Greensburg Daily News
A decided ‘80s- and ‘90s-classic-rock groove permeated the air Saturday afternoon at Arbor Grove Village, the wine flowing liberally as supporters of Meals on Wheels mingled the afternoon away at the 2nd Annual Wine on Wheels fundraiser.
According to Greensburg Meals on Wheels Director Diana Robbins, this year’s event saw roughly the same number of attendee’s as the inaugural edition. Still, comparisons between the two are almost unfair, Robbins said, as the 2013 event was significantly better-planned and executed.
“We’re still learning how to do this,” Robbins said. “But everything went so much more smoothly this year. Much of that is thanks to Annie Adams. She was great. [Greensburg Fire Chief] Scott Chasteen was wonderful too. His knowledge on where to get things and how to get things set up was invaluable.”
Chasteen recently joined the Meals on Wheels Board of Directors. He helped secure tables and chairs for the event from City Hall. The fire chief also procured the services of Dave Ricke, who donated and prepared the complimentary pork chops for Saturday’s event.
Adams joined Arbor Grove Village in December as the facility’s marketing and admissions director, so she didn’t attend last year’s event. Even so, her input will likely reverberate well beyond the 2013 Wine on Wheels.
“Not long after I got here,” Adams said, “Diana asked me if I was interested in helping out. I didn’t have the advantage of knowing what it was like last year, but I had some definite ideas.”
Those ideas included finding an actual winery for the 2013 event as opposed to bringing in cases of wine from a store and using bartenders to serve.
It took Adams roughly a month and a half to find the Chateau Pomije Winery, New Alsace, Dearborn County.
Fortunately for Meals on Wheels, Chateau Pomije co-owner Shelley Anevski not only ardently supports philanthropic causes in general, but is also a big believer in Meals on Wheels in particular.
Anevski told the Daily News at Saturday’s event that her grandmother and great grandmother, both of whom lived in Appalachia, received assistance from Meals on Wheels, one of them for “many, many years.”
Anevski and Chateau Pomije donated about $500 worth of wine to Saturday’s event, she said, distributed in two-ounce samples to attendees. Wine drinkers “paid” for their samples with tickets provided at arrival, with each attendee receiving five of the tickets for the price of admission.
Saturday’s featured band, Greensburg’s own Skeeter McGee, was also Adams’ idea. Finding them also took about a month and a half, she said.
Skeeter McGee bassist Rich Bryant said the band was thrilled to support local causes like Meals on Wheels.
Although the band regularly plays paid gigs, Bryant pointed out that “we don’t do it for the money” and “if we can help out our community, we do it.”
Next up on the band’s philanthropic schedule is the June 21 through 22 Relay for Life at the Decatur County Fairgrounds.
“We’ll be playing out there on June 22,” Bryant said.
Meals on Wheels paid Skeeter McGee a fee to play Wine on Wheels, which the band promptly donated back, the bassist added. The band also sold CDs of its original music at Saturday’s event; 100 percent of those proceeds went to Meals on Wheels of Greensburg.
“Meals on Wheels is such a great, worthwhile program,” Adams said. “Supporting them falls perfectly in line with Arbor Grove’s motto of being part of and giving back to the community. We’re so pleased to host Wine on Wheels.”
Arbor Grove also paid for the awning tents set up for Saturday’s event. The largest tent held tables and chairs for attendees, while Skeeter McGee and Chateau Pomije also had separate tents, as did the food.
Greensburg’s Just Loafin’ provided desserts for Saturday’s wine drinkers, Adams pointed out.
Robbins is already planning next year’s Wine on Wheels.
“We would’ve liked to have had a larger turnout this year,” she said, “but we had to shift the date from June 1 to June 8 on short notice.”
June 1 was graduation day for area high schools, and Robbins knew holding Wine on Wheels then would’ve killed the turnout.
“Next year, we’re holding it the second Saturday of June,” she said. “We start formally planning it in January, but we know the date beyond doubt, and we know we won’t be conflicting with graduation. We’ll be selling sponsored tables and will be adding a brewery for people who prefer beer.”
Although Meal on Wheels of Greensburg has collected roughly the same amount of money in donations and fund raising in 2013, according to Robbins, the organization is operating on a deficit of “around $3,000 or $4,000” compared to last year,
“We’re serving way more meals this year — about 40 to 45 meals a day,” she said. “We served around 25 to 30 meals a day last year.”
She added, “It costs us about $5.50 per meal, but we only charge our clients $2.40.”
Wine on Wheels helps offset those costs, as did January’s “Dancing with the Stars” event as Aspen Place Health Campus. The next big Meals on Wheels Fundraiser will be the November 10 Knights of St. John breakfast, held on South Wilder Street.
“We’re also selling discount cards, which give you a discount or special at 14 local businesses,” Robbins said.
Those discount cards, which cost $5 each, are valid through May 31, 2014. Participating businesses include: Adamo’s, Cattleman’s, Dairy Queen, Dawg Haus, Just Loafin’, Koch’s, Levensteins, Lincoln Street Grill, Parkside Lanes, Ponderosa, Somethin’s Perkin, Trackside Cafe, Tree City Oil & Lube, and Wings & Rings.
For more information on the Chateau Pomije Winery, call 800-791-9463 or visit www.cpwinery.com.
For more information on Skeeter McGee, visit www.gigmasters.com or call Rich Bryant at 812-593-4301 to schedule a booking.
For more information on Meals on Wheels of Greensburg, call Diana Robbins at 812-593-5819.
More photos from this event are available at www.greensburgdailynews.smugmug.com.
Contact: Rob Cox 812-663-3111 x7011