YMCA's Wine & Beer Tasting Event Supports YMCA

Wine is constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy.
- Benjamin Franklin


Jane Corcoran, Nicole Fitzgerald, Meredith Rainey, Katie Bronson

Attendees at the 4th Annual Wine & Beer Tasting to benefit Newport County's YMCA were treated to an exceptional variety of not just those beverages, but also culinary samplings from local establishments.


And there was music, too. Newport's own Honky Tonk Knights set the beat with their unique mix of rockabilly country bluegrass covers of classic tunes mixed with some originals. The crowd was also well-mixed in terms of differing age groups, attracting a more youthful turnout than Newport Seen typically sees--no doubt thanks in part to a young-person-friendly ticket price.


The night was held on the upper level of the Atlantic Beach Club, which overlooks Easton's Beach and its namesake body of water. We caught up with YMCA CEO Pete Milinazzo and his Associate Executive Director Mike Miller, who was very involved in the planning of the event. We also said hi to Michael Semenza, Dennis and Diane McNamara, and John Callaghan, whose shop, Bellevue Wine & Spirits was the event primary sponsor, providing many of the nearly 143 wines available for tasting. John's brothers Jerome Callaghan and Jeff Callaghan were also there; Jeff and wife Geremie Callaghan own Fluke Wine Bar & Kitchen, which was another event sponsor.


YMCA CEO Pete Milinazzo and

Associate Executive Director Mike Miller

For those who were more hops-inclined, more than 35 beers samples were also offered, and there was even a mead table with selections from Moonlight Meadery in New Hampshire. And, not wanting guests to go hungry, the event planners included bites like the exceptional cheeses from Milk & Honey Cheese shops (exceptional triple creme, gouda, and chevres!), quartered burgers from Boss Man Burgers, cured salmon and empanadas from Fluke, cake balls and other delicacies from NewportSweet Shop, and some divine chocolate-covered pineapple slices from Edible Arrangements, among others.


About an hour into the event, Mike Miller took the microphone to thank guests and sponsors for their support, then invited YMCA program director Dawn Gardner to speak about the organization's new initiatives and developments. "More than just a swim and gym," she said, "Newport County's branch is really living the original mission and values of the YMCA" of giving back to the community. Specific programs she discussed included helping special needs individuals, the Livestrong program, and working to prevent child sexual abuse.


Dawn Gardner & Megan Leonard

Afterwards, John Callaghan spoke as well about how pleased he was to
be able to support the YMCA's efforts--and also giving a "shout out" to brother Jeff's outstanding empanadas.


The silent auction boasted a wide assortment of items from many different categories: restaurants, shops, cruises, catering, salons, and from the YMCA itself. We noticed that the event booklet also served double duty as an ordering sheet for those who wished to purchase cases of wine or beer at a discounted rate from the participating vendors.


                                                    -- Amanda M. Grosvenor


For information about the YMCA's programs and upcoming events, go to




The YMCA: Something for Everyone

Dave Fitzgerald & John Kaull

Betsey Meadows & Andrew Galvin

Dainelle & Nick Williams, Heather Galvin, Erin Schmidt

Delicacies from the Newport Sweet Shoppe

Newport Sweet Shoppe owners Amanda & Patrick Bryan

Mike Miller addresses the crowd

Dawn Gardner speaks

John Callaghan

Meredith Darby & Ryan Tucker

David Galvin & Suzanne Hole

Silent auction table

Krystal Treanor & Susan Moore

The Bordeaux Traditions team

A perfect pour

Dennis & Diane McNamara, Michael Semenza

Geremie Callaghan, Alex Cerilli, Julia Gage

Katie Heffernan, Rob & Lisa Lasky

Edible Arrangements

Uncle Tony & Jessie of Boss Man Burgers

Ben Hancock & Mark Morin

Caroline Kaull & Bill Harvey

The Honky Tonk Knights

The door prize












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