Columns by John

John Brown has been a wine and food columnist in West Virginia since the 1980’s. His regular columns appear in the Charleston (WV) Gazette-Mail under the title Vines & Vittles and in The State Journal - a statewide business weekly

Sipping for a cause: Fourth annual Wine and Roses Event

I am a board member of the Roark-Sullivan Lifeways Center (RSLC).   This is a very special organization with a great group of dedicated employees and volunteers. The center assists individuals experiencing homelessness with services that help them become self-reliant.
For the past several years, RSLC has been hosting a fund raising event at Capitol Market called “Wine and Roses.” Wouldn’t it be great to help programs like Roark-Sullivan and enjoy good wine and gourmet food, too?
Well, you can!  Join me and other wine lovers at the fourth annual Roark-Sullivan Lifeways Center Wine and Roses event. Wine and Roses will be held indoors at the Capitol Market from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 16. Partnering with RSLC is the Capitol Market, Soho’s, the Thomas Health System, A Travel Agent in WV and the Wine Shop at Capitol Market.  
Area wine distributors and locally owned Napa Valley winery, Falcor, are donating the wines.  And believe me, there will be exceptional wines available for your sipping pleasure from all over the world.  In addition, there will be an assortment of gourmet appetizers you can pair with the wines.   
I’ll be there to answer your wine questions and chat about the tasty treats we’re sipping. And, hey, if you find a wine you like, you can stroll right over and purchase it immediately from the nice folks at the Wine Shop.
I count myself fortunate to have the time and resources to engage my passion for good wine and food. Others in our town, state and nation are not so fortunate. Each day is a challenge for them. Many of our fellow citizens are dealing with debilitating physical, emotional and mental issues that make each day a struggle to survive. Their goal is simply to find food to eat and a place to sleep. Fortunately, there are agencies in our communities that exist solely to assist these people, many of whom are homeless.
RSLC operates the 60-bed Giltinan Center on Leon Sullivan Way (formerly the Charleston Men’s Emergency Shelter) and the 16-bed Twin Cities Center in St. Albans and provides comprehensive services such as healthcare maintenance; substance abuse and mental health assistance; outreach; and transitional and aftercare services. Last year, RSLC constructed and opened a Veterans Transitional Center adjacent to the Giltinan Center that provides services to homeless veterans.
The Roark-Sullivan Lifeways Center and other such organizations exist because of state and federal programs funded by your taxes, and through your generous personal contributions.  Please join me and raise a glass for a great cause!  
 Tickets are $30 in advance or at the door. You can call RSLC at 304-414-0109 and use your credit card or send a check to: RSLC, P.O. Box 1707, Charleston, WV, 25326.
I hope to see you there. 
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