Let the “Race” Begin!

Today I renewed my vow to raise a bunch of money for the American Cancer Society. I’m ready to hit the ground running! Team Check ‘Em Out is poised to break our record this year by building our team, trying new ways to fundraise, restaurant nights, dessert sales, percentage donations, and good old fashioned bowling-alley-panhandling! Hey, we’re not proud!

Well, actually, we are. We have a great team of dedicated, passionate and motivated members, each with a personal reason to fight this horrendous disease. Sadly, our Reasons to Relay still grow with each coming year, but we remain confident that our efforts will be rewarded someday.

Planning will soon begin for our SIXTH ANNUAL wine tasting,


This awesome event will be held in early May, date TBD — but you can bet we’ll let you know. In the meantime, I’m humbly accepting donations at my Relay page. Donations of $100 or more will get you an autographed copy of my latest book–but I’d take just your Starbuck’s money for a couple of weeks, too!

Who’s with me?

Can Wine Cure Cancer?

View w wineWhat is it about wine?

Is it just me, or does just about everyone salivate at the mention of a glass (or three) of wine? Personally, I’m a lightweight when it comes to alcohol. I can take it or leave it. But then, I don’t have a good history with it. When I was in my early 20’s, I freely drank whatever—including Scotch—and it didn’t bother me. Until one night I really poisoned myself on Cutty Sark and passed out in the bathroom at the Summer House in Woodland Hills. Yeah, it was over a guy. What a waste.

From that night on, and we’re talking thirty-some years, I haven’t been able to drink more than a few ounces of any kind of alcoholic beverage without getting ucky. Not lucky, ucky. Not enough to get a buzz until it’s buzz-into-nausea. Today, I notice a lot of folks around me have a love affair going on with the fermented grape juice. Most, if not all, social events include or are centered around wine and other spirits. We tend to celebrate. A lot.

All that being said, wine can be good. At least that’s what they say. Red wine, in particular, is supposed to be good for your heart. I don’t drink red, it usually gives me a walloping headache. I do like Chardonnay, Riesling, Gewürztraminer, and Sauvignon Blanc.

Wine is also good for cancer. Yep, it’s true. How do I know? Well, it must be, when the drinking of it at a backyard party can raise over $5,000.00 for the American Cancer Society…which is exactly what we will be doing on May 7th of this year. POP A CORK FOR A CURE is in its fifth year now, and we are full steam ahead with determination that this will be a banner year. This year, we’ll add a local slant:  proceeds from the auction of our famous (or infamous!) novelty cake will go to the Circle of Hope, providing badly needed support to courageous women and men battling breast cancer.

But you don’t have to be a wine aficionado, or even like it to join in the fun. There’ll be desserts, hors d’oeuvres, live entertainment, auctions and raffles and lots of joyful people to mingle with. There will also be that great feeling you get when you know that even though you’re having fun, you’re doing something good and right that will help someone else, someone with cancer who can’t help themselves.

Now that’s worth celebrating!


Date:  Saturday, May 7, 2011, 2 pm to 6 pm

Minimum Donation:  $25.00

Click on the link above for more info!

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Pop a Cork For a Cure: May 8th

wine tasting croppedI’ll make this brief and try not to preach too much. Sad to say, nothing brings people together like cancer. Or rather, the pain, grief and fighting of this insidious disease. No one is unaffected. People will commiserate, sympathize and give generously of their time and money to combat cancer, through one or more of the many charitable and philanthropic organizations fighting the good fight.

Why? Because it’s all we can do. We aren’t the scientists, the doctors, the chemists. Most of us cannot fund major research projects or care facilities on our own. Instead, we support our loved ones, carting them to clinics, hospitals and doctors’ offices. We sit by their bedsides, offering what little comfort we can. We pray. We hope.

So when an opportunity comes along to add what little we can do to the collective efforts of others, it feels good. A modest $25 donation looks mighty good alongside 200 other modest $25 donations, because $5000 is significant. The American Cancer Society will spend 97% of that significant donation on research and patient care, along with their own fundraising efforts, to make sure the contributions keep on coming.

On May 8, 2010, my SCV Relay For Life Team Check ‘Em Out! teammates and I will be pouring wine, providing snacks and entertainment during an afternoon of fun and charity. As in years past, we’ll have silent auction items, raffle prizes and luminaria bags available. A little soft pop, swing jazz and rock ‘n roll. Sunshine* and flowers and fresh air. Neighbors and friends, all with a common goal—to eradicate cancer.100_1937

Music, wine and laughter. I know of no other event in town where you can have this much fun for a $25.00 donation. Please join us at Pop a Cork For a Cure. Auction items and raffle prizes gratefully accepted. Click link for more details.


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*PS – May weather varies! You may have to BYO sunshine.