10th Annual Wine Down – Thank You for Your Support!

by Sophia Davis, Development Director

Friendship Center celebrated its 10th Annual Wine Down on September 8th, 2022, from 4 to 7pm, outdoors at our Montecito Center’s beautiful courtyard. This delicious and delightful event brought patrons together to enjoy an evening of great local wines and beer, along with mouthwatering hors d’oeuvres and live music, all for a good cause!

The courtyard was bustling with excitement – people were so happy to be together again after a two-year hiatus. The afternoon began with an unusual quick burst of warm rain! One would think this would have been catastrophic to all the food, beverages, and beautiful adornments – but in synchronistical harmonious fashion, everyone just pitched in and made the necessary quick adjustments, and the show flowed on!

Boasting homegrown local flavors, 10 wineries were represented, one craft beer, and some locally brewed coffee. The wineries featured were: Brander Winery, Buttonwood Farm Winery, Fess Parker Winery, Folded Hills, Kalyra Winery, Roblar Winery, Summerland Winery, and Sunstone Winery. Featured beer by Draughtsmen Aleworks, and coffee and cookies by Montecito Coffee Company. There were interesting surprises as well, like the Folded Hills Sans Soufre Syrah-served chilled, in which no sulfur compounds are used in the winemaking process, allowing only the natural sulfites in the grape to provide protection from oxidation and spoilage.

Bountiful and delicious hors d’oeuvres were provided by Kay Bowman Catering. The cheese table was popping with flavors including many hard and soft cheese varietals, meats, figs, dates, olives, cucumbers, vegetable varieties, herb blended dips, savory crisps and baguettes. Passed hors d’oeuvres touted smashing savory bitefuls of Mushroom Ragout, Thai Chicken Meatballs, Seared Filet and garlic shrimp.

The musical talent was first class! Guests enjoyed the soothing sounds of Tony Ybarra’s Elementos Band, one of the most sought after Spanish/Latin guitarists on the west coast. We even got to enjoy a cameo performance by A la Carte – featuring the sounds of Fred Astaire by Henry Garrett.

It was wonderful to see people so appreciative toward what we do and the people we serve. All contributions raised funds for LEAP, our Life Enrichment Activity Program, providing music, movement and excursion programs for seniors with dementia, led by local entertainers and instructors, engaging our members in mind, body, and spirit.

The live and silent auction, direct LEAP donations, and ticket sales combined raised $53,346, for which we are most grateful! Since our goal is to purchase a much needed van so that we can continue to offer excursions for our members, we are still accepting LEAP donations to hopefully match the $25K gift made toward this effort.
Friends: Thank you for joining us and making this event WONDERFUL, and for supporting Friendship Center in all the ways that you do!