Over 100 lucky people had a chance to sample an outstanding lineup of wines from California, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Latin America at the Glendale-Crescenta Valley Red Cross Chapter's Seventh Annual Wine, Cheese and Chocolate Tasting fundraiser on June 20. The fundraiser took place at the Forest Lawn Museum, overlooking the City of Glendale, and the weather was perfect for this outdoor event.
In addition to a stellar sampling of wines, guests treated their taste buds to an array of mouth-watering cheeses, not to mention a table overflowing with Mignon Chocolates, with a friendly guide to help choose the best pairings of chocolate and wine. Light appetizers from Chin Chin Catering were also on hand.
A special treat for the fundraiser came this year in the person of Fritz Coleman, popular NBC4 weatherman, talented standup comedian - and longtime supporter of the Red Cross. After a few wry observations that got the audience laughing, Fritz reminded everyone of the valuable work the Red Cross does, across the country and within our own community. After his talk, Fritz mingled with the guests to share Red Cross stories.
The fundraiser was a treat to eyes and ears as well. The Museum featured a truly unique art exhibit: Nathan Sawaya's "Art of the Brick," sculptures made entirely out of Lego® bricks.
On the patio, harpist Susan Kanim (who is also a Master Sergeant with the California Air National Guard) created a magical flow of music to soothe the senses and enhance the tasting experience.
Guests perused silent auction offerings which included entertainment and dining opportunities, art work, and gift baskets overflowing with other goodies. At the event's close, guests were able to take home the breathtaking floral centerpieces by making a discretionary donation to the Red Cross.
The Red Cross is deeply appreciative of Forest Lawn Glendale for providing the venue, the catering, the flowers, linens, water, and other essentials too numerous to mention.
An event like this doesn't happen without a lot of work, and we thank the Red Cross volunteers and Board members who contributed auction items, donated wine, sold tickets, staffed the registration table and wine tasting stations, and helped with setting up and cleaning up.
Thanks, too, to our Youth Corps members, and to Glendale Community College nursing students who were recruited by Board Member Michelle Ramirez, RN. The smiling faces and cheerful assistance of these young people were an invaluable asset that we deeply appreciate.
“All proceeds from the wine tasting go directly to the Red Cross, to ensure that we'll be able to respond to future emergencies in the communities we serve,” said Ron Farina, CEO, Glendale-Crescenta Valley Chapter.
Thanks to everyone who bought tickets, and we hope you'll come back for more next year.
Photos: Roxanne Schorbach