POSTED ON JUNE 9, 2010:
Wine, Women and Shoes affords opportunity for shopping, drinking and fundraising
High Numbers. Tulsa’s Wine, Women and Shoes event has raised approximately $200,000 during the past three years and continues to grow. About 350 people attended last year, and organizers expect to exceed that number this year.
Nobody said indulging yourself had to induce guilt. Yet, sometimes we feel positively sinful after partaking of something deliciously rich or splurging on a new fashion accessory. Our consciences bug us when we give into our desires. We regret our temporary lapse of self-control and scramble to justify our extravagance later on. Fortunately, we don't have to feel this way.
Thanks to YWCA Tulsa's fourth annual Wine, Women and Shoes, women (and men) can taste fine wines from California and Oregon, shop for chic shoes and accessories and benefit an organization that's been helping women's causes for more than 90 years. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the event, which takes place June 11 and 12, benefit Tulsa's YWCA. So you can go ahead and shop guilt-free knowing you're furthering a good cause.
Tulsa's Wine, Women and Shoes event has raised approximately $200,000 during the past three years and continues to grow. About 350 people attended last year, and organizers expect to exceed that number this year, said Meredith McDaris, YWCA Tulsa director of resource management.
Wine, Women and Shoes became a national event in 2005 as a result of a conversation Napa Valley vintner Elaine Honig had with a friend about pairing wine with shoes.
After noticing the increasing popularity of wine and food pairings, Honig thought it would be exciting to create a fun, new combination: wine and shoes. And voila! The "fine art of wine and shoe pairing" was born.
She took her idea a step further when she decided to make helping women's causes a part of the event as well. Since then, the event has raised more than $4 million in 20 cities nationwide. About 15,000 people attend each year.
One new addition this year is YWCA Tulsa's partnership with the Tulsa Ballet, 1212 E. 45th Place South, where the three-part event begins with the Patron Wine and Ballet Experience on June 11 from 6 pm to 8pm.
"It's going to be a great way to not only help (YWCA Tulsa), but also because it introduces patrons to what we do," said Amy Miller, Tulsa Ballet's director of development.
While sipping wine from about 12 vintners and tasting hors d'oeuvres from local chefs, participants can watch a 20-minute performance of Nacho Duato's Por Vos Muero, which Tulsa Ballet dancers are scheduled to perform in Washington, D.C. this summer as part of the Kennedy Center's "Dance Across America" program. The dancers will be available to talk with Wine, Women and Shoes participants after the performance, too.
YWCA's partnership with the Tulsa Ballet is "a good opportunity for one not-for-profit to help another not-for-profit," said event chair Isaac Rocha, who played a crucial role in bringing the two organizations together.
He said being able to provide Tulsans with an experience many of them most likely wouldn't have otherwise and support a long-standing nonprofit like YWCA Tulsa are what he finds most exciting about this year's event.
Each Wine, Women and Shoes event has "kind of the same characteristics but with a different flavor each year," Roch said.
The Patron Wine and Ballet Experience also features a live auction with many prizes, including private trips to wine country, a Saks Fifth Avenue shoe and wine package and, of course, wine and shoes. One prize, Ain't no Grandma's Teaparty, features a private invitation to a sponsor's home for more wine tasting and shoes. Tickets to participate in the Experience cost $150.
At the heels of the Patron Wine and Ballet Experience is the Toe-Tapping Wine Tasting, an after party for shoe and wine lovers of all ages that offers more fine food, dance, music and the Wine, Women and Shoes' renowned wine and shoe pairings. Tickets to the Toe-Tapping Wine Tasting cost $40 per person.
You don't have to be a wine connoisseur or a shoe fashionista to sample and enjoy the fares. Vintners explain the pairings and answer questions event participants might have. The vintners include Adi, Eagle Eye, Etcetera, Gabrielle Collection, Sokol Blosser, Villa San Juliette and Zahtila, who will offer wine at each part of the event. Other local vintners will attend as well.
Wine prices range anywhere from $10 to more than $75 a bottle, said Janet McGehee, who is also an event chair.
Participants can shop to their hearts' content during the third part of Wine, Women and Shoes, From Manolo to Merlot: Luncheon, Fashion Show and Shopping. This part of the event takes place at the Renaissance Hotel, 6808 S. 107th E. Ave., on June 12 from 11:30am to 2pm. Tickets cost $75 per person to attend.
In addition to wine and a luncheon, 13 local and international retailers will offer their newest lines of shoes and accessories. Retailers include Angeleigh Anastasio, Dolly & Angel, The Glass Slipper, J. Cole Shoes, Miss Jackson's, Monique VonBlitter, Moxie Shoes, Nattie Bleu, Preston Paper, Saks Fifth Avenue, Zinke Designs and Sole Mates.
Sponsor-picked models will strut down the runway during one of the day's main highlights, the shoe fashion show. The sponsors, which include Bama Companies, Inc., the George Kaiser Family Foundation and the Patti Johnson Wilson Foundation, nominated local empowered women to model for the fashion show.
Wine, Women and Shoes is YWCA Tulsa's primary fundraiser, McDaris said. The nonprofit strives "to empower women of all ages through programs that create self-sufficiency, enrich families and promote racial justice," according to ywcatulsa.org.
Among the many services YWCA Tulsa offers are programs for child and youth development, seniors, health and wellness, immigrants and refugees and the community. It helps provide child and after-school care, as well as career counseling and support groups for those in need. Through its services, the organization helped impact 25,316 people last year, according to its website.
Feeling good doesn't necessitate feeling guilty, and when doing something good for yourself does something good for somebody else at the same time, there's no reason to. Check out ywcatulsa.org or call 587-2100 to reserve tickets and find more information about Wine, Women and Shoes.
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