Jackson L. Graves Foundation supporters gathered for a Valentine's Day pre-game at the nonprofit organization's 14th annual Ooh! La, la! chocolate and wine pairing benefit Feb. 9 at the Fayetteville Public Library.
The chocolate-laced, wine-soaked evening was presented as a collaboration among the foundation, Phillip Price of Southern Glazers, Chef Justus Moll and Preston Stewart of Terroir Chocolate Onyx Coffee Lab.
The multi-course menu included ancho and cocoa-crusted meatballs; fresh mesclun greens with chocolate-coated bacon lardons, pickled onions, crispy julienne carrots, confit grape tomatoes topped with bleu cheese crumbles; grilled New York strip with cocoa-cremini mushroom sauce Diane, grilled asparagus and coriander garlic roasted potatoes; and dark chocolate chiffon cake with espresso mousse topped with orange creme anglaise. Respective wine pairings were Francis Coppola Diamond Collection extra dry prosecco; Hecht & Bannier Cotes de Provence rose 2017; Lodi Estates cabernet sauvignon 2017; and Sandeman Porto Rounder's Reserve.
Angie and James Graves established the foundation in 2005 in memory of their firstborn son who came into the world in 2004 with a complex medical condition and spent all four months of his life in the NICU at Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock.
Angie shared with the evening's guests that they started the foundation 18 years ago after their NICU experience showed them how unique that situation is for families going through it -- and saw a way they could help those families and support neonatal care.
"We focus on needs, and different places have different needs. Sometimes it's family support, family comfort, things that not everyone's prepared to have at a hospital with a baby. Their capacity is all to the baby, and they can't think about much else, and we try to help with that. There's time when we help the facilities themselves -- all the care, all the things babies need regardless of whether the family is present. We also have a focus on neonatal nurse education, which has always been a core of us because Jack's case was very unique ... So we have a whole arm now, the Audrey Harris Vision that focuses on neonatal education."
The evening's sponsors included Pat O'Brien Ventures; Northwest Medical Center - Willow Creek Women's Hospital; Adventure Subaru; Best Title; Legacy National Bank; New American Funding; 3W Magazine; Citiscapes and Liquor World.
For more event photos -- nwadg.com/photos/society.
Columnist Carin Schoppmeyer can be reached by email at [email protected].
At a Glance
Ooh! La, la!
Who: Jackson L. Graves Foundation
What: The nonprofit organization works to enhance "neonatal intensive care for the sickest of babies" and provide support for their families.
When: Feb. 9
Where: Fayetteville Public Library
Next: Red, White and Baby Blue, late June
Information: (479) 799-9592, (479) 466-8339 or jacksonlgraves.org