September 03, 2013

Benefit will support Touch of Nature

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Alto Vineyards and Winery is organizing and hosting “Wine with Friends,” a benefit for the people who attend programming at Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Touch of Nature Environmental Center, on Sept. 15.

The benefit is from noon to 6 p.m. in the winery’s new tasting room, located at 8515 Illinois 127 in Alto Pass.  The family event will feature children’s activities, live entertainment and food.  The Free Range Chicks, After Barbed Wire and Ol’ Moose will provide music throughout the afternoon.  Those attending may also participate in wine tastings and will have the opportunity to win a sailboat trip, wine and other prizes in the raffle being held in conjunction with the benefit.

Tickets for the benefit are $15 each and everyone is welcome.  Ticket sales will be at the door only.

Proceeds will benefit children and adults with disabilities as well as others who attend programs and events at Touch of Nature Environmental Center.  Thousands of people from around the United States and beyond participate in camps, programs and events at Touch of Nature each year. 

Touch of Nature, located about eight miles south of Carbondale on Giant City Road, is a nationally recognized leader in providing environmental education, therapeutic recreation and outdoor adventure programs. 

Conceived in 1949 by former SIU President Delyte Morris as an outdoor laboratory supporting SIU’s educational mission, the center is home to Camp Little Giant, the nation’s first University-affiliated residential camp for people with disabilities.  Since it opened in 1951 on a 150-acre plot along Little Grassy Lake, Touch of Nature has grown dramatically and now encompasses 3,100 acres bordered by the Shawnee National Forest, Giant City State Park and the Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge.

For more information about the Wine with Friends benefit or directions to Alto Vineyards, visit or call 618/893-4898.