The Girls in the Vineyard, Liquor Commission, award $5K ‘Every Great Woman Starts as a Girl’ scholarship

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From left, from left, JoAnn Actis-Grande, wine and travel writer; Diane Downing, Common Man Family of Restaurants; NHLC Deputy Commissioner Michael Milligan; Kat McDonald, The Girls in the Vineyard Winery; Kaitrin Downey; Nicole Brassard Jordan, NHLC director of marketing, merchandising, warehousing and sales; Lisa Gosselin, NHLC wine marketing specialist; and Christine Zoulias, Perfecta Wine Company.

CONCORD, NH – The Girls in the Vineyard Winery, in partnership with the New Hampshire Liquor Commission (NHLC), awarded Saint Anselm College student Kaitrin Downey with a $5,000 scholarship through the “Every Great Woman Starts as a Girl” New Hampshire scholarship program.

The Girls in the Vineyard Winery created this scholarship to encourage and assist women pursuing higher education. As part of the program, which launched earlier this year, The Girls in the Vineyard Wine was prominently displayed in NH Liquor & Wine Outlets, along with information about the scholarship to raise awareness for this new scholarship opportunity. The Common Man Family of Restaurants also promoted the program in its locations.

The “Every Great Woman Starts as a Girl” scholarship was open to New Hampshire women over the age of 21 who graduated high school at least five years ago. In its inaugural year, the program received nearly 60 applications.

“It was inspiring to hear from so many women determined to continue their education under so many different circumstances,” said Kat McDonald of California-based Art + Farm Wine, which produces The Girls in the Vineyard Wine. “I can’t thank the New Hampshire Liquor Commission enough for its involvement in helping us spread the word. I’m excited to see how this program can grow in the future.”

The scholarship committee, which includes women involved in New Hampshire’s wine industry, selected Wolfeboro resident Kaitrin Downey as the 2018 scholarship recipient. Downey is pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from Saint Anselm College, while raising her 2-year-old son.

“College is unbelievably expensive, and any amount helps when you have other costs to consider,” Downey said. “I’m so thankful to the committee for selecting me, and I hope one day I’m able to pay it forward to someone in my shoes.”

For more information about the program, and to apply for the 2019 scholarship, visit