Since approximately the beginning of time, wine has had a way of bringing people together. A lot of wine brings a lot of people together, as it did last evening at the Norwich Inn. There, dozens of people gathered to taste Chianti, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and even some bubbly. The mood was festive, and the room felt like it might just have been hosting the first real holiday party of the season.
This evening was different than just a bunch of friends and a few bottles, though. Significant proceeds from the event were to benefit the Haven as part of the 19 Days of Norwich and Beyond. So, while people swirled, sniffed, and sipped, they were also helping to provide services and shelter to people in the Upper Valley who need them most right now.
Sometimes, philanthropy needs a crowd, and last night was a perfect example. The folks that gathered got a chance to hear first hand about what, exactly, the Haven does with the donations it receives. Sometimes, hearing those stories in person, with friends, strangers, or colleagues in the same room, brings the humanity of philanthropy home. It makes everything more real, and often launches future generosity.
Two forces combined to bring together people: wine and kindness. Those ingredients are usually enough to ignite conversation that goes in unpredictable directions, and participants covered a lot of ground: the death of a 93-year-old; international travel; birthdays; the power of memory. Underneath it all were the bonds of community and the power of people to gather together for a cause that is greater than themselves. That the wines were nice was just an added bonus!
Tomorrow, we'll shift away from the group dynamic and go one-on-one...
19-7=12 to go!
Thanks to the extraordinary generosity of The Jack & Dorothy Byrne Foundation, all 19 Days donations will be matched dollar for dollar up to $125,000. Make sure to label your donation as "19 Days" in order to get the matching funds.
For the 19 Days Pet Contest, click here
For the 19 Days Auction, click here
To make a donation directly to the Haven, click here
For background on the 19 Days, click here
N.B. We are using Dan & Whit's as the umbrella posting organization, but the stories will come from all over the area. For a list of participating businesses and organizations, click here