Westport Sunrise Rotary held its 24th Annual Wine Tasting Friday evening in Branson Hall at Christ & Holy Trinity Church. It was “an all around win” club president Bob Galan stated. “The event enjoyed its largest attendance, the club’s guests enjoyed over 60 memorable wines from around the world, and the club’s charities will enjoy a new level of support due to the generosity of Silent Auction bidders.”
Wines, and, for the first time, a selection of eight craft beers, were provided by Liquor Locker of Westport. Owner Harvey Skolnick called the event “very successful,” and offered his unique perspective – “$50 was quite a reasonable price for the number and variety of quality wines.” He placed 13 tables around the periphery of the large room, with eight selections at each. What he didn’t add was that guests also had the opportunity to purchase favorites at a discount to the shop’s normal prices. The beers, too, few that there were, were a successful addition to the menu.
Delicious light hors d’eouvres were plentifully provided and beautifully presented by Bon Soiree of Weston, along with petite hand carved roast beef and turkey sandwiches.
The center piece was a Silent Auction featuring over 100 items. Among the unique ones was a dinner with former State Senator and long time community volunteer Jo Fuchs-Luscombe and husband John. This is an attraction every year, and this year was no exception, with spirited bidding right to the end.
BMW of Bridgeport participated for the first time, offering a weekend’s use of a new BMW – what a way to test a magnificent driver’s car. And two tickets to Phantom of the Opera were contributed, as well as watercolors by former Westporter Tracy Sugarman. Another smaller, but still one of a kind item was a bound script for the Oscar nominated movie Lincoln.
Along with these were smaller items, for winning bidders themselves, for gifts, or as early season stocking stuffers – from fine dining at area restaurants to hair salon appointments, and even opportunities to have your dog groomed.
The Wine Tasting had three sponsors – Castlekeep Investment Advisors was the Primary Sponsor, Fairfield County Bank the Major Sponsor and Berchem, Moses & Devlin, P.C. its Contributing Sponsor.
Sunrise hosts the Wine Tasting to raise money for its charities, and will donate the funds it received to more than two dozen organizations – from Homes With Hope, CLASP and Elder House in Westport, to Mercy Learning Center, Isaiah 61:1, Project Morry and many others in nearby communities.
Was this a great evening? One guest commented “I look forward to it annually to catch up with old friends.” Another, a collector who regularly attends such events, noted “tastings rarely offer such a variety of fine wines.” Others said more simply, “well done,” and “the food was outstanding.”
Sunrise Rotary thanks Co-Chairs June Getraer and Liz Wong, Silent Auction Chair Jay Jaronko, Ticket Chair Cheryl Eldh – and everyone else who made this year’s event the success it was.