Wine and Dine benefit at Williams helps chamber

WEIRTON – The beverages flowed and fun filled the evening at Williams Golf and Country Club Saturday for the fifth-annual Wine and Dine at Williams event, hosted by the Weirton Area Chamber of Commerce and the Business Development Corp. of the Northern Panhandle. While the night included guests sampling various wine and beer, taking a horse-drawn carriage ride or even having some fun in the man cave or at the photo booth, the main purpose of the event is as a fundraiser for the chamber's educational programs as well as continuing efforts to upgrade and maintain the community Christmas lights. “We're always happy to have an event where businesses can get together and have a fun evening,” Chamber President Brenda Mull said, thanking the BDC, the staff of Williams Golf and Country Club and the event's sponsors. Article Photos WINING AND DINING — Guests gather in the ballroom of Williams Golf and Country Club Saturday evening for the fifth-annual Wine and Dine at Williams, hosted by the Weirton Area Chamber of Commerce and the Business Development Corp. — Craig Howell       This year's sponsors included Weirton Medical Center; Wine & Beverage Merchants; PS Marketing; WesBanco Banking, Insurance and Trust; Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort; Paper & Press Ink; and Fairfield Inn & Suites. BDC Executive Director Pat Ford noted the efforts of the country club staff, and its new ownership, to assist in putting together the event, adding he feels a renewed enthusiasm for the facility throughout the Weirton community. “I think it creates great energy,” Ford said. “There's a great buzz here tonight.” It wasn't just Weirton residents enjoying the evening, either. “We come every year,” Donna Callihan, of Cambridge, Ohio, said. “It's such a nice occasion.” Her friend, B.J. Wolfe, agreed, noting the event brings together area residents for a good cause. “I think it's wonderful,” she said. “I like the food, I like the wine, I like the people.” Several of the sponsors were on hand Saturday, expressing their appreciation to the chamber and their enjoyment of the event. “It's a unique concept,” George Kondik, of PS Marketing, which provided the wine glasses, said. “Every year I see it continue to grow.” Barb Barkley, general manager of the Fairfield Inn & Suites agreed. The hotel sponsored the carriage rides Saturday. “Every year the chamber gets better and better at what they do,” she said. “We look forward to next year. Bob Babinchak, of WesBanco, which served as food sponsor, said everyone he had spoken to was enjoying themselves, while David Artman, director of operations at Weirton Medical Center, noted the hospital's appreciation of the chamber's work in the community. Weirton Medical Center was the gold sponsor. Vince Azzarello, of Mountaineer, returning as man cave sponsor, also expressed the business' pleasure in helping to put together the event. “We want to support the community, and that's what this is all about,” Azzarello said. Nick Latousakis, of Wine & Beverage Merchants, the beverage sponsor, said the Wine and Dine provides a chance to focus on some of the positive aspects of the community, noting it involves a great deal of work by many people trying to make a difference. “It's there for you if you're willing to find it and participate,” he said. The chamber's programs benefiting from the evening include Leadership Weirton, Youth Leadership Weirton and the High School Business Symposium. The Christmas lights include the display on Three Springs Drive, as well as those lining Main Street during the holiday season.