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Community Support Strong for 2009 Jubilee

These may be challenging economic times, but that did not deter many local organizations from stepping up and supporting the 22nd Annual Solano Wine & Food Jubilee.

Held in late April, it was a resounding success, says Brett Johnson, NorthBay Healthcare Foundation president. “It may well have been the best attended – in terms of the greatest number of vendors and guests – in Jubilee history.”

As for ticket sales, the Jubilee was a sell-out. This is great news for NorthBay Hospice & Bereavement, as all Hospice programs benefit from funds raised at the event. “The community really came through for the Jubilee,” Johnson says, and their support of this program – that cares for families in their time of need – is further evidence that “this is a community that truly cares.”

A record-breaking 120 vendors were on hand, and with such a large number of vendors that meant an even greater variety of foods, wines and brews were available for guests to sample.

Approximately 2,000 people gathered under the big tents at the Nut Tree, where first they noshed, socialized and then later danced to the music of popular Latin salsa band Sapo Guapo. Tina Benedict, a Foundation board member and popular local songstress, also performed with the group, and was a big hit.

Early in the evening, an unexpected downpour dumped inches of rain on the area, but the rainwater that flowed through parts of the tent did not deter guests or their festive mood. “This is the only fund-raiser I know that allows you to walk on water,” laughed Lynn Gallagher, long-time NorthBay Hospice volunteer.

As vendors began to wind down the food and wine portion of the evening, guests were invited to pause in their festivities to view a screening of the “Dream of a Lifetime” video. Following that, names of winners were drawn to see who won cash prizes for the raffle and shopping spree. The grand prize of $10,000 went to Vacaville resident Steve Francis.

“While we don’t know the results of all your hard work at this time,” event chairman Wayne Senalik told volunteers and staff in the days following the event, “we do know that this has to be the best that we’ve put on in the last three years – bar none. Thanks for the outstanding execution of a well-thought-out plan.”

Johnson also had high praise for the Jubilee’s many volunteers. “They’re tireless, hard-working people who have been involved, not just on the day of the event, but all year long. Their efforts are really what makes this event such a big success.”

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