A decade ago, a group of women gathered together because they shared a dream. That dream was that more children would have new school clothes and shoes at the beginning of each school year. The women were Assistance League Santa Clarita member-volunteers, and on that day, one of those women spoke up. “We have a vineyard!” said Jeannie Carpenter. (She was referring to Compa Vineyard, a Newhall vineyard, privately owned by Jeannie, Chris and Tim Carpenter). It wasn’t long before a plan was hatched to host a wine-tasting fundraiser to increase the number of children helped by Operation School Bell (Assistance League’s signature program). When the Carpenter brothers heard of the idea, they insisted that Compa be the venue that helped Assistance League fund their dream. Jeannie enlisted the help of Nate Hasper (now the co-owner of Pulchella Winery). She asked if he thought that their mutual “Garagiste” friends would pour at the event. “Absolutely,” was his response. He made quick work of asking around and received a resounding “YES!” from everyone.
The plans were in motion: Seven local “Garagiste” winemakers would attend with their handcrafted wines and Assistance League members would get to work whipping up an elegant menu of appetizers to accompany them. Music would play in the background, a small auction was arranged, and the event sold out. Sunset in the Vineyard was born and Operation School Bell clothed more children than ever that year.
What began as a grassroots effort to raise money to clothe children in need has now become the premier fall wine event in the Santa Clarita Valley. Assistance League members have hung up their aprons and set aside their whisks to make room for a growing number of gourmet artisans and the SCV residents have responded by snapping up the tickets. Marlee Lauffer, Foundation President of Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital and Assistance League Santa Clarita member describes Sunset in the Vineyard as “A celebration of the best of the Santa Clarita Valley– a generous, giving community, excellent local wineries and craft food vendors, and gracious hosts with a stunning backyard.”
Be sure to get your ticket early for the 9th Annual Sunset in the Vineyard to be held on Sunday, November 6, 1-4 p.m. The Chairs for our afternoon will be Jeannie Carpenter, Chris Cook and Stacey Mayfield. Many of our valley’s private vineyards and wine makers will be represented along with De Robertis Family Artisan Cheeses, VNTBC Nano Brewery, Copperhill Brewery and Speakeasy Bakery. We will have the opportunity to taste and savor wine, craft brews, cheeses, and breads directly from the artisans. Chef Cindy Schwanke and Michelle Razzano, along with their talented students from College of the Canyons Institute for Culinary Education will be making pizza from Tim’s wood-fired oven. While enjoying this lovely event and partaking in an exciting live and silent auction, guests will be entertained by music performed by Dole/Humphries.
Tickets are $85 in advance and $95 at the door. Complimentary valet parking is included. Tickets go on sale September 20th. To purchase tickets, donate an auction item or learn more about Assistance League, go to www.assistanceleaguesantaclarita.org and/or like us on Facebook at facebook.com/assistanceleaguesantaclarita/
Assistance League Santa Clarita, organized in 1989 by local women, was chartered in 1993 and has grown to 174 members and 51 Assisteens®. A chapter of National Assistance League, it is a nonprofit, nonpolitical, nonsectarian, and IRS 501(c)(3) service organization. It is also a 100 percent volunteer-driven organization. All funds raised from Sunset in the Vineyard benefit Assistance League programs exclusively in the Santa Clarita Valley.