Preserve Communities Makes a Big Impact with 1st Annual Grand Prix Benefit Calcutta

When we heard that MANNA FoodBank had been chosen for The Preserve Communities’ inaugural $25,000 Grand Prix Benefit Calcutta, we were thrilled to learn more!

We soon found out that it is an exciting competition featuring the most talented, graceful horse-and-rider teams from not just across the country, but across the world. We also discovered just how incredible this single event would be for the over 100,000 people we serve with emergency food access every year across Western North Carolina.

Preserve Communities is a conservation development in the Asheville area with two communities – French Broad Crossing and the Preserve at Little Pine. This event was to celebrate the launch of the Equestrian Center at Little Pine.

From the start, it seemed almost too good to be true: Jennifer Buntin and her father, Jack Fisher, reached out to us to start an annual tradition that we now know is probably the hottest ticket to any event in the region. Their vision was clear: a Calcutta and benefit auction, featuring world-class horse and rider teams, competing to benefit MANNA FoodBank.

The event was stellar—a mountain-to-table feast by Chef Brian Sonoskus of Star Diner; fabulous artisan cocktails featuring Troy & Sons Distillery; beer brewed just for the occasion by Mad Co. Brew House; and live music from Melonbelly all contributed to a festive atmosphere.

The gorgeous fall weather set the stage, the 300+ guests arrived, the riders took their places, and the event commenced.

When all was said and done, thanks to the generosity of the auction bidders, enthusiastic riders, the winning team, and the Preserve Communities, this inaugural Calcutta raised over $44,000 for MANNA FoodBank…and we were blown away. Mary Nesbitt, Chief Development Officer for MANNA, was elated knowing that with this support, MANNA will provide the food for another 154,000 meals, working every closer to the more than 14 million meals we expect to distribute in 2017.

It is with much gratitude that we thank everyone that came together to make this event such an incredible success. We hope to see you there next year, when this excellent event comes back around to help give back to the community that we all love.