Wine and beer tasting for a good cause

Rotary to host annual wine and beer tasting fundraiser on March 8

The Washington Township Rotary will host its annual wine and beer tasting fundraiser on March 8 from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Wedgwood Country Club.

Tickets cost $50 and are available for purchase online at or in person at Salina Wine and Liquor on Egg Harbor Road. If tickets are purchased online, a patron can pick what they want their money donated toward — the Washington Township High School band and color guard, WTHS Project Graduation or Washington Township youth baseball.

Maureen Pasternak, a 10-year member of the Rotary and committee person for the wine and beer tasting, said there will be more than 200 types of wine, plus a wide selection of craft beer and food catered by the country club.

“This is our major fundraiser,” Pasternak said. “This is the biggest fundraiser we do.”

According to Pasternak, the rotary’s goal is to raise $15,000 at this event. Over the past five years the rotary has generated roughly $48,000 for the groups and programs they support.

The proceeds from the fundraiser allow the Rotary to give back to the community, state and the world. On the local level, the Rotary helps Washington Township’s food pantry, Mother’s Cupboard. It also hosts a water safety program called “Josh the Otter” that teaches kindergarteners about water safety. The kindergarteners are bused to the high school where they watch a show performed by high schoolers and receive a coloring book about water safety. The Rotary also supports the third-grade dictionary program as well, where every third grader in town receives a free dictionary.

The Rotary has a strong relationship with the WTHS marching band as well. Pasternak said when the go-kart that pulls the carts with instruments died, the Rotary replaced it.

“We bought them the original one back in the ‘80s,” she added.

On a global scale, Pasternak said one of the goals of Rotary International is to rid the world of polio. She said only two countries remain, Afghanistan and Pakistan. In addition, Pasternak said a member went to Panama a few years back to teach about water safety and how to make a sand filter using two 10-gallon containers.

“The only thing we’re looking to do is help people across the world and make friendships,” Pasternak said. “Nothing else. We don’t want to change religion, politics, we want to make people healthy, happy and safe.”

Through fundraisers like this, the Rotary is able to give back to the hometown communities while making an impact internationally. This event gives patrons the opportunity to sample wine and beer and eat good food for a cause.

“I never miss it,” Pasternak said. “I always find something new I haven’t tried before. Last year, I tried a wine with coffee in it — it was amazing. It’s a great group of people, and we’re getting together for a good cause, which is always a good reason to get together. It’s an amazing night for fundraising. We’re looking to do good in the world — come join us and try some wine and beers.”

For more information about the event or the Rotary, contact Pasternak at (856) 582–5100.