Raise Your Glasses for Sandhills Children's Center
On Friday, May 4, the Sandhills Children's Center's Run for the Roses Wine and Beer Tasting returns to the Fair Barn, bringing the most celebrated chefs, restaurateurs, wine and craft beer purveyors to Pinehurst to teach, share, eat and drink.
Wine and food enthusiasts can expect a world-class epicurean experience at this year's 13th annual charity benefit tasting with a lineup of nationally known chefs such as Mark Elliott, Warren Lewis and Ashley Van Camp, paired with an eclectic selection of wines from all over the world.
This large-scale tasting has grown from just 40 patrons in 1999 to more than 400 sponsors and guests, and has netted proceeds in excess of $240,000 for the educational and therapeutic programs of Sandhills Children's Center.
"With the continued support of this year's presenting sponsor, Kober Investment Group of Wells Fargo Advisers, and the commitment of Peter and Stephen Zahran, of Mutual Distributing, the Children's Center is able to stage this grand event each year outpacing all other wine and culinary events in the community," says Kathy Desmond, director of development.
"John Kober and Chip Hasty, of Kober Investment Group, have generously sponsored this event since the beginning and have made it possible to foster the growth of this event, not just in attendance, but in the uniqueness that is offered to each guest.
"For 13 years, Sandhills Children's Center has created an experience in Pinehurst that puts wine and food enthusiasts face-to-face with extraordinary chefs and wine connoisseurs. Throughout the years, the chairs of this event have trailblazed a path filled with innovation and creativity to match this celebration of food and wine with those around the country."
The event, originally named Toast of the Town, officially changed to Run for the Roses in 2004 when co-chairs Bonnie McGowan and Cathy Smith collaborated to align the event with the nationally acclaimed Kentucky Derby.
Each year is different on whether the Run for the Roses wine tasting falls immediately before the running of the big race, but either way, the backdrop of the historic Fair Barn, harness track and the romance of the red roses, offers each guest that Derby party experience.
Through the years, the event has evolved with the guidance of dedicated chair persons, and this year is no exception. The 2012 co-chairs, Wendy Smithson and her daughter, Dale Smithson, have diligently worked since January to offer new and returning guests the consistency of a topnotch wine tasting paired with an atmosphere sure to tempt the senses.
Both Smithsons agree.
"We want people to enjoy themselves and be enchanted by the melodies of the Court Stewart Jazz Group and the aromas of delectable foods," they say. "This year's tasting is supported by 20 restaurateurs and businesses. The one consistency throughout the years has been the support the center has received, from both the local community and the wine community."
Special events coordinator Teresa Copper adds, "We are blessed to have more chefs participating in Run for the Roses than ever before with a total of 15, who will be preparing tastings of some of their best recipes. >Each of the participating chefs for Run for the Roses believes in the mission of Sandhills Children's Center and donates his or her time, talents and ingredients to help us raise the most funds for the children."
Wine tastings have become a charity favorite and are well supported throughout Moore County.
"In 1999, when Robyn James, of The Wine Cellar & Tasting Room, and I decided to put together a wine event to raise a little money for the Children's Center, there were not any other tastings around," says Peter Zahran. "I'm both surprised and have a sense of wonder that we've made it this far.
"Over the past 13 years, we have been able to make people happy, promote Sandhills Children's Center, and to do something good for the community. I say 'we' because it is a team effort. Without dozens of people working extremely hard at this, the Run for the Roses would not have grown as it has, and it would not be so very special."
The entire evening and all its treats is just $55 per person for general admission, $75 for premium admission to the Jockey Club.
Sponsorship opportunities range from the $300 level of a Belmont Stakes Sponsor to the $2,500 level of a Triple Crown Sponsor.
For information, contact Teresa Copper at (910) 692-3323 or visit www.sand illschildrenscenter.org.
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