WEIRTON - Area business leaders along with city and state officials came out to Williams Country Club on Saturday for the second-annual Wine and Dine at Williams, held by the Weirton Area Chamber of Commerce.
After some changes from last year's event, which included musical entertainment, a more vast selection of food, carriage rides and a man cave, more than 250 tickets were sold and chamber officials declared the event a major success.
Weirton Area Chamber of Commerce President Brenda Mull said the chamber was happy to be able to host such an event again. She said there are times when business leaders are so focused on the future and working that they hardly ever get to have any fun and this event gave those individuals an opportunity to socialize and network for their businesses.
"The funds raised during this event will be put back into the community through several programs including Leadership Weirton, Youth Leadership Weirton, the High School Business Symposium and the annual Christmas lighting," she said. "It's been well attended and we couldn't be happier. We'd like thank all of our sponsors for helping us make this a wonderful night."
The Business Development Corp. of the Northern Panhandle, Wine & Beverage Merchants, Tri-State Medical Group, PS Marketing, Fairfield Inn and Suites, Baymont Inn and Suites, National Gold and Silver Refinery, MedExpress and The Weirton Daily Times/Herald Star served as the major sponsors for the event. Mayor George Kondik said this is the second year he has been a sponsor through his company, PS Marketing, and he is happy to support the event and will do so in the future.
"This is such a great way to bring our community business leaders and residents together in a different environment," he said.
ENJOYING EVENT — Nick Latousakis, left, of Wine and Beverage Merchants, pours a drink for Weirton Chamber board member John Kirlangitis during Saturday’s Wine and Dine at Williams. The event was a fundraiser for the chamber, and Wine and Beverage Merchants served as the beverage sponsor. -- Angelina Dickson
Executive Director Pat Ford said the BDC was glad to once again help sponsor the event. He said with such a great response after last year's event it was important to make sure the Wine and Dine saw a successful second year and more to come.
"When I look around, I see many major contributors in the business world in the Northern Panhandle and it's a rare opportunity for such a gathering," he said. "There's such a broad cross-section of stakeholders here with individuals from small businesses, large businesses, city officials and staff, state delegates and even representatives from Congressman McKinley's office."
Ford said the BDC will continue to support the Weirton Area Chamber of Commerce in its endeavors. He said the Wine and Dine is just one way people can see how healthy the Northern Panhandle is as a community socially and how the area can move forward.
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"As the director for the BDC, I am excited to be a part of it," he said.
Tri-State Medical Group owner J.J. Bernabei said his company continues to support all Chamber events. He said the organization's ability to network with community leaders is unlike any other within 100 miles and he feels privileged to be a part of it.
"It's a great excuse to get out and be social with other community leaders and it's the place to be," he said. "If you weren't here, you missed something."
Nick Latousakis of Wine & Beverage Merchants said he was glad to be able to bring a more global variety of wines to the Weirton area. He said the event was a great way for the local people to sample different wines and for him to evaluate them.
"I wanted to bring a more global scene than the generic wines people are already knowledgeable about and be a part of the event structured by the chamber for the community," he said.
The newest addition to the event included the man cave which was set up in a tent on the putting green on Williams Country Club golf course. It was sponsored by National Gold and Silver Refinery. Those looking for something a little different and ventured out to the man cave had the opportunity to taste a variety of scotch and cigars.
Horse-drawn carriage rides and live musical entertainment also was available.
(Dickson can be contacted at email@example.com)