Community Papers

FACE TO FACE: Wine and dine with Rotary

Tsawwassen Rotary member Shari Merritt has assembled a collection of more than 60 wines to be auctioned off at the annual wine gala fundraiser this Saturday.  - Robert Mangelsdorf
Tsawwassen Rotary member Shari Merritt has assembled a collection of more than 60 wines to be auctioned off at the annual wine gala fundraiser this Saturday.
— image credit: Robert Mangelsdorf

Like many Rotary members, Ladner mortgage broker and mother-of-two Shari Merritt joined the local service organization to help give back to her community.

“My kids were growing up and I had a lot more free time, because I wasn’t driving them to sports all the time,” she says. “It’s a great group of people, and they’ve really made me feel welcome.”

Merritt joined the Tsawwassen Rotary club last year and is helping to organize the local service club’s annual wine gala fundraiser this Saturday at Beach Grove Golf Club.

The seventh annual event features a live auction for a collection containing more than 60 bottles of fine wines donated by local Rotary members, which Merritt has assembled.

Last year the collection sold for $1,600, and Merritt is hoping to top that this year.

“It’s a great collection of very good wines,” she says. “There’s a bit of everything; reds and whites, new world and old.”

Twelve wineries of international renown will be on hand at the event, offering samplings of up to 72 wines. The event will also feature an unending parade of gourmet hors d’oeuvres prepared by award-winning Chef Froilan Alejo and an array of to-die-for chocolate treats.

Proceeds from the evening support Rotary projects both locally and internationally.

The Tsawwassen Rotary Club has completed more than 60 projects to date, including numerous youth and community development efforts, like the Rotary WaterWorks at Diefenbaker Park. The local organization also funds international peace, education, and humanitarian projects, including Rotary’s global campaign to eradicate polio, and sends medical supplies to impoverished regions of the world.

“I love the international aspect of Rotary,” says Merritt. “You get to do great work, and because of the structure, it offers huge opportunities for personal development and growth.”

Tsawwassen Rotary club is made up of more than 80 business owners, managers and professionals who enjoy fun, fellowship and live or work in our community. Merritt is one of many new, younger members volunteering with the club, and she hopes she can attract other young professionals to join the Rotary ranks.

“The people in Rotary have done an amazing job over the years and we hope we can continue that work,” she says.

• Details and tickets for the fundraiser are available at www.rotarywinegala.com. Tickets are also available through any Tsawwassen Rotary Club member.

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