Hospice of the Valleys celebrated their 35th anniversary and their 21st annual Wine & Chocolate Fundraiser, Sept. 23, at Avensole Winery in Temecula. Over 500 guests, volunteers and vendors attended the “Havana Nights” event, complete with a mojito bar, Cuba Libre bar, Zarka’s cigar bar, Espie Hernandez salsa dancers, authentic Cuban dinner and music by Ruben V and the Latin Sounds.
The event raised $70,000 for the nonprofit organization that provides direct care and services to the patients and families they serve. Their services include medication delivery, medical supplies, bereavement and grief support as well as in-home services.
The organization reports that 100 percent of all donated funds stay local within the community; 87 cents of every dollar goes toward direct care and services. One thousand dollars provides four days of hospice care; $75 provides for one medication service in the middle of the night.
The Drifters Car Club of Southern California bring their beautifully restored and modified classic cars from the 1950s to the Hospice of the Valleys’ “Havana Nights” fundraiser, Sept. 23, and many of the guests take the opportunity for some photo shoots. Paul Bandong photo
The 21st annual Wine & Chocolate event, Sept. 23, at Avensole Winery draws hundreds of attendees for the “Havana Nights” theme night in support of Hospice of the Valleys. Paul Bandong photo
Many attendees dress with the “Havana Nights” theme in mind, and Dora Hardesty-Moore rocks a Tropicana-inspired pineapple dress with a beautiful custom-made hat of fruit, leaves, butterfly and ringneck pheasant feathers. Paul Bandong photo
In addition to a mojito bar and a Cuba Libre bar, there is also a cigar bar sponsored by Zarka’s Cigar Lounge at the “Havana Nights” fundraiser for Hospice of the Valleys, Sept. 23. Donna Holiday, Amber Bogdanski, Summer Holiday and Jen Minnich enjoy a few puffs of their Cuban hand-rolled selections. Paul Bandong photo
Misha White shares the touching story of her mother’s battle with cancer and her family’s recent experience with Hospice of the Valleys at the 21st annual Wine and Chocolate fundraiser, Sept. 23. Paul Bandong photo
The unique acoustic guitar – signed by 15 of country music’s largest stars – is just one of eight live auction items that generated spirited bidding at the “Havana Nights” event benefiting Hospice of the Valleys, Sept 23. Paul Bandong photo
The Havana sign lights up the beautifully landscaped grounds of Avensole Winery for the “Havana Nights” event benefiting Hospice of the Valleys, Sept. 23. Paul Bandong photo
The Espie Hernandez dancers kick off the party with a Latin dance presentation at Hospice of the Valleys’ 21st annual Wine and Chocolate event with a “Havana Nights” theme, Sept. 23. The dancers mingle and dance with guests as Ruben V and the Latin Sounds played dance party music all night at Avensole Winery. Paul Bandong photo
Guests enjoy wine and dance to the sounds of Ruben V and the Latin Sounds at the Copacabana Lounge during the “Havana Nights” fundraising event for Hospice of the Valleys. The 21st annual Wine & Chocolate event was attended by hundreds at the Avensole Winery, Sept. 23. Paul Bandong photo
Hospice of the Valleys has served 400 seniors, made 22,000 visits and driven 233,000 miles or the equivalent of a one-way trip to the moon.
The organization introduced two new programs. The first is a “Music and Memory” program for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease patients that uses an iPod of their favorite music. The program has been shown to improve communication and reduce depression and anxiety. The cost of one unit is $50.
The second is called “We Honor Vets,” a program sponsored by the Veterans Administration but is completely funded by community contributions. Veterans are honored with a pinning ceremony at the end of their lives. The cost is $100.
Providing wine for the event were Avensole Winery, Wilson Creek Winery, Monte de Oro, Europa Village, Akash Winery, Maurice Car’rie Winery, Robert Renzoni Winery and Falkner Winery. The 8-bit Brewing Company provided samples of their beer. Appetizers were provided by Rocky Mountain Catering, Pacific Pita and Havana Kitchen.
Desserts and treats were provided by Dunkin’ Donuts, Trader Joe’s, Havana Kitchen, Corner Bakery, Aromas Coffee & Bistro and Nothing Bundt Cakes.
For more information, to volunteer or to donate, contact Hospice of the Valleys at (951) 200-7815 or visit www.hospiceofthevalleys.org.