LeBlanc's holds wine tasting fundraiser

Lisa Yates @Lisa_editor

Hundreds raised their glasses during the LeBlanc's Food Stores Holiday Wine Extravaganza.

The event, which was held Nov. 7, at Elegant Affairs was a fundraising benefit for the M. Paul and Janice LeBlanc Memorial Scholarship Fund. The fund awards up to six $500 scholarships each year to graduating high school seniors residing in an area where LeBlanc Food Stores operates.

Brooke LeBlanc Knight said the fund was established in 2001, through the Baton Rouge Area Foundation.

"My family was looking for a way to honor my grandfather who passed away in 1998, so they started the scholarship fund," she said.

Knight said this was the 5th year for the wine tasting event.

"This event is a way for us to give back and allow customers to sample our growing wine selection at our stores," she said. "Our wine specialist Mickey Martin has done an excellent job of selecting a wide variety of wines to sample – all at different price points."

The evening featured more than 50 wines and holiday cocktails, provided exclusively by Republic National Distributors, seasonal beers from Crescent Crown, and imported cheese from Swiss America. All of the food and drinks featured are available for purchase at LeBlanc's Food Stores.

Knight said a new LeBlanc's is scheduled to open in October, 2013, at the corner of Airline Highway and Germany Road.

"We will have more in-store wine tastings like this at the new store, but on a smaller scale," she said.

She said the store also hopes to offer wine classes, for those wanting to know more about pairing wine with food.

During the evening a raffle was held with prizes, including the Grand Prize, won by Sheryl Brosonski of Metarie, featuring an in-home wine tasting for up to 20 people with LeBlanc's wine specialist Mickey Martin. Other prize winners included Terri and Cal Simpson, of Gonzales, and John Dupont, also of Gonzales.

However, the big winners were those receiving scholarships. The 2012 Scholarship recipients were:

  • Mark Alsay, of Dutchtown High School
  • Emily Booty, of Assumption High School
  • Daniel Bourgeois, of St. Amant High School
  • Iesha Brown, of Assumtion High School
  • John Saxon, of Dutchtown High School
  • Kylie Sharp, of Hammond High School

High school seniors can apply for scholarships online by visiting www.leblancsfoodstores.com, or www.braf.org. The deadline to apply is March 30, 2013.

For those wishing to contribute to the scholarship fund, they can contact the Baton Rouge Area Foundation at www.braf.org.