Putting together an event of any size is quite an effort. Putting together Wine & Dine for Horizons at CA takes the dedication of so many people. It is really quite something. While making Wine & Dine come alive is truly a Herculean effort, it is well worth it! Wine & Dine is our opportunity to show just how important this program is, how many lives it has touched, what the impact has been through the years, and what we aspire to achieve in the future. Horizons is a program that brings us all together to provide opportunity to students who are woefully underserved in so many ways.
This year’s theme was Carnaval. I wanted to celebrate our Latin American heritage and culture, to highlight the gifts of dance, music, food, and joie de vivre that come from Central and South America. And that we did! Our co-chairs, Alison Gile and Janie Ramseier, put in countless hours to make sure that the event was a success.
Our committee members came to meetings, provided feedback, guidance, time, and talent. The breathtaking decor was envisioned and executed by Rachel Aguirre, Allison Dodge, Alison Gile, and our dedicated volunteers. Jenny Wolkon worked hard to make sure our restaurant sponsors provided delicious Latin-infused food. CA Operations helped behind the scenes, ensuring everything turned out just right. Acquisitions chair, Jocelyn Ege, and her coordinator, Cecilia LeWand, got unique live auction items and experiences. So many community members donated wine, gift cards, and countless other items.
Our own national salsa champion, Seventh Grader Gabriela Gonzalez, performed impeccably. Tom Kimball, our amazing auctioneer, wove his magic and made the evening flow. As you can see, it is a community effort!
In terms of the program, the speech by Edith Villalobos—who has been associated with the Horizons program for 20 years and is living proof of the power of this program—was incredibly moving. And our video profile on Nehemias Luna—an inspirational story—really hit the mark.
Our sponsors, donors, and attendees all played a pivotal role in our financial success, which is ultimately so critical to be able to run the program. Wine & Dine provides 50 percent of our operating budget. Without the funds raised at this event, we would not be able to run the program in the summer.
Having so much support from the CA community—faculty, staff, parents, and Horizons Club members—and knowing that everyone has a vested interest in the program’s success provides me with so much hope. This is a program that works, that makes an enormous difference in the lives of our students. The CA community’s unflagging support makes it all possible. For that, I am eternally grateful. Mil gracias y adelante!