WINE NOT? UWEC Students Help Wine Club Posse Create Community Support

podcast works with Blugolds on community fundraising and management skills

Carlee Shimek |

A PODCAST FOR THE PEOPLE. The Wine Club Posse has teamed up with a group of UWEC students to increase fundraising efforts and more. (Submitted Photos)
A PODCAST UNCORKED. The Wine Club Posse – (from left) Mary Stevenson, Josh Meeks, and Sara Jones – have teamed up with a group of UW-Eau Claire students to increase fundraising efforts and more. (Submitted photos)

Do you know what’s better than enjoying a glass of wine at home? Listening to a podcast of friends drinking wine and making you laugh.

The Wine Club Posse – Josh Meeks, Mary Stevenson, and Sara Jones – drink wine and discuss topics from weird talents to what crazy thing their kids did that week. The tipsiness and mild swearing add a comedic aspect to the podcast, making it perfect for 18+ audiences (but 21+ if you’re thinking about joining in on the wine).

Though based in North Carolina, the Wine Club Posse has been working with five UW-Eau Claire students on improving their podcast as part of a community leadership project, thanks to Meeks being a proud UWEC alum. He learned about the class from Tori Follett, development officer at the UWEC Foundation. 

The students – Kas Palzkill, Glacier Johnson, Emma Walker, Mikinley Prafke, and Hayden Baughman – have been working on social media management, platform expansion, fundraising, and sponsorship to help the Posse increase their popularity for the purpose of giving back to the community. 


A BOOST FROM BLUGOLDS. Five current UWEC students are helping promote the Wine Club Posse
A BOOST FROM BLUGOLDS. Five current UWEC students are helping promote the Wine Club Posse as part of a community leadership project. (Submitted photo)

When asked about the podcast and creators, Prafke said, “they’re a for-purpose organization that focuses on using their entertainment skills to be a third-party fundraiser for nonprofits.”

“The purpose for us is to help the community and help these organizations that have signed up,” said Walker about the class and podcast group. “You’re always going to have either an environmental aspect or you’ll be donating some of your profits to charities or doing community work if you’re through a business, so I think that it’s building connections and teaching us that as individuals we can do it and work with businesses to make that happen.”

Though still new, Meeks said the Posse hopes to generate fundraising efforts or charitable events and drives to donate to nonprofit organizations. Their most successful recent effort involved podcast followers, friends, and coworkers donating for votes to have Meek’s pandemic beard shaved into a funky style. They raised more than $6,000 for A21, an anti-human trafficking organization.

The podcast is working with the UWEC students on extending its platform to other media such as Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok. With time and development, the Wine Club Posse can grow to provide greater support for the community through podcasting, a social media act not seen before. 

“[My boss] said ‘It’s sort of like Seinfeld, it’s sort of a show about nothing,’ and that’s what’s so appealing,” Meeks said. “It’s about just life.”

To check out the Wine Club Posse, visit wineclubposse.com.