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Danielle Santola
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Project Self-Sufficiency Sponsors International Night of Celebration

February 5, 2013 at 8:18 PM

Project Self-Sufficiency will sponsor the sixth annual local celebration of the internationally-acclaimed “Open That Bottle Night,” an event created for wine-lovers which traditionally takes place on the last Saturday evening in February.  This year’s event will be held on Saturday, February 23rd at 6:00 p.m. at the Hudson Farm Club, a 3,000 acre private hunting preserve located in Hopatcong.  The occasion will include rare wines, sumptuous food from Chef Kirk Avondoglio of Perona Farms, and the opportunity to purchase artwork from local sculptors, artists and photographers.  Musical entertainment will be provided by the “Meant to be Jazz” trio.  Participants are required to bring their own bottle of wine along, so that they can share their story about its origin with the other invited guests.  Additional rare and unique wines will be available to supplement those brought along by participants.

“Open That Bottle Night” was created in 2000 by Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher, former authors of the Wall Street Journal’s “Tastings” column.  The concept encouraged those who had been saving a special bottle of wine to gather together with other wine-enthusiasts to share their own bottles and create a memorable wine-tasting experience.  The bottles of wine brought along to the occasion did not have to be particularly expensive.  The popular event is now celebrated around the world, in places as far flung as Antarctica and Hawaii.

“‘Open That Bottle Night’ is an important component of our annual campaign, and one whose message reminds us that we need not wait for a special occasion to celebrate with family and friends.  Every day give us the opportunity to create new memories,” commented Deborah Berry-Toon, Executive Director of Project Self-Sufficiency

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The affair will be held at the Hudson Farm Club in Hopatcong, a 3,000 acre private hunting preserve originally owned by railroad magnate John P. McRoy who operated a dairy farm on the property.  The farm features a twenty-room estate house designed by New York architect Clarence Curter.  In 1920 the property was donated to The Hudson Guild, a charitable organization located in New York City.  The property was purchased by a private owner in 1997 and the home has been carefully restored to reflect the original design.

The evening will be catered by Kirk Avondoglio, owner of Perona Farms. The menu for the evening will feature a sumptuous multi-course meal suitable for the festive occasion, including hors d’oeuvres, salad, fish, pasta, a meat course and dessert.  Avondoglio commented on his desire to be involved with Open that Bottle Night, “Perona Farms is heavily invested in helping out people in our community who need assistance, and Project Self-Sufficiency does a great job of helping out people in need.”

Beverly Gordon, President of Project Self-Sufficiency’s Board of Directors, notes, “At Open That Bottle Night, the experience of trying so many different and rare wines is amazing.  And listening to the stories of how, where and why these wines mean so much to the owners is just great.  Of course, the best part of the evening is the opportunity to raise funds for Project Self-Sufficiency.”

Project Self-Sufficiency is the only organization in Sussex County whose mission is to provide the services necessary for single parents, teen parents, displaced homemakers and two-parent families to improve the quality of their lives and those of their children by attaining economic self-sufficiency and family stability.  Since 1986, over 19,500 low-income adults and more than 30,000 children have participated in one or more of the programs offered by the organization. 

Project Self-Sufficiency offers a supportive family-centered environment where life issues are addressed through a combination of individual counseling, peer support groups, case management services, parenting skills training, life skills management training, home visits, childcare and early childhood education, family activities and health education.

To raise additional funds for the agency, artwork will be available for sale at Open that Bottle Night.  Sponsorship packages are available at a variety of levels, ranging from “Reserve” at $1,500 to “Oenophile” at $10,000.  Tickets for Open That Bottle Night are $300 per person or $500 per couple.  The Hudson Farm Club is located at 270 Stanhope Sparta Road in Hopatcong.  For information about the event, to purchase tickets, or to inquire about sponsorships, please call 973-940-3500.

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