Northwest Ohio Community Shares hosts wine and beer tastingWritten by Jay Hathaway | | email@example.com
Northwest Ohio Community Shares will honor a local humanitarian at a beer and wine tasting event Feb. 23.
The “Share a Glass” beer, wine and hors d’oeuvres fundraiser will start at 7 p.m. Feb. 23 at the United Autoworkers Local 14 headquarters, 5411 Jackman Road, on the second floor. Tickets are $20 per person or $35 per couple and proceeds will benefit Northwest Ohio Community Shares (NOCS).
NOCS has been in existence since 1997, but there are other Community Shares programs throughout the country. The federation recognizes organizations that serve in four general areas: health and human services, environmental groups, social justice groups and animal welfare groups, according to NOCS Board President Mike Bell.
The Share-a-Glass tasting will feature a variety of wines and microbrew beer, and each of NOCS’s 26 local agencies will bring some sort of appetizer dish.
“We have a wide variety of food. It’s a good time to recognize those who support Community Shares and a fun get-together,” Bell said.
The annual Dr. Robert Brundage Award will also be presented during the “Share a Glass” event. This year’s recipient is Susan E. Carter of Toledo in honor of her 20-year career serving people living with AIDS, HIV and cancer in Northwest Ohio.
This is the third year for the award, which was named after Brundage, a community advocate who died from injuries sustained during an assault in 2009. Brundage was a former board member of the Collingwood Arts Center and he was its representative to Community Shares.
“Just prior to his death, he was going to move himself to another of our organizations called Jobs with Justice and he had asked me to be the representative from the Collingwood Arts Center to Community Shares,” Bell said. “We were going to serve at Community Shares together, and then he had his unfortunate incident and death.”
Around the time of Brundage’s hospitalization and death, NOCS board members decided to come up with an award in recognition of those who embody the Community Shares mission. Brundage was the first to be honored with the award and ultimately became its namesake.
Last year’s winner was Harvey Savage, who runs the Martin Luther King Kitchen for the Poor.
Bell acknowledged that some criteria are set when choosing the award recipient, but said, “Nothing is set in stone.”
“Generally speaking, the board submits names of nominees from either hearing from people in the community or their own personal knowledge of people they’ve worked with on projects in the community,” he said.
Bell said that Carter was strongly advocated for by a number of members on the NOCS board.
“It really is an honor, because everyone that is involved with the community knows Robert Brundage, and what he did,” Carter said. “Also, I’m very fond of Community Shares. I go to a lot of their events, so it’s great to be there as an honoree.”
Carter has worked at the University of Toledo Medical Center (UTMC) for 20 years. She is a licensed professional clinical counselor and social worker. She currently works with the UTMC AIDS Resource Team and Cancer Institute, and serves as the coordinator of the UTMC HIV Anonymous Test Site.
“When I started out, in the 1980s, we all thought that everyone with HIV was going to die,” Carter said. “Now, when I meet new HIV patients, I have confidence that many of them will outlive me.”
The UT grad is also a long-time board member of the Ohio ACLU, and has served as its president for ten years. Through her work there, Carter has found many new ways to help others.
“It’s about the first ten amendments,” she said. “They’re always under attack. The ACLU cares about equality and justice, and I also wanted to do something that made a difference.”
Carter insisted that aging would not hinder her from doing meaningful work and providing support to the community.
“I’m not going to stop, even if I were forced into retirement. It certainly didn’t stop Robert Brundage,” she said.
The event is sponsored by United Autoworkers Local 14 and the Heidelberg Distributing Company.
For tickets or to get involved with NOCS, call (419) 243-6637 or go to www.nwohioshares.org.