Wine Enthusiasts Share a Glass of Wine for a Great Cause

Wine lovers will have the opportunity to taste a variety of fine wines from renowned wineries, nosh on food from some of the area's great restaurants and hear live jazz under the stars while supporting a great cause on Saturday, June 17, at the Child Educational Center's (CEC) 17thth Annual Wine Tasting Benefit.

The event will be held at the Avery House on the Caltech campus, 293 S. Holliston, Pasadena, from 6 to 10:30 p.m. All proceeds from the evening will directly benefit the non-profit organization, which has been providing child care and educational outreach services since 1979.

La Cañada residents involved with the CEC include CEC Board members Gayle Northrop, president; Linda Cooke, Jennifer LeBlanc and Bob Barry.

The program for school-age children serves 450 La Cañada children and their families at the three La Cañada elementary schools.

Nearly 400 people from all over the San Gabriel Valley, San Fernando Valley, and beyond attend each year and the event sold out in 2005.

"This year is sure to be the best ever," said Dawn Comer Jefferson, event co-chair. "We've lined up some really fantastic items for our both our silent and live auctions and we're thrilled to have the Chad Edward's Quartet back with us again to provide entertainment. It's really a fun evening and a great way to help out the community."

As with previous years, the evening's festivities will feature both live and silent auctions, during which guests may bid on a variety of items, including getaways. Other items include theater and sporting event tickets, movie and sports memorabilia, art, hotel stays, spa treatments, numerous wines for the connoisseur and more.

The event draws support from a variety of sources. In addition to the donated wines and auction items, some of the area's food establishments are providing food samplings at the event. New Moon, Tastebuds Catering, Japon Bistro, Art's Deli, Claude Beltran Catering, Green Street Restaurant and Vintage Wine Bar & Bistro are just a few of the notable participants.

"We have a lot of dedicated sponsors who believe in what the CEC is doing and continue to support us each year," said Debbi Freedman Meyer, event co-chair. "The success of our past fundraisers is entirely due to these supporters, and we're very grateful to them for helping CEC fill the demand for high quality early education and care. It's an incredibly important event."

General admission tickets are $75 in advance, available at the CEC office (or $85 at the door) and include a Riedel burgundy wine glass. For more information, contact Helen Ruppel at 354-3418 or visit www.ceconline.org.

Located in La Cañada, the Child Educational Center (CEC) opened its doors on Sept. 17, 1979 to serve the growing need for the education and care of young children of working families at JPL, Caltech and the surrounding community. Its goal is to facilitate the development of children and support all families, in whatever form they may take.

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