The 22nd Rossland Rotary Wine Festival on Saturday night was a big hit, with 30 wineries passing out more than 120 kinds of wine to the 260 people in attendance, who also had the pleasure of Gabriella’s delicious appetizers and Mountain Nugget’s scrumptious chocolates.
“It was awesome,” said Rotary president Fiona Martin. “We changed our venue this year from the highschool to the Prestige and it worked out really well.”
To accommodate all the people and wineries, the organizers found it necessary to spread out between two conference rooms, and filled both with art from the Rouge Gallery and entertainment by local crooner Norm Worsfold, and singer-guitarists Vic Buehler, Mike Scully, and Tim Wiley.
The way the event works, $50 gave people “all the wine they can possibly drink,” in addition to the food and chocolates. Guests also went home with their glass, a souvenir with the Rotary logo and the logo of a local business that won a lottery leading up to the event. This year it was RossVegas.
“This is a major fundraiser for us,” Martin explained, “We really rely on it to support our different causes.”
These causes include an international youth exchange program. Currently the Rossland Rotary is hosting Bobay, a Grade 10 girl from Thailand, and two Rosslanders are being sponsored abroad, Kevin Pistner in Ecuador, and Michelle Spencer in Sicily.
Every May, the club also sponsors a student to take a week-long “citizenship trip” to Ottawa in May. There the student joins with many other youths sponsored by Rotary clubs from all across Canada for a tour of the town and the parliament, to learn more about our country and government.
The Rossland Rotary also has money set aside for the skatepark. “We’re just waiting to see where the venue is and for plans to get a little more solid,” Martin said, but then they will be ready with their support.
At the wine festival, the Interact Club supported their community projects by doing the coat check, taking tips and donations. Their next project may be a bench on the Centennial Trail, Martin speculated.
Martin was very pleased by the success of this year’s event and the way it seems to grow year after year.