AMHERST — Newman Catholic Center is prepping to host its first ever “Summer Sips” wine tasting event to benefit the ministry of the center on Friday, June 7, from 6-8 p.m. inside the center’s new facility located at 111 Thatcher Rd. on the campus of the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Summer Sips will feature a variety of white, red and rose summer wines from distributors from around the country and more. An assortment of non-alcoholic wines will also be available for tasting.

Newman Catholic Center Director of Development Virginia Webb told Reminder Publishing this event was another opportunity for the center to increase its awareness in the community and a chance to showcase its new facility.

“We had the goal of getting people in and increasing awareness,” Webb said. “It’s our first annual and we’re hoping that it catches on in all of our four counties of Western Mass. People can come in and just experience Newman and but most especially some wonderful summer wines, alcohol and nonalcoholic by the way.”

The Newman Center is the Catholic presence on the UMass Amherst campus and recently embarked on a capital campaign to build its new location. Newman has served the students, faculty and staff, community members and guests of UMass Amherst and the other colleges of the Five College Consortium since 1929.

Webb credited Andrew Morrison, development board member and co-owner of Liquor 44, for coming up with the idea as the two brainstormed what kind of event the center could host to expand its awareness. She said with his connections, many distributors will make their way out for the event and it will be a chance to get a showcase of some of the finest wines from around the country.

“He does wine tastings all over the area and knows the best of the best, so it was a perfect partnership especially having him on the board to help us,” Webb said.

The sponsor for the event is Liquors 44. Tickets cost $35 per person and $50 per couple and can be purchased at any Liquors 44 location.

Tickets can also be purchased by calling Newman Catholic Center at 413-549-0300 or emailing newmansecretary@diospringfield.org. They can also be purchased by emailing the St. Brigid’s Parish office at saintbrigidsamherst@gmail.com.

Included in the cost of tickets are raffles, light refreshments, an opportunity to chat with the distributors and to purchase the featured wines. There will also be tours of the new center and a library of information on wines and pairings.

Webb added this event is a continued sign of the center’s growth, as once they entered their new center it triggered the mentality of what can be done next.

“We built this center out of donations from all over the country and we did it right in the hot bed of the pandemic so that was quite a mighty goal to begin with,” she said. “It’s where do we go from here, how do we grow and where’s the next chapter going to lead us.”

For more information about the center or the upcoming wine tasting call the main office at 413-549-0300 or email newmansecretary@diospringfield.org.

Webb said hopes are this is the first of many future Summer Sips events and it can be added to the repertoire of events the center hosts yearly.

“We’re hoping that it’s a great success, that it increases our awareness, and it brings people to the center,” Webb said.

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