Carla Marsh

Boca Raton Historical Society
“Cheers” Success of Boca Bacchanal Winefest & Auction

Children’s Causes in Boca Raton to Benefit from Fundraising Efforts

Boca Raton, FL – The Boca Raton Historical Society is cheering the success of its second annual Boca Bacchanal Winefest & Auction, a fundraising event inaugurated last year to celebrate wine and food while providing the entire community an opportunity to join together in an enjoyable cultural event. Once again, the dynamic Boca Bacchanal committee presented a weekend of delectable festivities.

Beth King, Chefs Patrick Perry and Alice Weingarten, Cathy Arts, Rick Malinowski

Starring were an evening of magnificent vintner dinners, a delightful tasting and sipping luncheon on the green, an exciting auction and dinner and a beautiful “brunch in the sky”… all to support the Community Programs of the Historical Society and the Children’s Place South.

“We were thrilled with the support we received from our sponsors, volunteers and guests at Boca Bacchanal,” said Mary Csar, Executive Director of BRHS. “ Their generosity will have a direct, positive effect on the lives of our children, now and in the future.” Csar said that over 1,600 people attended the weekend festivities, and that approximately $ 170,000 was raised by auctions.

Csar said that a “fund-a-need call” at the live auction netted $25,000 which will be used to complete the restoration of the 1947 streamline rail cars, located at the FEC Railway Station Count De Hoernle Pavilion, buy providing handicapped access, furniture and transportation of area children to visit the cars. The train cars now provide a site for tours, exhibits and other functions, providing children with educational and cultural programs, offering them a sense of place and an ongoing link with their heritage.

The weekend began with ten “sold out” Vintner Dinners held in private homes and historic sites in the Boca Raton area. Each venue was a magnificent setting for the talents of the chefs and the outstanding wines poured by the vintners.

The presenting vintners were Clarke Swanson, (Swanson Vineyards, Rutherford, CA); Christopher W. Silva (St. Francis Winery, Sonoma, CA); Peter K. Huwiler (Merryvale Vineyards, Napa Valley, CA); Rolando Beramendi (Barone Ricasoli, Brolio, Casanova di Neri, Fonterutoli, Tuscany, Italy); Jeffrey Paterson (Mt. Eden Vineyards, Santa Cruz, CA); John W. Gay (Penfolds, Australia); Tom Selfridge (Chalone Wine Group, Napa, CA); Norman and Rosalee DeLeuze (ZD Winery, Napa Valley, CA); Kathy Benziger (Benziger Family Winery , Glen Ellen, CA); Olivier Masmondet (Maison Louis Jadot, Beaune, France) and Piedmont producers Malvira’, Cigliuti, Borgo Maragliano, and Cascian Fontana (Piedmont, Italy).

The chefs include Ken Frank (La Toque, Rutherford, CA); Alice Weingarten (Alice’s Key West, Key West, FL); Todd Slossberg (Hotel Jerome, Aspen, CO); Clark Frasier & Mark Gaier (Arrows Restaurant, Ogunquit, ME); Rich Vellante (Legal Sea Foods, Boston MA); Roberto Donna (Galileo, Washington, D.C.); Robbin Haas (Chispa, Coral Gables, FL); Maurilio Garola (La Ciau Del Tornavento, Treiso, Italy) Michelle Bernstein (Azul, Miami, FL); Jim Dodge (The Getty Center, Los Angeles, CA); Nick Morfogen (32 East, Delray Beach, FL) and Oliver Saucy (Café Maxx, Pompano Beach, FL).

On Saturday afternoon a talented troupe of Boca Raton’s top chefs and restaurants gathered to cook up a rousing BOCAnalia “by the bite” luncheon at the Center for the Arts at Mizner Park. The event featured more than 170 different wines, live music by Jeff Kaye and his band, and wine seminars by Michael Weiss, a wine and spirits professor at the Culinary Institute of America in New Hyde Park, NY. Approximately 1,000 individuals took part in the BOCAnalia festivities.

On Saturday evening the weekend’s centerpiece event, the Auction & Dinner was held at the Boca Raton Resort and Club. The Resort’s Chef James Reaux presided over the grand tasting reception and multi-course dinner, created by the Vintner Dinner chefs and vintners.

Honorary Vintner Chairman Dick Grace, of Grace Family Vintners, was keynote speaker as he described the wonderful community services performed by the Historical Society and the Children’s Place South. He also explained to guests how their generosity at the auction would benefit children in Boca Raton. Entertaining Auctioneer Dave Reynolds expertly guided bidders through 41 extraordinary lifestyle lots and wines, deftly coaxing the bids higher and higher for each item.

Boca Bacchanal concluded with a beautiful “Brunch in the Sky” at the Resort’s 27 Ocean Blue restaurant at the Top of the Tower, which offers breathtaking ocean views..

Boca Bacchanal corporate and private sponsors include Mrs. Keith C. Wold, Boca Raton Magazine, National Distributing Company, Boca Raton Resort & Club, JM Family Enterprises, The Wine News, Un Po' Pazzo, Inc., Carla Marsh Public Relations, Cendyn, Newman-Craske Family, Rutherford, Mulhall, PA; Publix Super Market Charities, Champagne Taittinger, the R. A. Ritter Foundation and SUNNY 104.3 FM.

Vintner Dinner Hosts were Pat Moran and Christine Coyle; Wachovia Wealth Management, Tom & Christine Schidel; Karin and Blas Moros and Premier Estate Properties; Flip Sebille and Gregory A Mermigas; Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Ruzika, Kimberly and Steven Sciarreta, Wenford and Sylvia Hood, Mr. and Mrs. Clayton Varner, Robert B. Campbell, Sara and Monty Preiser and Mr. and Mrs. Per-Olaf Loof.

Boca Bacchanal chairs include: Cathy Arts and Beth King, Event Co-Chairs; Chris Kearney and Saby Diaz, Vintners; Howard Olshansky, Margaret Hudson, John Mullhall and Sylvie Godin, Children’s Place Liaisons; Chef Jim Dodge, Chef Advisory Chair; Chef Joe Coletto, BOCAnalia Chefs Chair; Chef James Reaux, Auction Dinner; Mary Jane Evans and John Lewis, Vintner Dinners; George Brown and Linda Davidson, BOCAnalia; Renee Feder and Becky Davis, Grand Finale Auction Dinner; Megan Tormey, Auction; Ginny and Peter Page, Brunch; Carter Strickland, Wine Committee; Carla Marsh, Chef Acquisitions and Public Relations; Ann Rutherford, Underwriting; Kae Jonsons, Pre-events; John Hannifan, Treasurer; Mary Csar, Marketing; Robin Deyo, Website and Carole Putman, Database. Serving in an advisory capacity are last year’s chairmen Ann Rutherford, Carla Marsh, Margaret Mary Shuff and Joan Wargo, as well as Tim and Julie Snow, and Lisa Warren.

The Boca Raton Historical Society is located at 71 North Federal Highway. For information on next year’s Boca Bacchanal, call 561-395-6766 or visit the website at

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