27th annual Autumn Elegance event supports Valley-Wide Recreation and Park District

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Tasting pourer fills the wineglass of a customer with a fine wine during the 27th annual Autumn Elegance Wine and Food Tasting event at the Soboba Casino Resort and Hotel’s events center, Saturday, Nov. 2, in San Jacinto. The event, presented by Hemet San Jacinto Exchange Club and Friends of Valley-Wide Foundation, benefits Valley-Wide Recreation and Park District programs in its many parks. Tony Ault photos

Tony Ault
Staff Writer 

It was elegance all-around Saturday, Nov. 2, for the 27th annual Autumn Elegance Wine and Food Tasting Experience at Soboba Casino Resort and Hotel’s event center, raising fund for Valley-Wide Recreation and Park District. 

The special event presented by the Hemet-San Jacinto Exchange Club and Friends of Valley-Wide Foundation brought nearly 1,000 supporters of Valley-Wide, which operates a wide-range of parks and community centers in southwest Riverside County cities. 

The Soboba Foundation donated the event center location for a $50 per person donation and offered a huge array of food tastings from the Soboba Casino to many local restaurants along with wine and beer by local wineries and beer gardens. 

Inside the events center were 15 food stations that ringed the large room, a beer garden, casino blackjack game tables, a central wine tasting area, dance floor, tables, an open bar and Mr. Wilson’s Band, which played for guests for 3 1/2 hours. 

The tables and wine area was decorated with flower arrangements created by Elite Flowers of Hemet, San Jacinto Florist, Floral Expressions, Hemet National FFA Organization of Hemet High School and West Valley High School FFA and the arrangements were raffled off at the end of the event. 

The wine center featured fine wine tastings to full glasses from Hart Family Winery, Wilson Creek Winery, South Coast Winery, Doffo Winery, Wagner Family of Wines, Hahn Family Wines, Ancient Peaks Winery, Bedrock Wine Co. Ca’Momi Winery, Frog Leap Winery, Frank Family Vineyards and Angeline Vineyards and Winery. 

Every kind of wine from shiraz to sauvignon was served, including a variety of chardonnay, zinfandel and Champagne on the listing. When one variety was exhausted, the wine manager found some great Italian wines as a supplement for the thirsty guests. 

The breweries in the beer garden were equally busy serving many glasses of everything from Pilsner to ale, all the while offering pizza slices from Stadium Pizza. Breweries included Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, Bitburger International, Deschutes Brewery, Garage Brewing Co., Golden Road Brewing, Modelo, Firestone Brewery, Pilsner Urquell Brewery and Lagunitas Brewing Company. 

The stations most visited by the guests, wearing their finest semi-formal attire, were the restaurants including Soboba Casino’s own Canyons, Noodle Bar and Soboba Casino Catering. Satisfying every attendees’ hunger were also the Downtown Deli and Coffee Company, El Ojo De Agua Taqueria, El Patron Mexican Grill and Entertainment, Fatty Boy Tacos, Kolsa’s Donuts, Lemongrass Asian Cuisine, Los Vaqueros Cantina and Grill, Party Planners Catering, Rodolfo’s Cucina Italiana, Starbucks Coffee Company and Sweet Baby Janes. 

Mike Gow, Exchange Club president, thanked the Autumn Elegance supporters in the program.

“Welcome and thank you for being part of the 27th annual Autumn Elegance event. Your gracious support will help local charitable efforts and over 20 scholarships that will make our community better. We also thank the restaurants and wineries who donated their food and drink, we gratefully share tonight. 

“The Exchange Club is happy to serve as your host along with the Friends of Valley-Wide Foundation of Autumn Elegance with much help from the Valley-Wide staff and many volunteers,” he said in the evening’s program. 

He singled out a special thanks to Tom Wilson, Autumn Elegance Committee chairperson, Guy Excell, Brian Fox, Michele Fox, Missy Galloway, Elizabeth Grenier, David McDonough, Victor Mortazavi, Ken Price, Mike Record, Vince Record, the Soboba Casino staff, Elizabeth Snow, Maria Vivanco, Jeff Wall and Dean Wetter. 

Tony Ault can be reached by email at tault@reedermedia.com.