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Italian wines to take flight at Genesis fundraiser

WESTFIELD — The annual wine tasting fundraiser to benefit the Genesis Spiritual Life & Conference Center has been a “cherished” event for 21 years, according to Liz Walz, ASP, executive director.

A major fundraiser, now in its 22nd year, is slated Sept. 10 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on the Mill Street campus.

The annual wine tasting fundraiser at the Genesis Spiritual Life and Conference Center is planned in September. (LORI SZEPELAK PHOTO)

“We learn a lot each year as we keep growing and innovating,” said Walz. “We’re excited about our Italian theme night and looking forward to another magical evening outdoors under the covered walkway and the canopy of trees.”

Walz noted that Genesis chef Jen Moynihan will be preparing a “wide variety of culinary delights” for the affair.

The stations of food will include chilled limoncello soup, pork tenderloin, tortellini, muffaletta, ratatouille, pumpkin ravioli, meatballs, truffles and tiramisu. Vegetarian options will also be provided and beverages to be served include water, wine, and nonalcoholic “mocktails.”

While attendees are enjoying the food offerings, music will be provided by Ethel Lee, a regional singer who is best known for jazz, standards, and blues tunes.

Paul Mancinone, chairman of the board of trustees at Mercy Medical Center and a board member of Trinity Health of New England, will share his knowledge of the wines chosen to be featured that evening. Mancinone, a CPA and tax attorney, noted that because of the relationship with the Sisters of Providence, founders of Mercy Medical Center as well as the Genesis Spiritual Life & Conference Center, he feels honored to be a part of the evening.

“Wine isn’t for snobs, it’s for the public, which is all amateurs like me,” said Mancinone. “I love wine and really enjoy learning about the history of wine, especially as it relates to the United States.”

Mancinone said that by researching and reaching out he has come to know some of the “major players” in the California wine industry.

“I am not a sommelier and don’t claim to be,” he said. “However, I do enjoy the process and sharing my experiences with family and friends like Genesis.”

Together with his nephew, Justin Waterman, Mancinone has assembled a wide selection of wines from Italy.

“Not all were great, but that is the joy of it,” said Mancinone. “I love poking fun at wines that aren’t up to par.”

The wine tasting will feature a Scaia Rosato 2020, La Segreta 2019, Litorale 2019, Vernaccia 2020, Lamuri 2017, Le Salare 2017, Canonica Chianti Classico 2016, Badiolo Chianti 2017, Masottina Prosecco (Treviso), and a Guidobono Barbera 2019. With each sampling, Mancinone will discuss the nuances of each wine as well as the ideal meal parings.

A major fundraiser wouldn’t be complete without a silent auction and gift basket raffle (themes include wine and chocolate), and new this year is a “fun wine pull,” allowing guests to purchase tickets to bring home a mystery bottle of wine which could have a high value. Ten bottles of wine will be featured in the new fundraiser at a cost of $25 per participant.

Gift basket donations are still being accepted for the September wine tasting fundraiser at the Genesis Spiritual Life and Conference Center. (GENESIS SUBMITTED PHOTO)

“If someone enjoys wine, then it would be a fun idea to purchase a wine pull ticket,” said Mancinone. “First, you aren’t going to do bad with any of the wines, even if you don’t get the mystery bottle from one of the great and most prestigious vineyards.”

On a related note, gift cards for gift baskets may also be donated as well as items for the silent auction, and inquiries can be made to Walz weekdays at (413) 562-3627, ext. 104. Sponsorships are also available and range from a “gold” and “silver” level to a “bronze” and “friend” level.

“The event is sure to be a memorable experience,” she said.

Funds raised from the event will benefit the multitude of programs offered at Genesis, including new Wise Elder programs being designed for the unique spiritual gifts and opportunities of adults 75 and older.

Tickets for the fundraiser are $45 in advance and $65 at the door.

For more information on the event or to purchase a wine pull ticket in advance, call 413-562-3627.

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