Fine wine, gourmet food and a great cause … you can’t argue with fundraiser basics, and again the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation pulled it off beautifully. Set in the Galleria downtown, the party kicked off with a VIP reception in Café Sweetwater, with dishes by Chef Donna Chriszt, a live auction, and comments from CFF Executive Director Nate Cross and Jennifer Pinardo, CF mom and co-founder of “Sal’s Pals” in honor of their son.
The event displayed the talents of 23 area restaurants and caterers, each offering a broad range of samplings. For example, Paladar Latin Kitchen offered plantain crusted crab croquettes, The House of Blues dished up jambalaya and cornbread; and Autumn Skoczen knocked it out of the park with her shot-infused cupcakes.
But this event, also known as the “Cleveland Wine Opener,” is all about tasting more than 100 reds and whites from Heidelberg, Private Reserve, Western Reserve Wines, Euro Fine Wines and more. 400-plus guests strolled through the Galleria, souvenir glass in hand, sipping and sampling. An impressive silent auction helped the organization toward its $110,000 goal to support CF research and patient support programs.
STORY BY LINDA McMULLEN/PHOTOGRAPHS BY JOHN BASHIAN