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Helping to help others

PRINCETON — Bureau County residents will have the opportunity this week to help ensure the outreach of the American Red Cross in Bureau County.

The fifth annual wine and beer tasting event, sponsored by the American Red Cross of Bureau County, will be from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday at A Hundred Acres Orchard and Market, two miles west of Princeton off Route 6.

Describing Friday’s annual fundraiser, Bureau County Red Cross Director Lori Compton said event-goers will be able to sample beer and wine from around the country and appetizers from local food vendors, in keeping with an All-American theme. The evening will feature a wine pull, live music and a 7 p.m. art auction.

More than 20 auction items will be available from a wide variety of area artists, including paintings and water colors, handcrafted ornamental boxes, abstracts and pottery and photographs, Compton said, adding there will be something for everything.

“Any of these items you would be proud to put on display in your home or office,” Compton said. “Plus everything goes for a good cause.”

Tickets for Friday’s event are $15 in advance or $20 at the door. Advance tickets are available by calling 815-879-2231 or at the Prouty Community Building or Central Bank in Princeton, Spring Valley City Bank or Citizens First State Bank in Walnut.

Compton said Friday’s fundraiser is important for the ongoing work of the local Red Cross chapter. Approximately 20 percent of the local Red Cross budget comes from the Bureau County United Way, and the remaining 80 percent comes from individuals and fundraisers. No state or federal money is received.

The Bureau County Red Cross office has had a busy few years with the Euclid Chemical Plant fire in 2010 near Sheffield, the train derailment in 2011 on the edge of Tiskilwa, and having 16 families affected by house/apartment fires since July 1, 2012, Compton said.

During the April 2013 heavy rains and floods, the local Red Cross office distributed 250 clean-up kits to local residents. The Red Cross also provided some disaster assessments during that time and offered shelter for residents who could not stay in their homes.

Compton said Bureau County is not out of the loop when it comes to the potential of disasters.

In addition to its disaster assistance, the local Red Cross provides health and safety education classes, service to the armed forces and blood drives each year.

Looking ahead to Friday’s wine and beer tasting event, Compton said it will be a relaxing, fun evening, at a reasonable cost and for a good cause.

Working on the fundraising committee with Compton are Rick Wilkin, Vanessa Hoffeditz, Mindy Kramer, Joanne Kloepping, Eric May, Pam Hanson, Ashley Compton, Lori Frick and Tim Smith. Sponsors for the evening are Country Financial and Alliance Pipeline.

Comment on this story at www.bcrnews.com.

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