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Wine, Dine & Deal at the Christiana Hilton in Newark for American Red Cross of the Delmarva Region

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Click here to see photos from this event.

I knew the American Red Cross of the Delmarva Region was tops when it came to helping people in crisis. I had no idea, though, that those folks knew how to throw down. All that helping people must really work up a thirst, because the Wine, Dine & Deal at the Christiana Hilton had bottles for days. Word was the really good stuff was upstairs at the private VIP tasting.

Rick and JoAnn Martin said it was sublime. “To be able to taste these wines, they were all Pinots, was just …” and here he was at a very happy loss for words. “It was ridiculous!” Rick played a part in creating buzz for the event as part of the Red Cross social committee. “These are wines you just don’t get to taste,” his wife, JoAnn, said. “I don’t think even Frank carries them, so it was extra special.”

The Frank in question, of course, is Frank Pagliaro of Frank’s Wine Mart in Wilmington, who was instrumental in organizing tastings. Frank got help from wine guru John Danzeisen, who raided his cellar and the stash in his California locker to donate bottle upon bottle to the cause. Look for John at next year’s event. He served 10 years on the board and just can’t get enough of helping and sipping.

Aside from the wine and out-of-this-world ceviche, Rich and Deborah Diver of Diver Chevrolet fame were just as happy to be able to lend a hand. Along with Delmarva Power (repped by supervising engineer Dwayne Olivieri, eyes agog at the Phillies silent auction goods), Diver Chevrolet was an event sponsor. “When there’s an opportunity to help a nonprofit, we take advantage,” Rich said. “It’s crucial.”

Words like that were music to Red Cross Delmarva Region CEO Pat Delaney, sporting a tie as sunny as his disposition. “Tonight is just all about connecting,” he said. “Making new friends. Seeing old friends. Sharing the Red Cross mission. Everyone in the room has the Red Cross in common.”

And here I must give major fist bumps to Hilton general manager (and newly minted Red Cross board member) Brad Wenger and his staff, who were an absolute delight. Service like that is a rare vintage indeed.

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