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CLO Ambassadors' annual Wine Tasting draws record crowd

Sunday, March 3, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

“People are ready for this. It's Friday, they can come straight after work, and just unwind,” said Helen Wylie as she surveyed the record-shattering crowd of 525 on March 1, leaving little more than elbow room at the Duquesne Club for the CLO Ambassadors' annual Wine Tasting & Silent Auction.

A sellout more than a week in advance, “We had so many people emailing and calling for tickets after we had sold out,” added Stephen Bloomburg, who co-chaired the evening with Lisa Woods. The mood was nothing short of jubilant for those intent on embracing a glass-half-full mentality.

“I've got one glass of wine. I'm looking to have a whole lot more,” said first-timer Jason Biggs with his wife, Katherine, as they caught up with Clyde Jones and Robert Morris.

Mini-cliques of conversation encouraged pods of urban family reunions, a welcomed break out of winter hibernation for Ambassador prez Fred Leech, Jennifer and Jason Ross, Christina O'Toole and Doug German, Peter Germain, Ned Bartley, Jennifer Jack Retter and Ryan Retter, John and Dara Henne, Van Kaplan, Gigi Saladna, Robin Randall, Leah and Paul Ohodnicki, Jane Dixon, John Williams and Fred Mercer.

Meanwhile, much ado about the grand prize raffle that offered a coup de grace — read: trip for two to Paris — had ticketholders lightheartedly (with just a hint of a take-no-prisoners mentality) staking their claim long before the winner was announced.

“All I know is that it wasn't me,” lamented David Bush (with Tim McVay).

Throughout the evening, more than 30 different varieties of the red, white and sparkling were poured, although by 10 minutes to 9 p.m., someone tripped the alarm that the house had been exhausted of its entire supply of red.

“That's a good thing! That's what happens when you have a sellout crowd!” Wylie laughed.




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