Somehow, a wine tasting starring sparklings to raise money for an orchestra is just rather fitting, don't you think? That was the featured varietal at Forum 35's Uncorked event benefiting the Kids Orchestra on Aug. 3 at The Varsity Theatre.
The Kids Orchestra, represented by Executive Director Jody Hanet and Development Director Kristy Mayes, is an after-school music program that provides music education in schools that often don't have band or choir programs.
Event chairwoman Jessica Engler and several of her committee members were busy checking in the bottles and putting them in brown paper bags for tasting. Attendees were asked to bring three bottles of their favorite sparkling wine (we can't say Champagne because the French get very upset). Two of the bottles were for the tasting, the third went into a stash that was won by the team that brought the night's top-scored sparkling.
And, are you ready for this? Champagne lovers, take a deep breath — the venerable Veuve Cliquot was the least favorite of them all! In fact, the winning sparklings were a little on the sweet side. Uneducated palates? First place went to Bartenura Sparkling Moscato while Martini & Rossi Asti and Salvatore Principe "Hearts on Fire" Prosecco tied for second. Taking the prize for the most clever name was team "You're so mimosional, you need a Napa."
Earlier that afternoon, I joined 20-plus women in fêteing Helen Nix with birthday cake, punch and two beautiful bouquets of roses in celebration of her 99th birthday. The party was held in one of the conference rooms at Woman's Fitness Club, where Nix regularly goes to exercise and swim. Her exercise buddies hosted the party and were joined by representatives of Altrusa, which made a $300 donation to the Giving Quilt Organization, which makes quilts for infants in Woman's Hospital's NICU. Altrusa members Carolyn Robinson and Gail Johnson are also Nix's exercise buddies.
Altrusa Foundation President Marti Didier presented the honoree with a bouquet of three pink rosebuds — one for the birthday girl, one for being featured on WAFB-TV's "Hand it On" and one for her son, Donny Kay, who shares his mom's birthday. He wasn't able to make it to the party but sister Helen Beth did. Both she and her mom look amazing for their ages and when I inquired as to what her secret was, the elder Helen replied that she'd had two successful back surgeries, two hip replacements and that she eats lots of fruit and nuts. "I eat two Brazil nuts every day," she said proudly. "I was a professional ballroom dancer, but I can't dance anymore. I get dizzy. ... I sure do miss it."