Dear Editor,

The Sparta Education Foundation’s Fourth Annual Wine/Beer Tasting & Food Pairing event took place on Sunday, September 18.  Thankfully the weather held out for the record crowd. The festive atmosphere started when the guests were greeted with sparkling wine as they checked in.  The specialty cocktail and silent auction barrel items were also a big hit. The crowd enjoyed a wide variety of wines and beers to taste and delicious treats to pair them with along with the opportunity win raffle items that consisted of wine baskets. This was the result of the creativity of our generous sponsors: The Liquor Factory in Sparta, Opici Family Distributors, Opici Wines, Constellation Distributors and KRAVE Café & Caterers.

Special thanks to Kylen and Tom Anderson for hosting this event as well as our many guests who continue to support the Sparta Education Foundation.  We also appreciate the Sparta school administration’s ongoing support by attending our events.

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Like the Stanley Cup, The Dragon Boat Festival Winner’s Paddle was handed reluctantly from the 2015 Team Winners, The Puff Dragons, to the 2016 Team Winners, Sparta Station Athletics A.  This presentation was done by Dragon Boat Festival Co-Chairs Doug Layman and Nancy  Purnell.

Proceeds from the Wine/Beer Tasting & Food Pairing Event will enable the Sparta Education Foundation to provide educational grants to all five of Sparta’s public schools. Since 2006, the Foundation has donated over $760,000 to fund grants and educational programs. Recent grants include a predator and shark aquarium, over 280 Chromebooks and kinesthetic furniture at Sparta High School; Sphero robotic balls at Helen Morgan School; a Yamaha electric piano at Mohawk Avenue School and 25 iPads for Alpine School. These grants and others fulfill our mission of engaging the entire community in philanthropic giving that strengthens the public schools, supports teachers, and inspires students. For more information about the Sparta Education Foundation, visit


Danielle Dykstra

Sparta Education Foundation President and Wine Tasting Chair