might be ideal. Guests stand, mingle, and lounge in seating areas but no one has an assigned seat. Feel free to bring your own folding chair for the lawn.
Leave the tie and stilettos at home. Dress stylish, not stuffy. Something you would wear on a first date. Nothing you'd wear to bed, beach, or bleachers. Nice jeans and shorts are welcome. Make certain to dress for the weather and wear sensible shoes (you'll spend time inside, on pavement, and on the lawn).
It is a fundraising event, but when it comes to donating: "all may, some should, none must." Come out and enjoy the evening, while learning about the importance of what the Child Advocacy Center does to prevent child abuse and neglect, and to provide intervention and treatment when children become victims. We'd love for you to come prepared to make a pledge, bid for auction items, and purchase raffle tickets. We accept cash, checks, and credit cards.
If conditions are dry, parking will be located in a grass field on NC-16 Business, just north of the entrance to the SmithStone neighborhood and next door to the venue. If conditions are wet, parking will be located along neighborhood streets or in nearby parking lots. Either way, look for law enforcement officers, who will direct you.
Please feel free to reach out to Ross Bulla directly.