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 good cause

Before I continue with the tasting notes from my recent trip to California, I want to spend this week telling you about a wine-related event worth attending. The fifth annual “Summer Sipping: Wine and Roses” celebration will take place on Thursday July 15, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Capitol Market. Proceeds will benefit the Roark-Sullivan Lifeways Center (RSLC) in Charleston.

The RSLC assists individuals experiencing homelessness with services that help them become self-reliant. It is a very special organization with a great group of dedicated employees and volunteers. For the past several years, Capitol Market has been providing the venue for this excellent event. 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 sip and enjoy great food for a very worthy cause. The wines will be matched with gourmet appetizers prepared by Capitol Market Food Vendors. In addition, many of the wines featured at the tasting will be available at the Capitol Market Wine Shop for purchase at the event.

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.  Tickets for the event can be purchased for $25 by calling 304-414-0109 (est. 20) and using your credit card, or by sending a check to: RSLC, P.O. Box 1707, Charleston, WV, 25326. Tickets may also be purchased at the door.

Hey, and I’ll be there to answer your wine questions and chat about the tasty treats we’re sipping.

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!  

 I hope to see you there.
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