Thursday, November 26, 2015 • 05:05

A Taste of Romance in Valley Center

January 31, 2014
Just in time for the Valentine's Day, VC Rotary Club will host its eighth annual wine tasting fundraiser, A Taste of Romance. The event will take place on Saturday, Feb. 8 from 2 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. in the Bordeaux Room of Harrah's Rincon Hotel and Casino located at 777 Harrah's Rincon Way, Valley Center.

This year, local vineyards will be on hand, auctioning bottles of wine during the silent auction portion of the event.

"There are lots of silent auctions to bid on and a tentative live auction," said Nicky Lovejoy, Rotary Club President.

Heavy hors d'oeuvres will be served including a diverse variety of assorted finger foods. A carving station will be featured along with seafood, Mexican dishes, and a wide array of pastries and desserts.

"Each year, it's a little different," Lovejoy said. "There is a variety of wines to taste and to purchase. But it's a quick day because there's only a window of time for the event."

In 1905, a group of four men started the first Rotary Club in Chicago as the first organized service club in the world.

A non-profit organization, the Rotary Club of Valley Center gives donations to various community groups including the High School Jag auction. Every year $5,000 is awarded for high school scholarships. Each year, dictionaries are provided to every Valley Center third-grader.

The VC Rotary Club is also involved internationally in well-drilling projects providing fresh water to third-world countries.

There is also the micro loan of $1,000 in which ten different women are given $100 to purchase products from vendors as a free-market incentive.

"There is a 99% payback," Lovejoy said. "It is a good way to show people how to be self-sufficient."

For instance, shops start out small but then eventually grow into larger businesses.

"The little grocery store in the village might have special bread to sell in the community then trades in other villages giving them the freedom to make money," said Lovejoy.

The Rotary Club has also given recognition to fallen soldiers of recent wars dedicating a memorial wall at Camp Pendleton. Last year, the Rotary Club created a memorial garden which has expanded into a peace garden providing a place for families of those killed in wars to visit to remember their lost loved ones. On Memorial Day, money is raised for veterans.

"People have had a good time at the annual wine-tasting fundraiser," Lovejoy said. "Once you've been there, you'll like it and want to return."

The cost of the event is $40 per person, $75 per couple, and $45 at the door. Tickets are available at A-1 Irrigation, California Bank and Trust, Valley Center Smiles, or from any Rotarian member. For more information, visit

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