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San-Cap Optimist Club hosts Sanibel Uncorked Winter Wine Fest

By Staff | Feb 9, 2011

Whether you’re a true oenophile or not, the Sanibel Captiva Optimist Club is inviting all members of the community — regardless of their level of connoisseurship — to enjoy an evening of fine wine, food and music to raise money for the needs of local children.

“There are a multitude of festivals around Lee County — the one held in Naples every year is one of the largest in the county — and they raise a lot of money, but Sanibel Uncorked is the only formal wine fest on the island,” said Amy Wainwright of the Sanibel Captiva Optimist Club. “We started this three years ago and it’s continued to grow, getting better and better every year. Last year we had close to 100 people. It’s such a great way for us to raise money and give back to our local kids.”

The Sanibel Uncorked Winter Wine Festival will help the Optimist Club raise a large amount of their budget for the year, which will fund scholarships for high school students and help the club give back to local children in the way of Community Housing and Resource and Recreation Center membership assistance.

“These funds also help us run our Junior Optimist Angler program, where we take children out in the summer and teach them how to fish,” Wainwright said. “It’s a great experience for those kids that have never been on the water — and you’d be surprised how many children in Lee County have never been to the beach.”

For the event, Lily & Co. Jewelers will supply the venue — with select items discounted for attendees, Chef Carl of Bailey’s General Store will prepare the hors d’oeuvres and give a live demonstration and sampling and Buckeye Ken will be the roving musician for the night, with additional music provided by Frans & Quebbie.

And then there is the wine.

“Representatives of fine wineries will bring wines from all around the world for guests to enjoy,” Wainwright said.

“We’re always looking for unique auction items to offer, and for this event, we have items ranging from as little as $25 up to $1000,” Wainwright said, noting that items such as gift certificates, artwork and even an aircraft tour of the islands for four will be featured this year.

“It’s going to be a really fun and elegant event for the community. All the things the Optimist Club does is to benefit local children — and I can’t think of a more deserving group than kids who don’t have a lot of opportunities,” Wainwright said. “There are a lot of children and families in need on these islands and The Optimist Club’s resources are needed more than ever before.”

Tickets for the event are $30 — $25 for “designated drivers” — and are available at Bailey’s General Store, the Sanibel Café in Tahitian Gardens, the Sanibel-Captiva Community Bank and Lily & Co.

The Optimist Club is still seeking items and/or services to be donated for the raffle and auction, as well as corporate or individual sponsors at $100 per table. For more information about sponsorship opportunities and donating items, contact Richard McCurry at 292-4631 or Randy Carson at 699-8739.

For more information about the Sanibel Captiva Optimist Club and the third annual Sanibel Uncorked Winter Wine Fest, go to www.sancapoptimist.org.