Slideshow: United Way hosts Holiday Tastings fundraiser

Shawna O'Neill

CORNWALL, Ontario – The holiday spirit was in the air of Nav Canada during the sixth annual United Way Centraide of SDG Holiday Wine and Gourmet Tastings on Saturday, Nov. 24. 

“The night has been fantastic,” said Karen Brunet, co-chair of the fundraiser. “(It’s) because of our core committee and our long list of volunteers we are able to pull this off.”

According to Brunet, the event has continually grown bigger and better every year. With a sold out attendance of about 650 individuals, Brunet felt confident that the organization’s fundraising goal of $50,000 would be exceeded. Over the past six years, $225,000 has been raised from the event. Tickets to the event were $100 per person.

“This is our signature event,” explained Meagan Bingley, co-chair of the fundraiser. “It happens once a year and all the of the funds stay local. We fund 14 local agencies.”

Bingley explained that a lot of the staff members from the funded agencies were in attendance at the event.

Guests had the opportunity to indulge in a wide selection of gourmet tastings and a lavish candy bar. They could also sample wine and take part in a specialty drink bar. A live and silent auction included several items like a weekend getaway, race car driving for a day and the opportunity to have chef Luc McCabe cook for a party of 10. Live entertainment was provided by Duelling Pianos and prizes like $1000 cash were given away to lucky guests.

“It’s a great way to get the community together and kick off the holiday season. It makes your heart feel full to see so many generous people,” said Bingley.

Organizers thanked the sponsors and volunteers and said the event would not be possible without them. The title sponsor of the event was Xplornet. Organizers were also grateful for Stephanie Lalonde who helped to transform the space into a holiday extravaganza.

“I only started three months ago and I’ve always attended the event, but to actually be behind the scenes and see the work that goes into it, and the generosity, the list of people who assist us through this is incredible and just a lot of fun,” said Bingley. 

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