Philanthropists Drink to Student Veterans

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Joanna Starling, J. Sean Fay, Rose Sachs, Jason Franklin, and Harriet Guttenberg pose in Cafe’ 1984

Original: April 26, 2011 Issue 15

By: Whitney De ValRoger

Staff Writer

Joanna Starling, J. Sean Fay, Rose Sachs, Jason Franklin, and Harriet Guttenberg pose in Cafe’ 1984

One part hors d’oeuvres, two parts wine tasting. Muddle in fundraising, shake, strain, and you have yourself the Montgomery Alliance Wine Tasting held in Kensington, MD on Thursday, April 20. The fundraising event was held to help Montgomery Alliance reach the $25,000 goal they had pledged toward the Combat2College program here at Montgomery College.

The wine tasting took place at Café 1894, a small restaurant located in Kensington’s Antique Row. The restaurant’s doors opened at 6 PM to a seasoned group of over 30 caring individuals. The buy-in was $20 per person. All proceeds went to a donation fund. Although wine and hors d’oeuvres would attract anybody (of age), all enthusiasts were there to support the two organizations spearheading the evening: Montgomery Alliance and Combat2College.

Montgomery Alliance is a six year old nonprofit organization of volunteers that donate their time and resources to bettering the lives of Montgomery County residents. Harriet Guttenberg heads the organization and was present at the wine tasting taking donations at the door. For this spring’s fundraising project, Montgomery Alliance chose an organization which deals with people close to Guttenberg’s heart: veterans.

“I wanted to do something helpful. Other organizations help out Walter Reed or Bethesda Medical. This is still helping and a bit less showy,” said Guttenberg. The Montgomery College Foundation has pledged to match whatever Montgomery Alliance raises for Combat2College.

The Combat2College program assists returning veterans and active duty personnel as they acclimate to the college experience. Over 700 students are veterans. The program provides activities and social outlets, in addition to personal counseling. With the help of Coordinator Rose Sachs and Program Assistant Joanna Starling, the program has garnered support from Montgomery Alliance this year.

Deciding what cause would be the focus of the spring fundraising project was a no-brainer for Montgomery Alliance. “I have been very anxious to do something for veterans,” explained Guttenberg. Guttenberg expressed that helping veterans was a necessity, an unspoken duty to pay back those who have sacrificed so much for their country.

The wine tasting brought in abundant donations, so raise a glass for a toast to our veteran students.