The Tasting Panel magazine

January / February 2017

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Page 18 of 148

THE MESSAGE Brief Encounters Whether The Tasting Panel goes to the brand execs or the brands call us, there is an abundance of news to report, from the latest releases to behind-the-scenes experiences with some of the world's most influential importers, winemakers, distillers . . . well, you name it. We may not have enough pages in each issue to devote as much attention as we would like to each person whose path we cross, but please note that if it's in the publication, we deem it noteworthy. —Meridith May, Publisher & Editorial Director "W elcome to my Damn Gala!" Cyndi Lauper (yes, that Cyndi Lauper) declared onstage at the first "Damn Gala" fundraiser for the True Colors Fund at L.A.'s Hollywood Athletic Club in October. "Tonight is the culmina- tion of a lot of years of hard work," she said. The fundraiser, hosted by celebrity entertainer Carson Kressley, supported efforts to eradicate youth homelessness, specifically among LGBTQ individuals, who comprise 40 percent of homeless youth but only seven percent of the nation's youth population. Van Gogh Vodka served as a partner and Platinum Sponsor of the event, serving up an array of creative cock- tails that featured flavors like Dutch Chocolate and Double Espresso. "We are an inclusive brand and wanted to do something to help the plight of the LGBTQ community, which is so often discriminated against," said Norman Bonchick, Chairman & CEO of 375 Park Avenue Spirits, the U.S. importer for Van Gogh Vodka. "We have been involved with the True Colors Fund since 2011 and take great pride in helping Cyndi and the organization raise funds and awareness for this worthy cause. The money is used to do a world of good, such as enabling LGBTQ youth living on the streets to find safe spaces, shelters and support within their community—and so much more." We will drink to that! —Becky Tsadik Norman Bonchick, Chairman & CEO of 375 Park Avenue Spirits, with True Colors Fund co-founder Cyndi Lauper at the organization's fundraiser at the Hollywood Athletic Club in Los Angeles. Norman Bonchick, Chairman & CEO of 375 Park Avenue Spirits, with Van Gogh Vodka Gives a Damn PHOTO COURTESY OF VAN GOGH VODKA 18  /  the tasting panel  /  january/february 2017

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