This year’s event, the club’s sixth annual, offers some new elements. In addition to wine and beer, premium spirits have been added to a tasting menu that features culinary creations from some of the area’s best restaurants.
Also, those who buy a VIP ticket, which entitles the holder to attend a separate 6 to 7:30 p.m. tasting, will enjoy upscale fine wines from M&R Liquors, appetizers catered by Abigail’s and Evergreen’s restaurants, an international selection of cheeses from Shop Rite in Canton, and the music of Christopher Ladd, a visiting professor at The Hartt School-University of Hartford and director of The Hartt School Guitar Festival.
“We introduced the VIP event last year and wanted to build on it,” Tastes-of-the-Valley Chair Capri Frank said.
The club changed the event’s venue from the Avon Community Center to Tower Ridge in 2013 and is now able to accommodate more than 300 attendees. Tower Ridge Country Club is located at 140 Nod Road, Simsbury.
“More than 15 local restaurants will be there offering a great tasting experience to the community,” Frank said. “Plus M&R Liquors will present wine samplings and education throughout the night, as they have done since the Tastes-of-the-Valley’s inception in 2009.”
For the second consecutive year, Bloomfield’s Back East Brewery will offer tastes of their craft beers, and for the first time, samplings of two premium spirits -- Patron Tequila and Tanduay Asian Rum – will be available.
Also making a debut at Tastes-of-the-Valley is local winery Lost Acres Vineyard of North Granby.
Music for listening and dancing will be provided by The Colbys, a husband and wife duo from Avon composed of Grammy and Emmy award-winning composer John Colby on keyboard and his wife, Bev Rohlehr, lead singer, along with an ensemble. They have performed at many venues, including the Newport Jazz Festival.
In addition to ticket sales, funds are raised through a silent auction that is part of the event. A wide variety of items from local, regional and national companies will be presented for bid.
The club encourages Tastes-of-the-Valley sponsorship as well. Four levels of sponsorships are available that include VIP tickets, sponsor signage at the event, inclusion in promotional materials, and listing on the club’s website. Sponsors will also be featured in a video to be shown at the event.
Over the course of the last five years, the Rotary Club of Avon-Canton has contributed more than $200,000 to local and international projects. All fundraising profits go toward charities supported by the club.
Locally the non-profits include Avon and Canton Fuel Banks, Avon and Canton Dollars for Scholars, FAVARH, Gifts of Love, Roaring Brook Nature Center, Foodshare and AMBER Alert. Internationally, the club supports polio eradication and clean water projects, the core projects of Rotary Club International.
Another global project the club is involved with has local connections, Guiding Light Orphanage. A medical and educational center for HIV/AIDS orphans and vulnerable children in rural Uganda, the mission was founded by Ugandan native Jolly Lux and her husband, Kurt Lux. The Avon residents are club members.
Rotary offers business and professional women and men the opportunity to provide service and meet special needs and challenges in their communities, nationally and internationally.
For tickets and information call Craig Buhrendorf at 860-676-1261 or order online through PayPal at www.RotaryClubofAvon-Canton.org. For sponsor information contact Capri Frank at firstname.lastname@example.org or 860-306-9814; or Chuck Joseph at Chuck.Joseph@wakefern.com or 860-233-1713 ext. 16.