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Circle of Hope hopes for wine

Posted: December 31, 2008 5:40 p.m.
Updated: January 1, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Hand-written sign for Circle of Hope wine event at Vino 100 in Valencia.

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After receiving a compliment and an invitation from the SCV Woman of the Year, I felt compelled to attend the event.

Vino 100 was also offering 10 percent of its sales that day back to Circle of Hope. So I planned to snatch up a few bottles of the Seghesio Zinfandel that had made the Wine Spectator's top 10 list for 2008 while I was there.

Hope Shiraz and Chardonnay were being poured alongside light appetizers. I had sampled Hope wines before and looked forward to adding a few bottles to my purchase to finish off my holiday shopping.

Hope wine is a story in itself and not affiliated with Circle of Hope. Hope wine donates a whopping 50 percent of its profit from Chardonnay sales to creating awareness and finding a cure for breast cancer.

Vino 100 is the only store selling these wines in the Santa Clarita Valley. What a great gift for yourself or a friend.

"When I was here for the recent Sheila R. Veloz fundraiser and discovered the Hope Shiraz, it gave me the idea to have our event here as well," said Judy Penman, Circle of Hope board president.

"I bought all of my holiday presents that day from stocking stuffers to wine," said Penman. "And I must have kept six of the 10 items for myself and enjoyed a glass of wine while I wrapped my gifts. The wine pairing of chocolates and French music CDs was nice and surprisingly inexpensive.

Then I brought the Hope wine to our board meeting. We discussed how much Vino 100 owners, Lil Lepore and Shari Fraizer, do for our community and we thought it a perfect match."

"Our involvement with the SCV community is something we share," said Colleen Shaffer, founder of Circle of Hope. "To be able to provide not just to uninsured, but also to underinsured, we can help families and single mothers concentrate on getting well. Being in chemo myself, metastasized seven years ago, I have become an expert on all of the questions and answers. And once you have cancer, your condition becomes ‘pre-existing' to an insurance company. If you lose your insurance in a divorce, we are here to help you, too."

Jordana Capra, Circle of Hope media director, was quick with the "Capra-esque" quote on the wine being poured at Vino 100.

She commented that the Hope wine inspired "a surprisingly warm feeling for a Chardonnay."

Also spotted at the event were Dorothy and Judy Tucker, Gail Dewhurst and Clyde Shaffer, Colleen's husband.

Fellow Zontas, Unzons (the male Zonta counterpart) and Soroptimists also gathered at Vino 100 to support Circle of Hope.

Ian Tucker sitting with Nancy Albrecht felt there were loosened lips, "in Vino Veritas" (meaning: "in wine there is truth").

Joann and Paul Vindigni were spotted purchasing the same wines I had chosen and hugging either their hellos or goodbyes.

That was the final thing I noticed when I had to pull myself away. Warm hugs in greeting and departures.

It wasn't the wine that had loosened us up - we had all come in that way. One more time that Vino 100 has welcomed and warmed an SCV charity.

And it looks like I don't have to wait too long to feel that way again. Circle of Hope is hosting a joint open house with the Betty Ferguson Foundation on Jan. 7. Jane Bettencourt-Soto is the founding president of Circle of Hope and the group's planning adviser, as well as the executive director for the Betty Ferguson Foundation.

As of 2009, two of our homegrown charities will be found at the same location, with Circle of Hope using the Betty Ferguson Foundation's space once a month for the Angels of Hope meetings, 25510 West Ave. Stanford Suite 104 Valencia 91355. Now open a bottle of wine for that!

Eve Bushman is a resident of Newhall. If you have a wine event, comment or a cellar you would like to see highlighted in this column, contact Eve at ebushman@earthlink.net or at her blog: http://evewine101.blogspot.com. Her column represents her own views and not necessarily those of The Signal.

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