Last year, the Fayetteville Wine Society wowed the community with a unique event. This year, the signature garden party is back and04_07_10-wine-society.gif better than ever, as the Fayetteville Wine Society hosts the 2nd Annual Gathering in the Garden on Saturday April 17 on the Estate of Fox Hollow.

According to organizers, this year more than 500 people are expected to attend the signature event. They’ll gather to taste the award winning wines and sample some of the fi nest food Fayetteville has to offer, all cooked up by local restaurant owners. A few folks may choose to smoke a smooth cigar while they stroll through the gardens of the French-inspried chateau, and many will dance the night away to the sounds of Mr. Coffee and the Creamers. But at the heart of the event is giving. This year, the Fayetteville Wine Society is donating all proceeds to the USO of North Carolina, Fort Bragg.

Last year, the organization raised more than $11,000 at the event to benefi t the Children of Fallen Soldiers Relief Fund, and they expect to raise even more this year. The United Service Organizations (USO) of North Carolina is a non-profi t organization that relies on the generosity of individuals and corporate sponsors to provide vital services and programs to more than 220,000 active duty, National Guard and Reserve forces, military retirees and family members living in or traveling throughout North Carolina. Fayetteville played a signifi cant role in the history of the USO: The community was the site for the fi rst ever government built USO club which opened on November 28, 1941.While the benefi t will be about giving back, those in attendance will get a lot for the price of the ticket. In addition to the great wines available for tasting, which will begin with a champagne opening, there will also be the aforementioned great food and music. The society has pulled together a number of the area’s top restaurants to provide the food for the event. Participating restaurants include: Luigi’s, Chris’s Open Hearth Steak House, Morgan’s Chop House, Elliott’s on Linden and The Great Harvest Bread Company.

Mr. Coffee and The Creamers is North Carolina’s premier Motown Soul and R&B ensemble. Featuring an incredibly diverse array of musicians whose backgrounds include everything from punk to funk, hip-hop to jazz, the Creamers bring a unique energy to these classic songs while remaining true to the spirit and soul of the music. Because they play such timeless, well-known music, it is initially easy to write them off as foolish or just plain crazy, but one listen and you’ll agree that it’s undeniably fun. Simply put, it’s hard not to move your feet when the Creamers are on stage.

The Fayetteville Wine Society is a nonprofi t, members-only group that is dedicated to promoting the appreciation of wine through education.

Tickets for the event are available at Luigi’s Restaurant, Grapes & Hops and Valley Auto World, BMW. Tickets are $75 per person. For more information, visit the organization’s Web site at www.fayettevillewinesociety.com/charity_wine_tasting.

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