Wine festival supports charity

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Homecare & Hospice held the Foundation’s 11th annual Flint Hills Festival of Wines on Friday and Saturday night.

The event began Friday night with a wine dinner at the Manhattan Country Club and ended on Saturday night with the main event, the Grand Tasting of more than 250 wines and spirits and a live silent auction at the Clarion Hotel. Tickets to the Friday evening dinner cost $105, and tickets to the Grand Tasting were $50.

The proceeds from the event help support Homecare & Hospice, which provides health care to members of the community, regardless of their ability to pay. Chris Nolte, director of development for Homecare & Hospice, said the Festival of Wines is the agency’s largest fundraiser of the year, usually drawing a crowd of 300 to 400 participants, leading to proceeds of more than $100,000.

Local restaurants, including the 4 Olives Wine Bar, Houlihan’s, Little Apple Brewing Company, The Little Grill and McAlister’s Deli, as well as wine vendors from all around Kansas, gave samples of their products at the Grand Tasting.

Joseph L. White, president of White Beverage Company, said his company has participated in the wine festival “since the very first one.” White said the most important reason for his company’s participation is community support for the local charity, but it is also the legal way for the company to allow consumers to taste their products.

Attendees sampled a variety of wines and foods, met winery representatives and mingled with friends in a relaxing atmosphere with a live saxophone player from 6:30 p.m. until the live auction began at 9 p.m. The auction included an assortment of items like designer handbags, food packages, gift packages, tickets to Country Stamepede, wine and K-State fanwear, all donated from local sponsors of the event.

Bailey Miller, server at the Manhattan Country Club and a junior in hotel and restaurant management, said she enjoyed “trying new foods, the auction, trying new wines and the atmosphere.” This was Miller’s first time attending the festival.

Kristy and Chuck Bever, a couple from Wamego, said they attended the event to support a good cause, as Homecare & Hospice has helped their family.

They also said they attended the event for “good wine, good food, and lots of fun people.”

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