by Peter Bodley
It was an evening of wine and epicurean delights in the Riverview Room of Anoka-Ramsey Community College Saturday evening.
The Coon Rapids Lions Club was hosting its third annual extravaganza, one of the community service organization’s two biggest fund-raisers of the year – the other is the spring golf tournament at Bunker Hills Golf Course in early June.
According to Lori Anderson, who with fellow Coon Rapids Lions Club member Beth Janish was co-chairperson of the event, the idea for the event was originally just to have wine tasting.
Then it evolved to include restaurants serving food as in the Taste of Blaine and artisans selling their wares like Girls Night Out, Anderson said.
“It has become a grand cocktail party,” she said.
“We had about 216 people here this year.”
Total profit, including sales was about $3,600, although not all the expenses have been tallied yet, Anderson said.
This included $500 from the Wall of Wine and $680 from the silent auction, she said.
“All profits will go directly back to the community,” Anderson said.
The number of restaurants and wine vendors taking part were more than last year, according to Anderson.
There were 15 area restaurants for guests to sample food plus 12 wine vendors serving 82 different kinds of wine.
The Wall of Wine had up to 80 bottles of wine for people to choose from in return for a contribution of $20 to a Lions club project.
To determine where the money would go, the purchaser of the bottle of wine spun a wheel, on which were listed the organizations that the Lions club supports financially.
Organizations and programs benefiting from the Wall of Wine included Can Do Canines, Alexandra House, TLC Toys, ACBC Foodshelf, Hooked On Fishing Not Drugs, Wellness Van, Feed My Starving Children, the Coon Rapids Lions Club Foundation, Books for Bango and a host of other projects in which the club is involved.
Wines for the event were provided by MGM Liquor Warehouse in Coon Rapids from a variety of vendors.
Food was served by Famous Dave’s, Bennigans, Green Mill, Jimmy Johns, Potbelly Sandwich Shop, Rose Garden, Bostons, Pizza Hut, Caribou Coffee, Hot Wok, Broadway Pizza, Dairy Queen, Harvest Grill, Olive Garden, Dickey’s Barbeque Pit and Feed My Starving Children.
Vendors at the extravaganza were All That Glitters, Bead Basics, Lou’s Stained Glass, Make Time To Relax massage therapy, Mary Dvorak glass artist, Miche’ Bag Diva, Noelle Maki Rollins artist, Orange Lily Florists, Premier Designs high fashion jewelry and spiritual readings by Rita.
Sponsors of the silent auction and Wall of Wine included Davanni’s Pizza, Panera Bread, Skyview Dairy, Texas Roadhouse, Steve and Terry Jankowski, Bill and Marcia Guthrie (Coon Rapids Lions Club members), Jessica Schultz (Coon Rapids Lions Club member), Dino’s, Applebee’s, Crow River Winery, Outback Steakhouse, Red Lobster, Olive Garden, The Well Sports Tavern, Dan and Beth Janish (Coon Rapids Lions Club members), Joel and Becky Anderson (Coon Rapids Lions Club members), Amy Majsterski/Tastefully Simply, Seth Bork State Farm Insurance, Coon Rapids Lions Club and an anonymous donor.
Music for the evening was provided by The Samplers, a jazz trio comprising Jared Waln on guitar, Josh May on trumpet/percussion and Justin Bazzini on saxophone/keyboard/percussion.
The Coon Rapids Lions Club was chartered in 1954.