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Third Annual Wine Pairing Dinner raises funds for the Boys and Girls Club

By Staff | Sep 27, 2019

Connie and Mike Citro, of Shepherdstown, sip wine together, during the Shepherdstown Kiwanis Club's Wine Pairing Dinner at the Clarion in Harpers Ferry on Friday. Toni Milbourne

HARPERS FERRY — The Kiwanis Club of Shepherdstown hosted their Third Annual Wine Pairing Dinner at the Clarion Hotel in Harpers Ferry on Friday.

The dinner raised money for the Boys and Girls Club of the Eastern Panhandle.

Friday’s event featured a wine pairing of six wines with a six-course meal. Wines were provided by Martin’s Distributing Company and sommelier Scot McCallister was on hand to describe each one. The meal accompanying the wine selections was provided by the Clarion staff.

As guests enjoyed the evening fare, they heard firsthand accounts of how the Boys and Girls Club has made a difference in the lives of children.

Guest speakers for the evening included Amber Glennon and Leah Knopp, both club kids who now work for the organization that benefited their lives.

Amber Glennon speaks about her experiences with Boys and Girls clubs at the Kiwanis Wine Pairing Dinner on Friday. Toni Milbourne

Glennon, who is Boys and Girls Club director of operations, shared her story of a club in California she attended, which provided her with a “safe place.” Upon moving across the country to the East Coast as a teenager, she found another club to be her new “safe place.” During her college years, she began tutoring and helping in the summer at the Boys and Girls Club.

“I met amazing people at the center. I met my little sister, Becca, where I was the mentor she needed. That is a relationship that has turned into family,” Glennon said, mentioning many relationships formed at the club last a lifetime.

Knopp then spoke about participating in the club for 8 years as a child and five years as an adult. Knopp met her best friend at the club, where they played board games and did homework together. Although Knopp had her first child at age 16, she said she always felt welcome at the club.

“I knew I’d never be alone,” she said. “I came back to work at the club after I graduated high school. It has become my passion.”

Boys & Girls Club of the Eastern Panhandle CEO Stacie Rohn commended her staffers for speaking from the heart, saying she had asked them to “find their ‘why'” regarding their commitment to the club.

The club’s theme this year is “Whatever It Takes,” which, according to Rohn, is exactly what each staff and board member will do to keep the club available for youth in the community. Every day, 225 children find a place to relax and learn at in the club locations in Berkeley Springs, Martinsburg and Charles Town.

Rohn closed with a memory from the beginning of the club’s relationship with the Kiwanis Club.

“I remember a few years ago that Adelle and Bernie (Knott) came to me and started with a simple wine paring dinner. It has grown into something beautiful,” she said.

Matching donations to the Boys and Girls Club of the Eastern Panhandle can be made now through Sept. 30 through the United Way Unity Campaign. To donate, visit the United Way of the Eastern Panhandle at 24 District Way in Martinsburg or call 304-263-0603.