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Lakewood Rotary tips glass to charity

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  • | 4:00 a.m. October 26, 2011
  • East County
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LAKEWOOD RANCH — East County residents and the Rotary Club of Lakewood Ranch soon will be tipping their glasses for local charities as the Rotary Club hosts its 10th annual Suncoast Food & Wine Fest.

The event will be held from 1-4 p.m. Nov. 12 at the Sarasota Polo Club, 8201 Polo Club Lane, Sarasota.
Tickets cost $60 per person and must be purchased in advance. The price includes sampling more than 300 American and international wines and food from 35 of the area’s top restaurants, including the Lazy Lobster, Blu Smoke Island Grill, 15 South, Ezra Café, Michael’s on East, Paris to Budapest and Ruth’s Chris Steak House, among others. Festivities also include specialty beer tastings, cooking demonstrations, a silent auction and live entertainment by The Venturas. All attendees will have a chance to win the grand-prize drawing for a climate-controlled wine refrigerator, as well.

“Every proceed dollar goes right back into the local community,” event chairman Mark Brink said, noting monies are distributed through an annual grant process. “This is our 10th annual event. We’re very happy to have been able to do what we’ve done, and this year I’m pretty sure we’ll go over $1 million (total raised for charity).

“I think the end result is what it’s all about,” he said.

The Suncoast Food & Wine Fest is the Lakewood Ranch Rotary Club’s largest annual fundraising event; it has generated more than $825,000 for local charities — primarily those that help children and the elderly — since its inception.

Brink said this year’s festival will be similar to those of years past. Attendees will be able to purchase wines on-site to take home, as they did last year, as well.

Organizers also hope larger tents for sampling will make tasting areas more comfortable for attendees, Brink said.

Tickets will be available for purchase online through Nov. 6. They also can be picked up at participating retailers in Sarasota and Manatee counties.

The event will be held rain or shine.

For more information about the festival or for a list of where you can purchase tickets, visit or call 870-0002.

Contact Pam Eubanks at [email protected].

Suncoast Food & Wine Festival
When: 1-4 p.m. Nov. 12
Where: Sarasota Polo Club, 8201 Polo Club Lane, Sarasota
Hosted by: Rotary Club of Lakewood Ranch
Cost: $60
Details: Ticket includes wine, beer and food samples, silent auction, live music and more. Proceeds benefit local charities through a grant distribution process.
Registration: Tickets must be purchased in advance.
Info or tickets:


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