The Ahwatukee Foothills Rotary Club is hosting its second Wine Tasting Benefit this weekend at the Grace Inn.

This year's theme focuses on wines from Argentina and Chile, as well as food pairings from the region.

Annlouise Ferguson, community outreach director for the Rotary Club, anticipates the benefit as "a casual way for friends to gather and learn about wine."

Representatives from Southern Wine and Spirits will serve as a source of expertise for the wine at the April 30 event, Ferguson said.

"A lot of people know wine," she said. "But there are also a lot of people trying to learn."

Displayed wines will be available for purchase, along with a variety of beers from the South American countries.

Rotary members will also be raffling off themed baskets for $20 per ticket. Baskets cater to sports fans, restaurant lovers, book worms, tech savvy folks and anyone who just needs a getaway vacation.

"We wanted a fun, unique way to raise funds to support Ahwatukee and to support the world," Ferguson said.

Locally, the Rotary Club has impacted a number of foundations with the money it raises at benefits. For instance, the group has donated about 300 hygiene bags and more than 400 jarred goods to the Kyrene Family Resource Center, Ferguson said.

Rotary also uses benefit profit to sponsor Kyrene Akimel A-al Middle School through the Adopt-A-School program.

"We sponsor a student of the quarter to give them recognition for qualities they have that are consistent with the rotary four-way test," Ferguson said.

Through this program, the Rotary Club also recognizes a teacher of the year and fulfills principals' wish lists by donating equipment and supplies, she added.

The local Rotary Club also supports the Phoenix Rescue Mission and awards vocational grants every year. The group's immediate goal is to raise $2,000 before July 1 for polio, Ferguson said.

Tickets for the Wine Tasting Benefit are $20 per person. The event is from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 30 at the Grace Inn, 10831 S. 51st St.

For information and tickets, call Cindy Harrison at (480) 497-1482 or email her at Also, visit to view the event flier.

• Erin Sullivan is interning this semester for the Ahwatukee Foothills News. She is a junior at Arizona State University.

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