Event will support hospice

Wine and Cheese Festival benefits Karen Ann Quinlan

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— Guests will be invited to sample wines, enjoy live music and participate in auctions, all while surrounded by the amazing views at Waterwheel Farm.

Friends of Hospice, a volunteer group that supports Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice will host its 30th annual Wine and Cheese Festival on Sunday, Sept. 7, from 2 to 5 p.m. at Waterwheel Farm, 124 Fredon-Marksboro Rd. in Newton.

“It was in August 1983, when Marylyn Thompson, Administrator of the hospice at that time, approached me to help start a committee to raise funds for the hospice. Friends of Hospice started with a small group of women that were interested in fundraising for a program that they believed in.” said Julia Quinlan, Co-Founder and President of Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice. “We discussed different ideas and decided upon a wine and cheese event. Committee member Marion Vitale approached her friends Jeanette and Willard Klemm, owners of Waterwheel Farm to be the site location for this premier event and they graciously agreed. Another member approached Randy Burke of Burke’s Wine and Liquor in Sparta. Randy was known for his exceptional knowledge of wines and agreed to join the group. He is still offering wines from around the world to the delight of the hundreds of people that have attended this great event."

Along with the team of volunteers, the festival continues to be coordinated by Randy Burke, owner of Burke’s Wine and Liquor in Sparta, who assembles more than 100 wines and champagnes from around the world for guests to sample.

“Randy’s support of the hospice and his many years of orchestrating this event have been pivotal in raising thousands of dollars to support the patients and families that we serve,” said Lisa O’Hara, President of the Friends of Hospice.

Thirty years later the arrangement of the event has remained close to the original event.

This year, the Jeff Gaynor Trio will perform for the crowd with their musical backdrop of summer favorites. Festival guests can visit 22 tables of wines each selected to give attendees a full spectrum of samples from across the globe and price scale.

Wine tables will also be filled with cheeses, fruits and desserts to pair with the wines and champagnes. While taking a break from their wine tastings, guests are invited to participate in the silent auction and place their bid on an array of items as well as see what will be up for bid at the live auction held at the end of the day. Local businesses or individuals donate all the items.

Burke will assemble with many vintners at the event to represent their products and answer questions.

Special guests include Lucy Lombardi Molonari representing St. Suprey and Pasqua Wineries; Paul Kreusch from Leonard Kreusch Imports, the largest importer of German wines, will present his wines from around the world; Steven Marencik for Opici Family Distributing will represent wines from around the world; Seth Proper of Cotes du Longue will showcase wines from Pedroncelli, and Nick Goldschmidt Vinyards; Jim McManis of Allied Beverage Group will represent the wines of Franco Espanolas; Orlando Estrada of Gallo’s Fine Wine Division will show wines from William Hill. Rafal Laboda of Innovino International will show wines from Fontana di Papa, Feudi Del Duca and District 7 wineries. Additionally, samples from Hunterdon brewing by Samantha Dudies and Kris Zemitis of Charmer Sunbelt will be representing Monsanto, Simi and Estancia Wineries.

“The Wine and Cheese Festival has become a must on the event calendar for wine enthusiasts throughout the area for many years,” Jeanette Klemm, Vice-President and founding member of Friends of Hospice, said. “This afternoon is also a wonderful opportunity to support the valuable work of Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice.”

For over thirty-four years the hospice has helped thousands of area families cope with the terminal illness of loved ones.

Proceeds from this year’s festival will continue to assist hospice patients and their loved ones.

Tickets for the Wine and Cheese Festival are $50 for adults only and can be purchased at Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice, 99 Sparta Ave. in Newton and at Burke’s Wine and Liquor in Sparta or at the entrance gate on the day of the event.

Joining the Friends of Hospice and Burke’s Wine and Liquor as event sponsors are several area business leaders including Benz and Reading, LLC; CenturyLink; Dolan and Dolan, PA; Eastern Propane; James Alexander Corporation; Lakeland Bank; Perona Farms; Ronetco Supermarkets; Subaru World of Newton; Thorlabs; Faith A. Ullman and Associates; Highlands State Bank; Lion Technology; Sussex Bank; FirstEnergy; GBW Insurance; Heath Village Retirement Community; Holiday Inn Express; HQW Architects, LLC; and Realty Executives.

Julia Quinlan said, “The Wine and Cheese Festival remains one of our most successful fundraisers. It is certainly one of our most enjoyable.”

For additional information call 973-383-0115, 800-882-1117 or visit www.karenannquinlanhospice.org.

As Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice approaches the 30th Anniversary of the Wine and Cheese Festival organizers meet to reminisce and plan ahead for another great event. Pictured left to right are Mark Lind, Manager, Burke’s Wine and Liquor; Lisa O’Hara, President of the Friends of Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice; Julia Quinlan, Co-Founder and President, Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice; Randy Burke, Burke’s Wine and Liquor; Jeanette and Willard Klemm, proprietors of Waterwheel Farm.

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