A time for tasting

June 19th, 2015 9:10 am

First Posted: 9/8/2014

The Rotary Club of the Abingtons will celebrate the 10th anniversary of what is now its primary fundraiser of the year with new participants adding wine, cigars and live music to the already diverse event.

The ever popular Taste of the Abingtons is set for 5 to 8 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 14 at Nichols Village Hotel and Spa, 1101 Northern Boulevard, Clarks Summit. Traditionally, the event features dozens of local restaurants and eateries, offering samples of their best specialty food items — appetizers, entrees, desserts and coffees. This year, Bartolai Winery, Nimble Hill and Verrastro Distributors will provide wines and beers for tasting, and Steamtown Cigar Club will host cigar sampling in a separate area. Live jazz music will entertain guests, courtesy of the John Andrews Jazz Quartet.

“Aside from all of the wonderful restaurants,” said John Regula, event chair, “this year we are offering businesses who cannot participate directly by being there that day to allow us to put together a gift basket for a Chinese auction. So, that’s just another way a business that doesn’t cook food can participate.”

The auction features about two dozen baskets.

With all the changes to this year’s Taste of the Abingtons, one aspect which remains the same, according to Regula, is the atmosphere, which he described as “casual elegance.”

“It is a come-as-you-are event,” he said. “So you don’t have to get dressed up - although several people do get dressed up for it. But it is a wonderful place to sit out on the deck with friends, enjoy the friends you came with and make new friends while you’re there, as you’re sampling all different restaurants.”

Locally, the Rotary Club of the Abingtons exists to serve the community by supporting other civic organizations, taking care of local parks and helping in whatever areas are needed. It is best known for its annual Fourth of July fireworks display, but also supports Salvation Army, Boy Scouts, Daffodil Sales, Dictionary Project, Senior Citizen Program, Toys for Tots, Abington Heights Scholarships, Highway Clean Up, Ecumenical Thanksgiving Service, Naturalization Swearing In Ceremony, Equipment for the Physically Challenged, the Group Exchange Program and the Foreign Exchange Student Program and more.

This year’s Taste of the Abingtons, according to Regula, will directly benefit Newton Ransom PTA and the Civic League of Scranton. He said all the money raised by the club goes back into the community.

“None of it stays inside our Rotary,” he said, “so whenever there’s a community need and we’re able to respond to it, it’s because we had a successful event here.”