Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Community Donates Corks for a Cause

Photos by Val Simon | Vi at Bentley Village signature private label wine.

Photos by Val Simon | Vi at Bentley Village signature private label wine.

By Coastal Breeze News Staff

When the Rotary Clubs and Kiwanis Club joined forces to participate in the Meals of Hope, their desire was to bring a hands-on approach to ending hunger. Last year, over 500 volunteers joined forces at a Meals of Hope packaging event on island and in just under two hours, they packaged over 253,000 meals. The meals are distributed through organizations such as the Harry Chapin Food Bank and Collier Harvest.

In charge of the Meals of Hope effort in our area is attorney William G. Morris (aka Bill “Captain Happy Hope” Morris). “We hold several events throughout the year such as our monthly Happy Hour for Hope, raising funds to support the packaging of meals. We are always looking for ways to raise money to fund the effort.”

One unique avenue to raise funds for the cause is collecting corks. Susan Ackerson developed the concept and heads up the cork sales effort. Corks are collected and then sold through eBay to the highest bidder. All proceeds go to the Meals of Hope.

“Filling the demand for corks can be a challenge. Local restaurants contribute their corks but we’re pleased to announce we’re partnering with the community of Vi at Bentley Village,” said Bill Morris. Vi at Bentley Village, a popular luxury living continuing care retirement community in Naples, is pleased to announce their collaboration with Meals of Hope. “We will collect corks from our restaurants and lounge areas to donate to the cause. We are pleased to participate in this ongoing philanthropic endeavor,” said Vi’s

Jason Keam, Director of Food and Beverage welcomes guests to a view of the wine room. The kitchen has been remodeled and is state-of-the-art. Azure offers a set five-course menu with a selection of three entrées created by the chef daily.

Jason Keam, Director of Food and Beverage welcomes guests to a view of the wine room. The kitchen has been remodeled and is state-of-the-art. Azure offers a set five-course menu with a selection of three entrées created by the chef daily.

Executive Director, Penny Smith.

The Vi at Bentley Village community recently underwent an $80 million renovation project. In addition to the construction of new residences, there was a complete reconstruction of Bentley Village’s two clubhouses and a redesign of five of the holes on the community’s 18-hole golf course. Residents can now enjoy four choices for dining, including the addition of an upscale restaurant named Azure. This contemporary dining venue is complete with a wine room. Vi at Bentley Village residents, Lee and Karen Heifetz, formerly Marco Island residents, brought the concept of charitable corks to the Director of Food and Beverage Jason Keam, after enjoying an evening at Azure. The Heifetz’s know the mission of the Meals of Hope first-hand having participated in past packaging events.

According to Jason, “We carry 48 labels of wine in our restaurants ranging from $18 a bottle to $350, we offer the perfect selection for the discerning palate. In fact, Bentley Village has its own signature private label wine, Luxus. Art donning the private wine label was painted by a Vi resident at another location. Bentley Village residents will be very pleased to participate in this partnership.”

Vi has a total of ten communities across the nation including Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, South Carolina as well as three in Florida. Vi at Bentley Village is home to more than 700 residents.

For further information on the Meals of Hope and how you can help, contact William Morris at 239-642-6020. For further information on the luxury lifestyle of Vi at Bentley Village, contact Pam Fultz at 239-431-2227.

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