Five fundraising ideas of the fermented variety
Rotary clubs are finding many creative ways to appeal to wine lovers and raise funds for their projects.
Since the grape was first fermented, wine has been part of social gatherings. In ancient Athens, historians say, the typical home boasted more vessels for drinking wine than all other dishes combined.
These days, Rotary clubs are finding many creative ways to appeal to wine lovers and raise funds for their projects.
1. Cheers to art
The Rotary Club of Paarl, South Africa, auctions off wine, art, and jewelry each September at an area vineyard; club members in top hat and tails assist with the bidding. In the Bahamas, the Rotary Club of South-East Nassau presents its Evening of Jazz, Art, and Wine every fall, and in May, the Rotary Club of Mariposa, California, USA, serves up its Fine Art and Wine Festival on the lawn of the Mariposa County Courthouse.
2. Vintage fests
Some fundraisers get better every year. November marked the 21st Fraser Valley Wine Tasting Festival, organized by the Rotary Club of Langley Central, British Columbia, Canada. Over the years, the event has raised more than C$700,000 for charity. The Rotary Club of Abbotsford-Matsqui, British Columbia, will hold its 17th annual wine tasting and silent auction in May. And for 21 years, the Rotary Club of Fortuna, California, has paired wine with art, music, and local specialties for Art and Wine in the Park.
3. Brews too
Some clubs like their wine fest with a beer chaser. The Rotary Club of Bonsall, California, holds its Wine, Brews, and Blues Festival every May. The Rotary clubs of Gillette and Gillette-Energy, Wyoming, get into the spirit every March with their Wine and Microbrew Festival.
4. Ideal pairings
The Rotary Club of Hood River, Oregon., USA, has decided that wine pairs best with pears. Next month it will hold its first Columbia Gorge Wine and Pear Fest to celebrate the bounty of local produce. The Rotary Club of Eugene Southtowne, Oregon, lets you drink like a fish at its Wine and Salmon Festival, while the Rotary Club of Riverbank, California, pulls together a classic combo with its Riverbank Cheese and Wine Exposition, featuring vintages from more than two dozen wineries as well as cheese-tasting sessions. The Steveston Seafood and Wine Festival, held by the Rotary club in Steveston, British Columbia, offers fresh oysters alongside specialties prepared by local restaurants.
5. Top chefs
For 12 years, the Rotary Club of Paso Robles, California, has invited vintners to showcase their culinary skills along with their wines at its Winemakers’ Cookoff, raising more than US$230,000 for scholarships in the process. The Rotary Club of Picton, Ontario, Canada, brings in top local chefs to create a five-course feast for its Wine Festival Dinner.
Does your club hold a creative wine fundraiser? Share it in the comments section below.
Adapted from the April edition of The Rotarian .