Tuesday, September 27, 2011

This Saturday, Oct 1st, Curtis Park Celebrates its 21st Wine Tasting & Silent Auction

On Saturday, October 1st from 4-7 pm, more than twenty of the areas finest restaurants, fifty wineries, and a dozen breweries will be sampling their culinary treats and beverages to nearly six hundred enthusiasts within the halls of the historic Sierra 2 Arts & community Center. Attendees will spend an indulgent three hours sampling food and drink, vying for high-end auction items and ‘experiences’, and socializing with other guests. In addition to the usual tasting rooms and outdoor pavilion, the event features an outdoor Craft and Belgian Beer Garden sponsored by Pangaea Two Brews Café, brought back after the overwhelmingly successful introduction last year.

“I was really pleased by the response at last year’s event and I’m even more excited about the projected turnout this year”, enthuses Rob Archie, owner of Pangaea Two Brews Café and Bottleshop. “Since we opened our bottle shop recently, we have been able to introduce people to a lot of different beers. The growing business shows how excited people are about craft beers and Belgian beers”.

The Wine Tasting & Silent Auction committee has confirmed some of its favorites will return again, like Tower Café, Chops Steakhouse, Aioli Bodega, Espresso Metro, Taylor’s Market, American River College’s Oak Café, and Freeport Bakery. Adding to the already stellar line-up are newcomers Matteo’s/The Supper Club, Lucca, Hot Italian and Enotria. Scott’s Seafood will also be returning with their fabulous oyster dish. This year, the participating restaurants get an added perk: inclusion in a special event cookbook featuring recipes from their establishment complete with a suggested wine pairing! The cookbook will be part of the raffle and silent auction and will be sold throughout the year in the office of Sierra 2 Center.

Patron Arlene Krause has attended the event for the past six years, and has no trouble explaining why this is such a popular event. “You can go alone and run into all kinds of fun people to talk with. Tower Café is my favorite restaurant at the event, but I also love tasting food from restaurants that I would probably never think to go to.”

On the beverage front, Dick Ebert, wine guru at Taylor’s Market, is again coordinating the more than fifty wineries to bring the palate to a perfect state of seduction. There will be no shortage of ways to pair the food options with the beverages flowing from table to table, with representatives on hand to answer questions and provide suggestions. For the beer drinkers in the crowd, the Craft and Belgian Beer Garden is returning bigger and better than ever. Rob Archie, owner of Pangaea Two Brews & Bottleshop on Franklin Boulevard, is bringing his worldly insight of the beer market back to the event as the sponsor and coordinator of the Pangaea Two Brews & Bottleshop beer garden.

As tantalizing as the gustatory elements might be, they’re not the only aspects of the event that patrons look forward to. Each year over one-hundred fifty items are put up for bid on silent auction or included in a raffle. The raku pottery, whitewater rafting, ceramic sculpture, “green building” consultations, fencing lessons, and ukulele have no problems finding bidders. But the items that cause the most stir are the experience-based packages and the group dinners. These ‘experience packages’ combine the best in educational and cultural outings, culinary and gustatory adventures, and outdoor recreation experiences. In addition to the art, entertainment, and service donations, we have lined up such things as Date Night for a Year, Private wine tastings in Napa, Cut your own organic Christmas Tree outing, Create the flavor of the month at Gunther’s Ice Cream and more. Italian language classes packaged with Italian delicacies and Chianti, Date-night for a year including restaurant and entertainment vouchers for twelve months, private wine-tasting experiences, and the opportunity to create the ‘Flavor of the Month’ at Gunther’s Ice Cream are small representatives of what will be offered this year. Not to be missed!

One of the most fun and unique aspects of the Curtis Park Wine Tasting & Silent Auction event is the ‘neighborhood dinners’—privately hosted, themed events for six or more people, donated to SCNA for individual seat purchase by neighbors. This year we anticipate more than a dozen of these ‘dinners’, to include themes such as Running of the Bulls with food from Spain, southern-style Kentucky Derby Day brunch, a Backyard Pizza Party, French and Indian cuisine and more.

The Sierra 2 Center for the Arts and Community is a charming, Andalusian Spanish Revival-style stucco building built in 1923 as an elementary school. Located on three lushly landscaped acres in the beautiful Curtis Park neighborhood within easy reach of midtown and downtown Sacramento, the historic site was saved from demolition by SCNA in 1979. SCNA's members and community volunteers renovated the school, transforming it into a non-profit center for artistic, cultural and educational activities.

Included as a beneficiary of the event in 2011 is Sacramento Children’s Home, a Curtis Park neighbor and one of the original beneficiaries of this community fundraiser. The Sacramento Children's Home is committed to helping build strong families; to opening doors to the future; to maximizing potential; and ending the cycle of child abuse. They provide care to the most vulnerable children and families in the Sacramento community. Established in 1867, the Sacramento Children's Home has always been deeply committed to the care of children and families through community-based, residential and educational programs that address the issues of children, newborn to 21, and range from prevention of child abuse and parenting education, to acute trauma treatment.

Additionally, local school Bret Harte Elementary has been gifted with $24,000 since 2003 for its participation in the event. Each year the SCNA Wine Tasting & Silent Auction donates a percentage of its proceeds to the sixth graders at nearby Bret Harte Elementary to help fund their trip to the Sly Park Environmental Education Center. Renee Smith, lead sixth grade teacher at Bret Harte, has incorporated the Wine Tasting event as part of her yearly fundraising efforts. 

“Ninety-five percent of the students who want to attend Sly Park simply cannot afford the $265 price tag. We’ve set up a student store on our campus, where students work for forty-five minutes and receive a $5 credit towards the trip. But at $265, that’s lot of store time.” The SCNA event is a lifesaver to Smith. “The kids aren’t at the event, of course, but the parents help with set-up and tear-down. One year a mom worked for days to make baskets that held raffle items to be auctioned, and earned $150 towards the trip. Without this opportunity, her child would never have been able to go.”

The remainder of the event proceeds go to the upkeep and restoration of the Sierra 2 Center, and to support SCNA initiatives such as the operation of the Senior Center at Sierra 2, hosting neighborhood gatherings such as Music in the Park and children’s playgroups, the art festival Curtis Fest, and addressing neighborhood concerns.

Cook Realty is the presenting sponsor of this event and a provider of outstanding real estate services in the Sacramento area since 1974, has been supporting this event at a high level for nearly all of the 21 years and continues to give back to the community through events such as the Curtis Park Wine Tasting & Silent Auction and with the activities of the Cook Realty Charitable Foundation.

Pangaea Two Brews and Bottleshop, a neighborhood gathering place in Curtis Park, has joined the sponsorship group by sponsoring the Belgian Beer Garden and coordinating the breweries who will be participating. Founded in 2008, Pangaea’s Two Brews and Bottleshop prides itself on serving the finest brewed coffees and beers in the world, as well as tasty eats that complement each other. In August, Pangaea’s opened its Bottleshop where neighbors and friends can purchase Belgian beers and quality beers from all over the world. Owner Rob remarks, “Now more than ever, we all appreciate the importance of community, and Pangaea’s goal is to foster ours with the best products and services available!”

New to the sponsorship group this year is Capitol Mechanical. Capitol Mechanical sells, installs and services air conditioning and heating systems, blown-in insulation, seamless rain gutters and custom sheet metal products. Founded in 1988, Capitol Mechanical is a proud partner with SMUD’s Home Performance Program, an innovative, whole-house approach to helping customers save energy. 

Owner Gary Albert states, “Our top goal is to have our technical staff provide exceptional customer service, coupled with the highest quality products at a fair, honest price.” Additionally, Joseph Eschelman, CIMA, Managing Director—Investment Officer with Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC, is a supporting sponsor.

To purchase tickets or receive more information on the Sierra Curtis Neighborhood Association’s 21st Annual Wine Tasting & Silent Auction, please call the Sierra 2 Center at (916) 452-3005.

The event is presented by: Sierra Curtis Neighborhood Association. Sierra Curtis Neighborhood Association’s 21st Annual Wine Tasting & Silent Auction presented by Cook Realty, will directly benefit Sierra 2 Center for the Arts & Community, Sacramento Children’s Home, and Bret Harte Elementary School.

Sierra 2 Center is located at 2791 24th Street, Sacramento 95818. The event runs from 4 - 7 pm, and tickets are $45

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