Sips on the Skyline: A Special Part of the Foundation’s History

You never know when history is being made. The Virginia War Memorial Foundation is proud to invite you to be a part of our annual Sips on the Skyline event on Friday, September 22, 2023—Your chance to be a part of history.

The event, sponsored by veteran-owned business TMG, Inc, has grown into a celebration of the VWMF’s mission, of history educators, and of veteran-owned businesses.

Five years ago, amid heavy on-site construction of the C. Kenneth Wright Pavilion, the Board of Directors and staff made a decision: Rather than host a cocktail event at a hotel or other off-site venue, we should make use of the venue space we have available at the Memorial. The idea of Sips on the Skyline was born, combining the serendipitous timing of Virginia Spirits Month with the beautiful view of the James River and the downtown skyline. The event has now been around for over 25% of the Foundation’s history.

As the building was still under construction in 2018 and 2019, the Foundation offered Sips on the Skyline attendees and sponsors an exclusive behind-the-scenes “Hard Hat Tour” of the spaces that were being built. When the 2020 pandemic-related closures forced us to pause all in-person gatherings—a historic event in itself—the Foundation used the opportunity to reexamine the purpose of this well-loved event.

Rather than keeping Sips on the Skyline a primarily revenue building event, we shifted the goals of Sips to become a true celebration of friend of the Memorial. It is truly history happening on the grounds of the Memorial. We made a concerted effort to recruit and invite Veteran-Owned sponsors, distillers, and vendors to the event. We have nine this year. We also have a vendor who shared that his grandfather’s name is on the walls of the Shrine of Memory, making participating in this event particularly meaningful.

We now invite education partners who have participated in the Memorial’s programs throughout the year, free of charge. And, we have celebrated the accomplishments of our veteran artists and volunteers at the event.

At the 2022 Sips on the Skyline, we hosted special guests David Wright and Chuck Creasy, two Vietnam Veterans whose artwork depicting their experiences in Vietnam we featured in our Veterans Art Gallery.

This year, we plan to share exciting details about the newest documentary film, One Week in October, being produced in partnership with Blue Ridge PBS and scheduled to premier next month.

Sips on the Skyline has grown to be much more of a celebration of the vitality of Virginia’s Veteran Community, and a tribute to all who make the Virginia War Memorial a “living memorial” to honor all veterans.