Who: Camp Fire supporters and wine lovers
What: A wine tasting party to raise funds for Camp Fire USA Minnesota Council.
Where: Semple Mansion, Minneapolis
When: November 4, 2010
Why: To learn about wine and to support kids.
I’m not a wine aficionado. I know reds versus whites, but beyond that, I’m a little clueless. And I’ve always wanted to know more. So when the opportunity to learn a little about wines and to support a cause that sends kids to camp came up, it was a win-win.
The Semple Mansion played host to the wine tasting and the room was bustling as Camp Fire supporters mixed and mingled with old friends. The main room’s fireplace was blazing and cello players provided a perfect ambiance for wine sipping.
Camp Fire USA Minnesota Council’s third annual wine tasting benefit featured sustainably raised and organic wines. Upon entering, I was offered a glass of sparkling white wine. A perfect opener. Then I spotted Mpls.St.Paul Magazine’s own wine columnist Bill Coy offering up glasses of Sauvignon Blanc. I had to run over and say toast my favorite wine connoisseur. Bill hosted the evening and we chatted as we browsed the silent auction items while sipping on—yep, you guessed it—more wine.
Phase two of the evening had guests move upstairs to sample red wines. Here I finally spotted the guest of honor, legendary explorer and Minnesota native Ann Bancroft chatting with friends. Ann calls herself a “camp kid” and credits camp to making her want to be an explorer.
Camp Fire CEO Marnie Wells said she was blown away by the support in the room. “All of these people here are showing us that they support camp and kids,” she said. LaWanda Spears told the crowd about her son Dimitri, who has benefitted from Camp Fire’s programs and summer camp. “He loves camp and keeps in touch with those kids,” she said. “My goal is to keep him off the street and with Camp Fire’s help, I can do that.”
Camp Fire is celebrating its 100th year providing free after-school activities for kids and free summer camp programs at Camp Tanadoona in Excelsior. As an Excelsior native, I’ve graced Camp Tanadoona before and an experience there is something that should be offered to all kids. I’ll toast to that.