By Brandon HENSLEY
As audacious as it might sound, if there was one positive to come out of the Station Fire, Dawna Berger has an idea of what it would be.
On Saturday evening at the Wine Cave in Montrose Shopping Park, it sat on a table, corked and bottled, ready to be taken in a silent auction.
Putting the clues together probably gave it away. It was a bottle of wine from the Stonebarn Vineyard Conservancy, made in 2009 during the fire at Deukmejian Wilderness Park. The grapes were harvested at the time of the fire, giving the wine a bit of a smoky flavor.
“Hopefully something good came out of that fire,” said Berger. “That’s one thing.”
Berger is the recording secretary for the La Crescenta Woman’s Club, and it was at The Wine Cave where her plan came to fruition, as the club hosted its first ever wine tasting event.
The event was open to the public and cost $20 to attend. Half of the money raised made went to the club.
“We’re always trying to raise money for our philanthropies,” said Berger.
The Woman’s Club consistently raises money for local charities and schools, and even gives to some international causes like Operation Smile, which focus on people with cleft lips causing those afflicted to have trouble eating.
“Some people think it’s just cosmetic but it’s not. They can’t chew their food depending on the severity of the cleft,” said Berger.
The wine tasting event idea came to Berger in June, and the rest of the members helped set it up. Besides the bottle of wine that was auctioned away, there was also a large gift basket with chocolate truffles and Starbucks gift cards. The basket was donated by club membership chairman Cindy Charles.
Charles said the club doesn’t get together much during the summer. They meet from October to June and then have their own summer vacation, so to have the place full of people deep in conversation with a glass in their hand was nice to see.
“It’s summertime and we all like to get together and be social,” Charles said, who noted that the club’s 100-year anniversary, which is being celebrated this year, has gone well so far.
“We’re getting the word out a lot more and hopefully we’ll bring in some new members. I think that a hundred year celebration has made a lot more people in the community aware of us because a lot of people don’t know we exist.”
Many club members brought their husbands, and maybe the evening was best summed by Berger.
“My big thing is, the more the merrier,” she said, “and my motto in life is ‘Eat, drink and be married.’”