Billy Grant Designs Evening of Fine Wines Menu

As the Manchester Community College Foundation gathers donations to help students nourish their minds, donors at the 22nd annual Evening of Fine Wines fundraiser will be tempting their palates with a menu designed by local celebrity chef Billy Grant.The Evening of Fine Wines, the college’s largest and most visible fundraiser, will be held Friday, April 25, from 7 to 10 p.m. (For more on the EoFW event and to hear Billy Grant talk about his relationship with MCC, visit the website).

Grant is pleased to be involved in this year’s event, which coincides with MCC’s 50th birthday celebration.  “I’ve been lucky enough to partner with my brothers and have a couple of restaurants that are popular, so if I can bring a few more guests to the event or get the word out, ultimately we’re going to raise money and help students with scholarships,” he said.

Grant, along with his brothers Tony and Michael, created two sophisticated, celebrated and revered dining establishments in the heart of revitalized West Hartford Center, Restaurant Bricco and Grants Restaurant and Bar. In 2010, Grant opened Bricco Trattoria in Glastonbury to rave reviews. 

The Evening of Fine Wines event directly benefits hundreds of deserving students who need financial assistance to attain their education – students like Josh Albino (class of 2015), a music major and jazz guitarist who is also legally blind and a cancer survivor. Albino plans to attend Hartt School of Music at the University of Hartford to pursue a bachelor’s degree after completing his associate’s degree at MCC.

“Although my low vision has been a challenge, it has not halted or deterred me from growing and pursuing my love and passion for music,” Albino said, adding that beating cancer, too, stands as his greatest and most meaningful achievement.  “It created a drive in me that has been in motion and will not be held back. My financial burden has been lightened significantly by (the generosity of MCC donors) and will allow me to focus on my studies.”

As one of the MCC Foundation’s most recently elected board members, Grant is enthusiastic about working with the students to create the menu because it is not only an educational opportunity for them, but also a benefit to his own business.He is working directly with Colleen Carbone, Delany Quinn and Peter Thompson -- students enrolled in the college’s award-winning culinary program.

“Education is the answer to most of our problems in this country. As I get older and potentially grow, I need these kids to be highly trained, highly motivated,” he said.  “It’s like investing in our business.”


About the MCC Foundation

The Manchester Community College Foundation, Inc. is a private, nonprofit 501(c)3 Connecticut corporation. It is governed by a volunteer board of directors, composed of business and community leaders who serve as advocates for the college and secure support for college priorities. Since 1968, MCC Foundation has supported the college's strategic initiatives via funding for student scholarships, college programs, and equipment.

The MCC Foundation helps build a network of community support and promotes better public understanding of the college, now in its 50th year, as a regional resource. The MCC Foundation gives hundreds of deserving students the opportunity to achieve their academic dreams through the scholarship program, awarding approximately $200,000 to 200 students each year. In addition, the Foundation supports college programs. With this funding, MCC is able to maintain and build its competitive edge.

About MCC

Students of any age who possess the desire to pursue higher education are welcome at Manchester Community College. MCC is proud of its academic excellence, new facilities, flexible schedules, small classes, low tuition and faculty with both academic and “real world” credentials. The college offers over 60 programs, transfer options, financial aid and scholarships, as well as access to baccalaureate degrees through guaranteed admissions programs with several universities. The main, park-like campus, which is easily accessible from I-84, is also the home of Great Path Academy, a middle college high school, serving grades 9-12. The college’s second location, the Manchester Community College Arts and Education Center, opened in downtown Manchester in 2012. In January 2014, MCC was named as one of the nation’s top 150 community colleges, eligible to compete for the 2015 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence and $1 million dollars in prize funds by the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program.

To hear Billy Grant talk about his relationship with MCC, click here.

News Item Posted On: April 16, 2014
For Additional Information Contact: Mike Jordan-Reilly, Public Relations at 860-512-2914