The sun shone, the wine flowed, the music played and the money was raised – all of it at the Summer Wine Event benefiting the Warm Zone.
The third annual event, hosted by Mt. Lehman Winery, was a success raising over $14,500 for programs that support street-involved women in Abbotsford.
Guests enjoyed a variety of Mt. Lehman wines and appetizers were provided by Klassic Catering. As they enjoyed these gastronomic delights, they had many creative opportunities to donate to the Warm Zone with wine themed games, a 50/50 ticket draw and a silent auction with items donated from businesses and individuals in the community.
“It was wonderful seeing a community of people supporting the Warm Zone by organizing and attending such a great event,” said first-time attendee Maria Wiens. “The wine and food were delicious, the venue was beautiful and relaxing, the silent auction was exciting, and the fundraising games were fun. To top it all off, I was spending time with my friends and community. What a great way to spend an evening.”
Local cover band, Topaz, kept the crowd entertained, playing familiar songs that had people dancing and singing along.
The venue also provided reminders of the women who benefit from this event, with Dale Klippenstein’s large portrait photographs of some of the women who visit the Warm Zone, on one wall.
Another wall held an art display of plaster cast masks made by women, each one a representation of the struggles they live with and the hope they find within themselves. One woman described her mask as: “My true self, when unburdened with anxiety and worries of how I perceive I should behave, is when I feel joy, have more ability to care and feel for others as well as for myself.
Vern and Charleen Siemens have hosted this event for three years. For Charleen, the event hits close to home as she is herself a survivor of sexual abuse. Having volunteered at the Warm Zone, she knows first-hand how the programs support those who really need it.
“So many of these women have survived and are coping with horrendous stories of abuse in their past. As a member of the Abbotsford community I feel it’s important to find a way to help and give back where there is need,” she said.
For more information or to make a donation, visit their website at wrsfv.ca