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Alexandria Rotarians’ Sips for Saints is a Resounding Success

The Luck and Generosity O’ the R’Otarians Make Irish-Themed Inaugural Fundraiser a Hit 

By Kelly MacConomy

Former Mayor Bill Euille was on hand for the Rotary fun.(Photo: Kelly MacConomy)

ALEXANDRIA, VA – Friday night March 8 was alright for giving at the Rotary Club of Alexandria Central’s inaugural “Sips For Saints” fundraising event held at the Atrium in Old Town. The theme of this wearing o’ the green celebration was “eat, drink, and be charitable!” And sure and begorrah, so they did!

The Zebra proudly joined local restaurant, retail and business sponsors as well as Leprechaun Level Supporter Dr. Elisabeth Palmer-Johnson in memory of COL(R) Gerald K. Johnson. Sixteen purveyors or fine food and drink served up savory plates and tastings of not only iconic Irish culinary treats but local fare with lots O’Flare. The event was kicked-off by Alexandria’s favorite man about town, Benjamin Fiore-Walker, our Town Crier.

Guests sipped traditional Irish libations such as Guinness stout beer tastings and Jameson’s Irish whiskey with a make-your-own Irish Coffee Bar. Flights of red, white and rosé vin’O provided by Sonoma Cellars paired well with the expansive variety of cuisines from around the world.

From the Tastes of India to the Emerald Isle, favorites with an au courant twist of Beef Stew and turnip/parsnip purée from Murphy’s Grand Irish Pub and beyond to the interpretive noshing of Meggroll’s nod to American classics, guests were offered a feast fit for celebrating St. Patrick.
Then there were the desserts. Temptations galore from Alexandria favorites Society Fair, Sugar Shack and Alexandria Pastry Shop surely capsized every Keto dieter’s resolve.

Raffle prizes generously donated by area merchants and restaurants, drawn throughout the evening by Councilman John Taylor Chapman and Councilwoman Amy Jackson, kept the Rotarian revelers anxiously waiting for that lucky number while engaged by entertaining Celtic dancing groups well-known to Alexandrians and  DMV parade aficionados. The Boyle School of Irish Dance will be performing at the Wharf in DC for St. Patrick’s Day.  The O’Neill James School of Irish Dance will perform on the steps of the US Capitol honoring Irish heritage March 17.

A standing ovation and tip o’ the hat to the Rotary Club of Alexandria Central as well as Claddagh Sponsor Renner and Company CPA for one enchanting evening under the snowy night sky at The Atrium. Proceeds from this event go toward promoting the mission of the Rotarians and the charitable projects of the Alexandria Central Rotary Foundation which include fostering peace and conflict resolution, literacy, maternal and child health, clean water, sanitation and economic opportunity the world over.

Sips for Saints represents the best and grandest of what makes Alexandria City one of the top destinations for travel and quality of life in the country: charity, community service, and good cheer!

See more photos below by Kelly MacConomy and Debby Critchley





Mary Wadland

Mary Wadland is the Publisher and Editor in Chief of The Zebra Press, founded by her in 2010. Originally from Delray Beach, Florida, Mary is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Hollins College in Roanoke, VA and has lived and worked in the Alexandria publishing community since 1987.

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