CRESTVIEW — Sasquatch Zoo’s animals are among beneficiaries of a wine and cheese reception Sunday afternoon on Main Street. The reception, complete with wildlife refuge “animal ambassadors,” is 2-4 p.m. Tickets cost $15 per person or $25 per couple.


CRESTVIEW — Sasquatch Zoo’s animals are among beneficiaries of a wine and cheese reception Sunday afternoon on Main Street. The reception, complete with wildlife refuge “animal ambassadors,” is 2-4 p.m. Tickets cost $15 per person or $25 per couple.



The event benefiting the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge, to be held at Yellow River Winery and Wine Bar, was the brainchild of Jerry Melvin, a former state senator and former Destin city council member, said Yellow River Winery vintner Nathan Boyles, who will host the event with his wife Crystal.



“He is a great supporter of the wildlife refuge,” Nathan Boyles, a county commissioner-elect, said.



The refuge acquired the local Sasquatch Zoo earlier this year. The zoo, situated east of Crestview near Dorcas, is a top field trip destination for schoolchildren and church groups. Its rare white Bengal tigers, Keela and Kota, are favorite attractions.



Tickets include Yellow River’s fruit table wines and other selections, and an assortment of fine cheeses. Finger foods will feature Chef Chris Odom’s tender Peach Albóndigas meatballs in a sauce made of a reduction of Just Peachy, one of Yellow River Winery’s wines, Boyles said. Local guitarist and vocalist Aaron Overton volunteered to perform during the event.



Boyles said he and his wife were glad to host the event.



“We like being involved in the community and this (the refuge) is certainly a good organization and they do a lot of good in the community,” he said. “Their acquisition of the local zoo is going to be good for the refuge and good for Okaloosa County.”



Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge acquired the zoo from owner Debbie Mattox in September. Mattox will continue to run the zoo until the end of the year. It will close for a month of renovations, which will include building animal habitats and a botanical garden and will reopen as part of the refuge. Mattox, who founded the zoo in 1987, will remain with the zoo for several more years as a partner.



 



Want to go?



A wine and cheese reception benefiting the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge, owner of Sasquatch Zoo, runs 2-4 p.m. Oct. 24, at Yellow River Winery and Wine Bar, 212 N. Main St. Tickets cost $15 each; two cost $25. Call 689-8505 for details.