Share This Page

Wine maker honors friend's memory

| Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013, 8:24 p.m.
Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review
Chukky Benetti holds a homemade bottle of wine dedicated to his friend Michael McAndrew in his Butler home Wednesday, September 11, 2013. Proceeds from a fundraiser netted $1,200 in sales of the wine with the money going to Camp Cadet, a summer program run by the state police in Butler. McAndrew was a retired state police office who died last fall.
Submitted
The late Michael McAndrew, a career state police officer in Butler, was honored by his friend, Chukky Benetti, who sold wine with McAndrew’s photo on the bottle to raise money for a camp run by state police. The two friends were avid winemakers.

Chukky Benetti says the wine he makes improved almost as soon as he met Michael McAndrew.

“He was fascinated by making wines. He was constantly improving on himself on the wines he made,” said Benetti, 82, a retired iron worker who has been making wine for 50 years.

After McAndrew, a retired state police officer, abruptly died last year, Benetti thought about how to best honor his friend.

What could be better than raising money by selling wine?

Benetti sold 24 bottles of his wine for $50 each as a fundraiser for Camp Cadet in Butler County. Camp Cadet is a summer camp run by the state police at various locations across the state.

“He was a great person. We hunted and fished and made wine together,” Benetti said of McAndrew.

Benetti donated the $1,200 he raised at a ceremony at the camp in August.

Camp Cadet accepts boys and girls ages 12 to 15. It is staffed by state troopers, local police officers and other volunteers and introduces participants to the criminal justice system. Participants are addressed as “cadet” during the week they attend.

“It is a great organization. This would have made my husband very happy,” said McAndrew's wife, Arda McAndrew of Butler.

Michael McAndrew, who spent 25 years as a state police officer, grew up in Erie near the southern end of the largest wine growing region east of the Rockies.

“He was Irish, and Ireland is not a wine country. But he had Italian neighbors in Erie. He never had formal training, but read books about wine and experimented. He said making wine is like chemistry,” Arda McAndrew said.

Rick Wills is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7944 or at rwills@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.