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story.lead_photo.caption Cindy Fields shows off bottles from O’Looney’s Wine & Liquor and jewelry boxes from Kendra Scott, among the auction items at the Vine & Dine benefit for the Wildwood Academy of Music and the Arts on Friday. - Photo by John Sykes Jr.

Cindy Hoopman Fields enjoys a nice glass of wine every now and then.

Which makes her a good choice to co-chair (with husband Bob) Wildwood Park for the Arts' 2018 Vine & Dine Reserve Dinner, a benefit for the Wildwood Academy of Music & the Arts. It'll take place at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Chenal Country Club, 10 Chenal Club Road, Little Rock.

"I co-chaired last year," says Fields, who has been on the Wildwood board for two years. "I oversaw the silent auction, and the person who oversees the silent auction is supposed to move up the next year and chair the entire event."

The silent auction is one component of the fundraiser. It'll feature hotel stays, including one with a golf component at the Red Apple Inn in Heber Springs, Fields says; art, including the finishing of a "live" painting by Little Rock artist Barry Thomas, who has pledged the proceeds of its sale; and excursions including a "Broadway in Chicago Experience" (round-trip airfare to the Windy City; two tickets to the show of your choice, possibly including, if you go in midweek, Hamilton; two nights at the Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park; and $150 gift cards toward dinner for two at someplace fancy; and a "Sonoma Wine & Dine Experience" (round-trip airfare for two, three nights at the Hyatt Regency Sonoma in Santa Rosa, Calif., chauffeur service, a private wine tasting and a five-course tasting menu at Valette in Healdsburg, Calif.).

The event will also include a reception, sponsored by Mitchell Williams, featuring hors d'oeuvres and sparking wine, followed by a five-course, plated, sit-down meal, prepared by executive chef Jordan Davis and paired with wines from O'Looney's Wine & Liquor.

And jeweler Kendra Scott is sponsoring a jewelry pull. "We stack up 50 boxes of jewelry, from $60-$200, on a circular table and patrons pay a set amount -- I think it's $60," Fields says, "and each one grabs a box until they're gone."

To qualify for the jewelry pull, those patrons had to have attended a previous fundraising event Aug. 30 at Scott's store in the Promenade at Chenal, which is more or less halfway between the country club and the Wildwood Park for the Arts on Denny Road.

"We did this last year, and it was very popular," Fields says. "They went fast; they were gone in 30 minutes."

The Wildwood Academy of Music & the Arts, which just finished its fifth year, is a summer training program for students age 6-18; it's linked to a summer music festival that features performances by its professional faculty and guest artists from around the world. Wildwood, with support from the Arkansas Arts Council, also partners with five public elementary schools throughout the school year for in-school artistic residencies.

Fields says she joined the Wildwood board in 2016 because "I lived in the Ferndale area, close to Chenal," and fell in love with the place. She'd like to pull more people from the area into the 105-acre park, which includes botanical gardens as well as a 625-seat theater that hosts visual, performing, literary, horticultural and culinary arts programs.

"It's so beautiful, and a lot of people don't realize that," she says, noting that some of the park's neighbors who do are there all the time. "Some of them walk the park every day."

A Memphis native who spent time growing up in Heber Springs and eventually in Little Rock, Fields says she learned early the importance of volunteering from her mother, Norma Hoopman, who helped her recuperate from seven stomach surgeries as a child. She expressed her gratitude for the medical teams through service and donations to St. Jude Children's Hospital in Memphis and Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock.

Five years ago, following her mother's death, Fields was volunteering at Little Rock's Camp Aldersgate, which serves children with medical, physical and developmental disabilities and senior citizens in a summer camp environment. She's no longer involved with that nonprofit.

And like mother, like daughter: Fields' daughter, Madison, now 23 and studying nursing at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, put in 1,000 hours of volunteering while attending Pulaski Academy.

Fields sees the opportunities of service in her day job, too. She's an appreciation marketing coach for SendoutCards, a network marketing company that shows businesses how to appreciate clients and customers through sending out cards and gifts.

'"It's all about giving," she explains. "Sending out a heartfelt card always really gets them."

Tickets for the 2018 Vine & Dine are available online at web.ovationtix.com/trs/pe.c/10325955.

Photo by John Sykes Jr.
The Chenal Country Club hosts the Vine & Dine fundraiser on Friday, for which Cindy Fields is co-chair.

High Profile on 10/28/2018

Print Headline: Extravagant Vine & Dine benefits arts at Wildwood

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