Gina Barreca: Back by Popular Demand to Speak at Soroptimist "A Toast To Women!"

By Community Contributor tracyscala1

Back by popular demand, Gina Barreca, UCONN Professor, weekly columnist for the Hartford Courant, and author of "It's Not That I'm Bitter" as well as the bestselling "They Used to Call Me Snow White But I Drifted" returns to give a hilarious and trouble-making presentation at the "A Toast to Women! An Evening of Wine and Chocolate Delights" fund raising benefit. This celebration in honor of International Women's Day seeks men and women willing to sip wine, savor chocolate creations, and raise money for local charities! The event will be held on Saturday, March 7th from 7-10 pm and is presented by Soroptimist International of Farmington Valley, CT (SIFV) and hosted by Avon Old Farms Hotel. Emcees for the evening will be Erika Arias and Joe Furey of Fox CT Morning News.

Sponsored in part by the Hoffman Auto Group and the Petit Family Foundation, attendees will experience wines from around the world provided by Allan S. Goodman, Inc., Brescome Barton, Inc., and Connecticut Distributors, Inc. as well as bid on exciting auction items while sampling original chocolate creations by celebrated chefs from Seasons Restaurant (Avon Old Farms), the Simsbury Inn, Cake Gypsy, Cavey's, The Grist Mill, Max Downtown, and Millwright's, where Chef Tyler Anderson was recently named CT's Chef of the Year. Laura Day, the Pastry Chef of The Simsbury Inn, will conduct a seminar for attendees. Auction items include: a 1 year membership to The Hermitage Club at Haystack Mountain in West Dover, VT (valued at $15,000); "Meteorologist for a Day" - spend a morning with Joe, Erika, and the rest of the Fox CT morning news team; a 3 course dining experience with wine for 8 people at a new and exciting location in Avon; a tour of ESPN & lunch for you and 3 friends with Mike Golic of the popular ESPN show "Mike and Mike"; golf packages; spa/beauty items; jewelry; art and wine; men's tools; and much more. Entertainment will be provided by renowned pianist Paul Bisaccia and the Melodic Tapestry trio.

Proceeds from this event help support Grace Academy, Prudence Crandall Center, and other SIFV-sponsored awards and programs that empower women and girls to live their dreams. Grace Academy, an independent middle school, is dedicated to providing a quality, tuition-free education to girls of all faiths from low-income families residing in the Hartford area. Since its opening in September 2010, SIFV has provided financial, in-kind, and service assistance to the school. Prudence Crandall Center (PCC) is the oldest domestic violence program in the State of Connecticut. In addition to its financial support of PCC, SIFV has provided beds/bedding for the shelter, established Child and Teen Resource Centers, and donated "welcome kits" of personal care products.

Over 300 men and women are expected to attend this event. It sold out in 2014 so purchase tickets early at Tickets are only $55 and include all tastings and seminars as well as passed hors d'oeuvres. If not sold out, a limited number of tickets for $65 may be available the day of the event. For more information about this event, contact Tracy at 860-299-5113. If you are interested in learning more about Soroptimist and the Farmington Valley club, visit