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SMART holds successful first ‘Sip’ fundraiser

Pourer Randy Holmstrom serves samples of wine from four Gorge wineries at the Feb. 22 SMART Sip event.

Photo by Kirby Neumann-Rea
Pourer Randy Holmstrom serves samples of wine from four Gorge wineries at the Feb. 22 SMART Sip event.

The first “SMART Sip,” a benefit for the Start Making A Reader Today (SMART) literacy programs in Hood River and Wasco counties, raised just over $12,000 on Feb. 22, the most successful fundraiser for Hood River County SMART.


Mark Brady, left, talks with Tracy and Stephen Curley, seated at the bar.

About 75 people gathered at Hood River Hotel. SMART Development Director Denise Harrison and SMART Area Coordinator Paula Seid spoke, along with SMART Leadership Council President Kirby Neumann-Rea.

The Sip is SMART’s only fundraiser of the year, and all proceeds go to supporting a program that brings volunteer readers into schools and Head Start facilities for weekly reading sessions with children ages 4-8. Hood River Hotel donated the use of the ballroom, and music was provided by James Andrews, who performs as Ole Rusty.

Sip replaced the Tongue Twister Tournament, held the past seven years, and this year supports the reading programs in Hood River County Schools and Dry Hollow and Colonel Wright in The Dalles.

Lead sponsors were Katharine Mills, Insitu, Copper West Properties, Duckwall Fruit, Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital, Hood River News/Columbia Gorge Press and Weinstein PR.

Food and drink came courtesy of Broder Ost, Celilo, Ahi’s Ohana, Columbia Gluten Free Bakery, Cody Orchards, Boda’s Kitchen, Stave and Stone Winery, Rosauers’, Ryan’s Juice, Hood River Winery, Mylan Wines, Double Mountain, Solera, Full Sail, pFriem, Ferment, Slopeswell, and Crush Cider Café.

The auction included donated items and gift certificates from Hood River Hotel, Waucoma Bookstore, Mt. Hood Meadows, Maryhill Winery, Columbia Gorge Discovery Center, Mt. Hood Railroad, Dog River Coffee, Shortt Supply, G. Willikers Toy Shoppe, Print It/Sign Media, Cody Orchards, Stave and Stone, Full Sail, and Dr. Sherene Suchy.


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