This wasn’t the first time Eve’s Wine 101 Consulting has done a wine tasting event, however, it was the first time I did a wine event with my close friend Marlee Lauffer. In hosting “A Toast and A WiSH to the Future Leaders of Santa Clarita”, with Marlee at the beautiful brand new Old Town Newhall Library, I think we both survived unscathed and in fact, did more than that: The event raised over $24,000 and WiSH is more than doubling it to buy over $60,000 in WiSH list lab science equipment for every single school in the Wm. S. Hart District!
I had other friends I had already worked with before helping again: Claudia Sheridan coordinated all of the volunteers and was our official event planner, and my VP Michael Perlis edited all of my press releases, donated wines from his cellar and worked the Eve’s Wine 101 table at the event. And, the woman that came to our Pour Into Sandy event to enlist me for her event, WiSH Education Foundation Executive Director and Board Secretary, Amy Daniels, worked tirelessly to make the evening perfect. Gail Pinsker, Public Relations Officer Wm. S. Hart Union School District, secured several sponsor and also assisted Amy.
Not to bore you with thanks after thanks (see every name I could remember below) let’s jump to how the first ever wine event that benefited the William S. Hart District – 100% of what we made went back to programs in our junior and senior high schools – turned out.
Red Carpet Entrance, Wine, Food and Fun
“Ha!” That’s what Prime Publication’s graphic designer Alex Hafizi wrote back to me in nearly every email and Facebook message I sent him regarding this event. His amazing participation, and the support of the Magazine of Santa Clarita, really set us up for success. Alex did our event art, coordinated a cover photo shoot for Marlee and me at the Old Town Newhall Library, provided our event photography, and a red carpet – complete with a “step and repeat” backdrop so that our guests felt like movie stars from the get-go.
I met most guests at the door, while my co-host Marlee greeted them once they ascended the staircase. Starting out with a glass of sparkling wine in one hand, and the event program in the other, guests used the map in the program to plan their tasting experience to the fullest.
Passing through the upstairs glassed-in hallway, guests got their first look at the newly remodeled Main Street from the two-story height, and looked over some of our exclusive, privately donated, silent auction items.
The private “study rooms” seemed to work out well for everyone as they meandered from one to another; stopping in to sample from all of the wonderful food and wine vendors. The central area, for more vendors, had many comfy chairs fitted with pull out desks. Normally reserved to prop up a book or a laptop, for our event they were used for plates, glasses, rest and conversation.
One surprise was Richard G. Ortega, the owner of the University of Mixology, who arrived with nearly a dozen volunteers and – Herradura tequila and limes!
At our Eve Wine 101 table my husband Eddie diligently toiled away while I circled the rooms to check in with the vendors and the guests. Eddie wasn’t alone at our table, our VP Michael Perlis and his wife Karen worked the other side of the table. The table was very popular! Of course I sampled at least four bottles that came from my own cellar and from the Perlis cellar…we were one of three “library” wine tables. A play on words, our “library” wines came from local private cellar collections.
I would love to tell you that I sampled everything (see Participants and Donors below for the comprehensive list) but I was just too busy schmoozing all the VIPs (below under the Seen section) to do it justice, so I asked friends for their comments.
What Guests Said
Mike Lebecki: “Awesome event last night! That library is gorgeous! The view down Main Street from the glass wall… Architectural genius!”
Cheryl Gray: “Volunteered for 1st (hopefully annual) WiSH: A Benefit for Future Leaders of Santa Clarita. What a great event! Hope you made a ton of $$. Loved the event and will volunteer for future events. Congratulations to Marlee Lauffer, Eve Bushman and Gail Pinsker for a great event!!!!! Had a blast checking in everyone. Then got to enjoy the great event. Thanks for letting me be a part of the inaugural benefit!”
Steve Lemley, winemaker/owner, Pulchella Winery: “You and the crew did a fantastic job. It was a great turnout and Pulchella was honored to be involved.”
Beth Greenwald: “Well done Eve!!”
Judy Penman: “A fabulous event at a great location thank you for letting me volunteer for this event you are best wine goddess ever. Hugs, Judy.”
Michael Perlis: “It was really gratifying to participate in this event. Never before have I received so many positive comments from attendees. The quality of the food and wine, combined with the beauty of the setting and the great layout, made for a truly wonderful experience for everyone. The WiSH Foundation and all involved have set the bar very high for future events in the Santa Clarita Valley.”
Jeff Jacobson, Director of Wine for the Vine 2 Wine Classic: “What a fabulous event. Well done!!”
Chef Dusti Patterson: “Hey Eve, Had a great time at the WiSH event last night. Thanks for the invite, I got so many good comments on LeMaes Food. If you ever need my services again for such an event as this, don’t forget me. God Bless and keep up the good work, we need more people who care about their communities. Thanks again.”
Louise Castaldo: The event last night was fabulous! Good job!
Bagrationi Wines, B & P Wine, Nuggucciet Cellars, Two Hearts Vineyard, Oaks Grille at TPC, Pulchella Winery, Gagnon Cellars, Ventura Limoncello, TGIC Importers, Iron Horse Vineyards, Caterer Dusti Patterson, Wolf Creek Restaurant and Brewing Company, Salt Creek Grille, Eve Wine 101, Edna Valley Vineyard, J Dusi Wines, Oil and Vinegar Valencia, Persia Restaurant, Stephen Hemmert Vineyards, Wildflour Gourmet Baking Company, Cheers@All Corked Up and Trader Joe’s.
John Shaffery, Wine Dogs, Dr. Wilkinson’s Hot Springs Resort, Clos Pepe Vineyards, Culinary Wonders, Valencia Wine Company, Michael and Karen Perlis, Marlee Lauffer, Laine Hedwell, Gerard Zanzonico, A/K Printing, Barrel 27, Gloria & Larry Stahly, Loring Wine Company, Fiddlehead Cellars, Ken Brown Wines, Jeannie & Chris Carpenter, Louise Castaldo & Kerry Malony, Rose & Steve Chegwin, Vines Restaurant, The Egg Plantation, ForWhiskeyLovers.com, Regusci Winery, Erin and Tim Dixon, Derrick and Maureen McKaughan, Ma Maison, Chartwell’s School Catering, Barnes & Noble.
CDW/Cisco, The Magazine of Santa Clarita, Spirit Properties, Oasis Associates, Chiquita Canyon, Fagan, Friedman & Fulfrost, Ruhnau Ruhnau Clarke and Associates, Sempra Energy, California Credit Union, Hunt C. Braly, Attorney at Law, KHTS AM – 1220 and SCV TV.
Kelly Abbott, Susan Arellano, Rebecca Bacon, Amanda Bahnmaier, Bryan Balling, Gary Bedol, Marguerite Berg, Sue Bird, Hunt Braly, Sherril Britton, Jeff Brown, Brent Bush, Michele Buttelman, Dave Caldwell, Chris and Jeannie Carpenter, Steve and Shelley Cassulo, Louise Castaldo, Lynda Chadwick, Rob Challinor, Steve and Rose Chegwin, Steve and Carla Corn, Chef Cindy Schwanke, Ken and Trudy Edwards, Geri Crescioni, Mike Dean, Don and Cheryl Dellepiane, John Dortch, Rhondi Durand, Julie Edwards-Sanchez, Kerri Emmer, Morgan Empey, Bruce Fortine and Gloria Mercado-Fortine, Beth Girardini, Katherine Gonzales, Moe, Linda and Alex Hafizi, Charles and Wendy Heffernan, Elizabeth Hopp, Jeff and Joan Jacobson, Michele Jenkins, Marcus Juarez, Dennis Junker, Charlotte Kleeman, Hale and Coleen Kuhlman, Jody Liss-Monteleone, Joan MacGregor, Eileen Mann, Carol Masnada, Stacey Mayfield, Jim Monica McClafferty, Simon and Shannon Mee, Jodi Moriguchi, Brenda Neilson, Heidi Novaes, Rand Pinsky, Bonnie Rabjohn, Larry Rasmussen, Roberts, Manuel Rubio, Holly Schroeder, Scott Shannon, Jack Shine, Dante Simi, Dawn Smith, Richard Smith, Larry and Gloria Stahly, Daniel Sterkel, Marguerita Stone, Steve and Julie Sturgeon, Fred Trueblood, Rodney Wright, Steve Zimmer, Scott and Vanessa Wilk.
Amy Daniels, Rich Daniels, Marlee Lauffer, Eddie Bushman, Claudia Sheridan, Gail Pinsker, Michael and Karen Perlis, Alex Hafizi, Rick Gould, Elena Galvez, Erin Christmas, Jessica Sutoro, the Scott Jeppeson Group (Scott and Roxanne Jeppeson, Antonio Dangond and Roger Brooks), Ed Masterson and the Old Town Newhall Library.
Headed up by our event planner and volunteer coordinator Claudia Sheridan, we also were lucky to have help from the local University of Mixology, Judy Penman, Cheryl Gray, Alesia Humphries, Patti Handy, Mary Bradway, Rich Daniels, Shanna Pinsker, Denise Westenhofer, Ron Ratliff, Ellen Hawthorne, Robin Wimsatt, Jessica Rowe, Carmel Farnsworth, Michael Farnsworth, Eileen Gunning, Sue Ann Nelson, Naidene James, Coreen de los Reyes, Cathy Craig, Tanya Spiegel, Brenda Schaecher, Cindy Palomino, Gwen Parlee, Jennifer Primero, Vickie White, Diane Stacy, Chelsea Johnson, Geoff Whitaker, Denise Anderson, Valeria Buccola, Jennifer Williams, Kathy Hunter, Jacky Seeley, Recyl Chapman, Janice DeStephano and Cheryl Ingrassia.