Carla Marsh

Mary Csar

Children Big Winners
at Boca Bacchanal Winefest & Auction

Children's Causes in Boca Raton: Community Education Programs of the Boca Raton Historical Society and the Maternity and Children's Service at Boca Raton Community Hospital to Benefit

BOCA RATON, FL - March 25, 2003 - It was a weekend of exquisite dining, fine wines, "revelry on the green," a stunning Auction Dinner and a lovely outdoor farewell brunch. When it was concluded with a rousing "cheers" toast, it was the children of Boca Raton who were big winners as the Boca Raton Historical Society presented its first annual Boca Bacchanal Winefest & Auction March 21-23 in Boca Raton, FL.

The "Bacchanal" name is derived from the Roman festival of Bacchus, the god of wine, celebrated in classical times with dancing, song and revelry. This stellar fundraiser held true to its goal of celebrating wine and food, offering many opportunities for the entire community to join together in a festive atmosphere while supporting children's causes in Boca Raton. The Community Education Programs of the Boca Raton Historical Society and the Maternity and Children's Service at the Boca Raton Community Hospital were this year's beneficiaries.

The weekend began with Vintner Dinners, ranging in size from 20 to 58 guests, held in the historic Addison Restaurant as well as nine private homes and grand estates 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. These acclaimed chefs included Jody Adams (Rialto, Cambridge, MA); Michelle Bernstein (Azul, Miami, FL); John Besh (Restaurant August, New Orleans, LA); Jim Dodge (The Getty Center, Los Angeles, CA); Cesare Giaccone, (Ristorante dei Cacciatore, Piedmont, Italy) ; Nick Morfogen (32 East, Delray Beach, FL); Oliver Saucy (Café Maxx, Pompano Beach, FL); Hiro Sone & Lissa Doumani (Terra, St. Helena, CA) ; Allen Susser (Chef Allen's, Aventura, FL) and Alice Weingarten (Alice's at La Te Da, Key West, FL)

The presenting vintners were Swanson Vineyards, (Rutherford, CA); Columbia Winery, (Woodinville, WA); Steele Wines, (Kelseyville, CA); Chalone Wine Group, (Napa, CA); Bodegas Faustino, (Rioja, Spain) ; ZD Winery, (Napa Valley, CA); Vietti (Castiglione Falletto, Italy); Benziger Family Winery (Glen Ellen, CA); Maison Louis Jadot, (Beaune, France); Barossa Valley Estates, (Australia).

On Saturday afternoon 17 of Boca Raton's top restaurants cooked up a rousing BOCAnalia afternoon at the Center for the Arts at Mizner Park. The event featured more than 200 different wines, live music and a presentation by Steve Abrams, Mayor of Boca Raton, to a delegation of city officials and vintners from Alba, Italy. Michael Weiss, a wine and spirits professor at the Culinary Institute of America in New Hyde Park, NY, presented two wine seminars in the Museum of Art. Approximately 1,000 individuals took part in the BOCAnalia festivities.

On Saturday evening the Private Bank at Bank of America presented the weekend's centerpiece event, the Auction Dinner at the Boca Raton Resort and Club. The Resort's Chef James Reaux presided over the dinner, along with his fellow culinarians who had created the Friday night Vintner Dinners. The 325 guests were vying for a host of extraordinary lifestyle lots and wines. A bottle of Grace Family Vineyard wine was purchased for $12,000 and a Maginifica Class trip to Italy aboard Alitalia Airlines was purchased for $9,500. Other top Auction lots included a trip to the Sun Valley Jazz Festival ($4,800), Marchese Antinor Italina wines ($8,500) and an "Ultimate Slumber Party at the Boca Raton Resort & Club ($5,500). Dick Grace, owner of Grace Family Vineyards and a wine industry icon, served as Honorary Master of Ceremonies. David Reynolds was Auctioneer.

Boca Bacchanal 2003 concluded with a beautiful "farewell brunch" in the scenic Cloister Garden at the Resort. Jeff Kaye and a trio of fellow Florida Philharmonic musicians provided a musical backdrop.

General co-chairs and organizers of Boca Bacchanal are Carla Marsh, Ann Rutherford, Margaret Mary Shuff and Joan Wargo, along with Boca Raton Historical Society Executive Director, Mary Csar. Honorary Chairmen are Mr. & Mrs. Louis Green and Dr. & Mrs. Keith C. Wold. Other key chairs include: Carter Strickland, Wine Committee; Mr. & Mrs. Timothy Snow and Mr. & Mrs. Mike Baker, Vintner Dinners; Lisa Ring-Warren and Christine Coyle, BOCAnalia; Renee Feder and Becky Davis, Grand Finale Dinner, Kate Toomey and Joanie Robertson, Auction and Diana Strickland, Brunch.

Boca Bacchanal corporate and private sponsors include Dr. & Mrs. Keith C. Wold, The Private Bank at Bank of America, Boca Raton Magazine, National Distributing Company, Alitalia Airlines, Boca Raton Resort & Club, JM Family Enterprises, Palm Beach County Tourist Development Council, The Wine News, Carla Marsh Public Relations, Lou Bachrodt Chevrolet, Master Design Group, Schmidt Family Foundation, Boca Raton Transportation, Cendyn, Delray Lincoln Mercury, Mizner Park, Mr. and Mrs. Charles E. Rutherford, The Palm Beach Post, Publix Supermarkets Charities, Taittinger, The Marsh Family Foundation, SUNNY 104.3 FM and Un Po' Pazzo, Inc.

For more information please contact the Boca Raton Historical Society at 561.395.6766. Please monitor the event website at for an event photo scrapbook and for the announcement of the dates for next year's event.

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