Area residents come for an evening of spirits to support Sussex County kids

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:49

    SUSSEX COUNTY-More than 200 people attended the wine tasting fund-raiser held to benefit Sussex County's Kid's Educational Enrichment Program. The program, known as K.E.E.P, is a non-profit organization serving Sussex County with full and part-time child care. The event was designed to generate money for the scholarships offered by the group. "No child should be without care because a family can't afford it," said K.E.E.P. CEO Tricia Smith. "If a family can't afford the care, we cover the difference." Area residents turned out to support the cause as well as take advantage of the opportunity to taste a wide variety of unique wines. Attendees paid $20 each to taste over 60 different wines from all over the world ranging in price from $3 dollars a bottle to over $100 dollars. "As a small business owner in Sparta I wanted to support the organization. And have some fun doing it," said Erica Lupo, owner of Acting-A-Part, a children's theater program based on Main Street. Sparta residents Shanti Gold and Natalie Shelton said they came to "support the cause and find some really good wines to buy." And Robyn and Dennis Bivona, also from Sparta, also made an appearance to show their suppor for K.E.E.P. "It is so important to support Sussex County kids," said Dennis Bivona. We try to do what we can to get behind things like this in the area." Randy Burke, owner of Burke's Wine and Liquors in Sparta, was the force behind choosing the wines served as well as arranging for volunteers to both donate the spirits and pour them. While the finally tally is not yet in, the event is thought to have raised several thousand dollars.