SOUTHINGTON — Guests at a Calvanese Foundation Beer and Wine tasting had 61 tables of drinks and nearly a dozen food vendors to choose from during the fundraiser at the Aqua Turf Club Thursday night.
The tasting is the foundation’s ninth. Money raised goes to various organizations that the foundation supports, such as youth athletics, the town’s social services, the Bread for Life food pantry and the YMCA.
Victor Lagace and Debbie Gallo said they try not to miss a year. This year, the rain sent many of the attendees indoors.
“Everyone’s saying they’re kind of glad it’s indoors,” Gallo said.
The two friends of the Calvanese family praised the foundation’s charitable efforts. They were sampling beers.
“It’s fun. It gets people out,” Gallo said.
Worldwide Liquors on Queen Street was this year’s sponsor. Kathy Reinhard, the foundation’s treasurer and secretary, said the company was able to double the number of beer and wine providers.
“They did an unbelievable job getting vendors here,” she said.
Taylor Deegan, Worldwide general manager, said the store wanted to give back “as much as we can.”
“We wanted to do it big,” he said. “We want to impress people this year and continue to build it up.”
Worldwide would “absolutely” sponsor the tasting again next year, according to Deegan. He’s worked for non-profit organizations and is on the United Way board.
Reinhard said the tasting attracts between 700 and 800 people a year. It’s not the largest of the foundation’s fundraisers but has become an anticipated event in town.
“It’s a great community thing,” she said.