This year’s Vines for Life Wine Tasting event at the Indianapolis Yacht Club was a celebration of three Geist-area charities all working for a common cause: Provide support and compassion for those dealing with cancer.
Between the admission fees, silent and live auctions, sponsorships, and private donations, Vines for Life officially raised $17,500 which will be split evenly between Creating Hope, Team Luke, and the Indy Survivoars.
Ameriana Bank was one of the first corporate sponsors to come on board to support the cause. Jerry Gassen, their CEO and Feather Cove I resident, attended the inaugural event last year and wanted to do more this year.
“It was a great evening, I met a lot of great people connected to these causes,” said Gassen.
Likewise, Ed Martin Automotive Group sponsored the evening as a presenting sponsor, throwing their behind all three charities. Kathy Harrison with the Ed Martin Automotive Group is president of the Indy Survivoars and one of the founding organizers of Vines for Life. She spoke on behalf of the Indy Survivoars during the event and had some of their dragonboat racing team members come forward to be acknowledged.
Over 60 wines were sampled all evening by Republic National Distributing Company, Elite Beverages, and Monarch Beverage employees. Upstairs, world famous sommelier Arthur Black conducted a blind wine tasting, explaining the differences between eight wines.
Silent auctions were conducted all evening with a live auction hosted by Brown Bear Auctions. Among the items auctioned off live was a five course meal and wine pairing party by the Indianapolis Chef Academy and Elite Beverages, a 2-night stay at the King Estate Winery in Oregon, and a one-of-a-kind Marc Aronstam diamond-Tahitian pearl necklace.
Special thanks to Bongo Boy Music School for providing music all evening. Nancy Dicks, an F.C. Tucker Realtor, transformed the Yacht Club into a Napa Valley winery for the evening with her amazing decorating skills. And a big “thank you” to the 22 volunteers that donated their time for the evening.
“I attended last year and just thought it was a great event,” said Ken Geisinger. “This year, we wanted to do more, so our whole family came and volunteered.”
Vines for Life is orchestrated by a volunteer group that meets throughout the year to plan this event. Susan Cotter with Republic National Distributing and Ray Cox, owner of Elite Beverages, are instrumental in providing the wine, the pourers, and a lot of the silent and live auction items for the event. We all owe a great deal of gratitude to them for their generosity and gift of their time they commit to these charities.
Last but not least, the “conductor” of the event that coordinates the meetings, organizes the silent auction, and keeps everyone on task throughout the year is Jeanne Britt with atGeist.com. Like many others in attendance, Jeanne lost her mother to cancer and sees this event as a way to help others and honor her mom.
For more information on the three benefiting charities, visit their websites: