Monday, December 11 , 2017, 5:36 am | Overcast with Haze 43º


Friendship Center Hosts ‘Wine Down,’ Honors the ‘Big Hearts’ of Its Donors and Volunteers

Awards are presented to honorees Zelda Gold and Sue Adams at the seventh annual fundraiser featuring fine food, drinks and live music


Friendship Center on Thursday presented its seventh annual Wine Down event, which it describes as “Great Wines for a Good Cause!” The late afternoon event was held outdoors in the charming courtyard of the center’s Montecito campus. The casual and festive gathering gave guests a chance to enjoy a beautiful summer evening, support a great cause and “wine down“ from the cares of the week.

In addition, the nonprofit organization presented its annual Big Hearts Awards for 2017, which honored those who have contributed and volunteered to further its mission. Each year, the Big Heart Awards recognize those organizations and individuals who support Friendship Center financially or through volunteer efforts.

Thirty-year veteran Executive Director Heidi Holly addressed the crowd. “First of all, I would like to thank All Saints by-the-Sea Episcopal Church for giving Friendship Center a home for all these years," she said. "Tonight, let’s celebrate the success of Friendship Center. Thursday is the new Friday for Wine Down and our Big Hearts Awards event!”

Then, the Big Hearts Awards were presented to longtime volunteer, board member and supporter Sue Adams, as well as Zelda Gold, who shared her award with her son and husband who were in the audience. Gold is a caregiver to her husband, who attends Friendship Center in Montecito.

Many attendees were personally involved with Friendship Center programs. Financial supporter Monica Bradley told Noozhawk, “Larry Lauer and I are long-term supporters of the Friendship Center. We believe in this great cause. We both had elderly parents, and we know how important good care is."

Local vintners and breweries who graciously poured their wines and beers included Buttonwood Farm Winery, Fess Parker Winery, Pegasus Estate Winery, Gainey Vineyard, Qupé Winery, Vinemark Cellars, Zaca Mesa Winery and Captain Fatty’s Craft Brewery.

Hearty hors d’oeuvres by Spices N Rice were enjoyed while listening to live music by the Montecito Jazz Project. A silent auction offered gift baskets, featuring fine wines and wine-related items, and Stephen Meade of KJEE conducted the live auction.

Friendship Center board president Pat Forgey, left, with Wine Down chairwoman Pamela Vander Heide.
Friendship Center board president Pat Forgey, left, with Wine Down chairwoman Pamela Vander Heide. (Rochelle Rose / Noozhawk photo)

Generous sponsors included David and Louise Borgatello, MarBorg Industries, Randy and Dana VanderMey, Sharon Kennedy Estate Management, Castle Wealth Planning LLC, First American Title Co., Senior Planning Services, Sue Adams, Pat Forgey and Kathy Marden, Garcia Architects Inc., Karolyn Hanna, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, Mary Walsh, Linda Seltzer, Yawitz and others. Intriguing live auctions were donated by Alexander Gardens, Dee Tours, Enterprise Fish Co., The Fess Parker, GranVida, Mariposa at Ellwood, Riverbench Winery, The Samarkand, Senior Planning Services and Spa del Mar.

Event committee members included Karolyn Hann, Kathy Marden, Pamela Vander Heide, Dana VanderMey, Sue Adams, Heidi Holly and Justine Sutton. Also in attendance were supportive board members President Pat Forgey, Marti Correa Garcia, Lynda Fairly, Joe Holland, Matt Lum, Penny Mathison and others.

The mission of Friendship Center is to preserve and enrich the quality of life for aging and dependent adults through innovative programs that value the dignity and worth of every person. It provides respite, support and education, enabling families to continue to be engaged in their community, careers and commitments.

Friendship Center, in addition to adult day services for aging and dependent adults with cognitive impairments such as Alzheimer’s disease, provides a variety of activity-based programs. Connections is for those in early stages of memory loss, and Brain Fitness for Successful Aging is a six-week series open to anyone in the community wanting to take proactive steps to keep their memory and brain functions sharp. Friendship Center provides its program at two sites, in Montecito and Goleta.

Click here for more information about Friendship Center, or call Justine Sutton at 805.969.0859 or stop by 89 Eucalyptus Lane, Santa Barbara.

Noozhawk contributing writer Rochelle Rose can be reached at [email protected]. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkSociety, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

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