The Wolf Conservation Center (WCC) recently hosted an audience of 115 supporters at its annual holiday fund-raiser — Wine & Wolves — at the Carriage House of the Waccabuc Country Club.
The event, held on Dec. 13, celebrated WCC’s recent achievements, including education innovations to acquire a global audience to increase awareness of different wolf species and the center’s efforts to recover them. While WCC’s accomplishments reached far beyond the gates of its 27 acres in South Salem, the event itself had community flair. The WCC reached out to local restaurants and merchants to ask them to sponsor “tasting tables.”
“The response was inspiring,” said WCC Acting Director Maggie Howell. Bacio Trattoria, Bluebird Ice Cream and Haiku in Cross River, Grissini’s in Vista, and the Horse and Hound and Le Chateau in South Salem were among the restaurants that provided food and wine for the event.
In addition to the wine and food tasting, dozens of local stores and artists donated items for auction, which brought in funds to help the WCC continue its mission.
“This event literally took place completely through the generosity of the community — the people who attended, the food and wine vendors who participated, and the others who donated for both the raffle and the auction,” said WCC board President Martha Handler. “It really makes me proud to live here.”
“It’s been a great year for the WCC,” Ms. Howell said, “and it was such a treat to celebrate with our supporters and so many of our neighbors, too.”
Westchester County Executive Robert Astorino joined the “pack,” recognizing the WCC as a unique community resource. He recalled his experience howling with Ambassador Wolf Atka and watching elusive Mexican gray wolves emerge to feast.
But the highlight of the evening was when Atka joined the party. Not only did he “teach” the packed room about the importance of his wild brothers and sisters, he also made a pair of bartenders jump when he rose to the bar as if ordering a cocktail. The event is called Wine & Wolves, after all.