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Mardi Gras – Wine Country Style

Chateau Souverain Winery - Sonoma County, California

California wineries are great supporters of the Arts and Non-Profit organizations. They are active participants in their communities and Chateau Souverain is a sterling example.
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Each year for the past six, a small non-profit named The Geyserville Education Foundation has found a friendly place to hold an annual fundraiser for their local schools general fund in May. This dedicated group of parents and teachers makes a difference in their community.
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The event took place on another beautiful spring day in Sonoma County. Driving north on Hwy. 101, about an hour and forty-five minutes from San Francisco, I took the Independence Lane exit and turned left to get to the winery.
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I soon found Isabelle Adams, the Executive Director of The Geyserville Education Foundation and Cathy Del Fava, the event coordinator as the Mardi Gras began.
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Surrounding the stunning pool on the winery’s patio were about 20 tables loaded with donated items from a supportive community of businesses and service organizations. Many of the local wineries, restaurants, bed and breakfasts, motels and hotels were represented in the silent and live auction. And, yes, this is California, so there were massages, hot springs, mud baths and even offers of cookies once a month for a year. I’ve seen fundraisers before, but this one had a heart.
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A Cajun band called Cajun Classics started playing lively music while the tri-tips were started on the BBQ. There was serious attention being paid to the authenticity of the event and the home made sausages, jambalaya, gumbo and other goodies were in abundant supply. The wine flowed, the Mardi Gras masks appeared, another band called Now’s The Tune added to the music that was just right in the background and if you left hungry, it was your own fault.
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Random conversations with the happy supporters made it clear that they were all there to celebrate and enjoy the gift of giving to a cause they loved.
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About 300 people attended this celebration of community and supported the education of its children. It’s hard to believe all this took place in Geyserville, a small community of about 1,600 residents, but hey, this is America! Don’t miss this event next year in May.
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Contact The Geyserville Education Foundation, where tax-deductible contributions are welcomed at: P. O. Box 537, Geyserville, CA. 95441, 707-857-3592.
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A tribute to the volunteers and supporting businesses can soon be found on the school’s web site.
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Peter
I look forward to your comments, suggestions and ideas. Drop me an e-mail or call 707-566-8034.

NEW!

The 7th annual Celebrate Geyserville, sponsored by the Geyserville Educational Foundation, will be held Saturday, May 31, 2003 at the new Culinary Center at Clos Du Bois Winery, 19410 Geyserville Ave, Geyserville CA. The event will begin with a silent auction, followed by a buffet dinner and live auction. As always, there will be some special surprises along the way, and we are sure this will be another great event!
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This year's theme will be a Cruise to a Polynesian Paradise. Geyserville Unified School District art teacher Dave Beal has again agreed to apply his creative talents to decorating the venue. If you attended last year's Mardi Gras, you'll remember how terrific the site looked. This year's atmosphere will be just as fantastic.
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Your cruise on the SS Geyserville will begin at 5:30 in and around the Culinary Center at Clos Du Bois. During the cruise you will enjoy "pupu", (Hawaiian for hors de oeuvres) from our local restaurants, sip wines from many local wineries and bid on such wonderful items as massages, B&B stays, jewelry, gift certificates, wine and much more. There will also be a raffle; a Hawaiian shirt contest and you may even collect a lei along the way!
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At 7:30 you will disembark to a tropical island- (conveniently located in the Clos Du Bois barrel room) for a fabulous themed buffet dinner, dessert and champagne. The live auction will begin shortly after dinner where you will be able to bid on items such as premium Sonoma and Napa Valley wines, weekend get-a-ways, dinners, and the popular dessert of the month.
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Ticket price for this wonderful event is just $50.00 per guest. 100% of our proceeds go directly to benefit the children of Geyserville schools. This year, more than ever, the schools need our help. Please come and "Celebrate Geyserville" with us! For more information call Sandy Elliott at 707-857-4757 or email tsmelliott@attbi.com
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Website and all photos copyright © 2001–2015 Lee W. Nelson