2014 Wine Classic

At the check presentation to McAllen ISD are Gerry Garcia with McAllen Chamber, Sony Rego of Santa Fe Steakhouse and McAllen ISD Superintendent Dr. James Ponce
At the check presentation to McAllen ISD are Gerry Garcia with McAllen Chamber, Sony Rego of Santa Fe Steakhouse and McAllen ISD Superintendent Dr. James Ponce

The Santa Fe Steakhouse and the McAllen Chamber of Commerce will again host the Santa Fe Wine Classic to raise money for education.  With the help of Santa Fe Steakhouse owner, Sony Rego, and her idea to organize a wine classic for education, the event raised $25,000 for the Chamber’s Education Initiatives Program last year, and the Chamber was able to award a $15,000 donation to McAllen ISD for its mentoring program, Transforming U.  Transforming U is a one-to-one, face-to-face developmental mentoring program designed to provide students with workplace exposure, career awareness, college preparation and help in preparing a post high school plan.

Transforming U is the fastest growing workplace mentoring program in the country.  The program is being developed in the McAllen area in partnership with United Way of South Texas, the McAllen Chamber of Commerce, South Texas College and the McAllen Economic Development Corporation.  “The Chamber will focus on helping prepare students to compete in the 21st Century,” said Steve Ahlenius, McAllen Chamber President/CEO.  Transforming U is a perfect example of a program that does just that.  It will provide real world experience for students as well as an opportunity for the business community to get involved through mentoring.  “The Chamber’s focus will also include a wide range of initiatives such as workforce readiness, internships, and additional training in education,” Ahlenius added.  Since the inception of a scholarship program many years ago and now with its education initiative program, the Chamber has raised and awarded over $925,000 for McAllen students.

Among several businesses and organizations participating in Transforming U by providing workplace exposure and mentoring is Lee’s Pharmacy.  “The McAllen Chamber of Commerce has been a very active supporter of public education in the greater McAllen area for some time,” said Danny Vela, owner of Lee’s Pharmacy and MISD School Board Trustee. “It has served in an advisory and a facilitory capacity.  Its help with the Transforming U mentoring program is another example of the support and a demonstration of the Chamber’s positive commitment to the future of our area – and of course, Lee’s Pharmacy was more than happy to participate,” he added.  Lee’s Pharmacy has committed to sponsor a student this fall and provide work experience and mentoring.

The Santa Fe Wine Classic is scheduled for Friday, October 17, from 6:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. at Quinta Mazatlan, 600 Sunset Drive in McAllen.  It will feature hundreds of wines from around the world and delicious food from some of the best local restaurants in McAllen including The Republic of the Rio Grande, Kumori, House.Wine Bistro, The Centennial, Sweet & Tasty and of course, Santa Fe Steakhouse.  The Classic will also include live music, a performance by Bugalu Dance Company, and a silent auction.

“The Classic has become one of the most exciting events in the Valley with sold out events every year.  Each year we sell out in advance and we have people frantically trying to find tickets,” said Gerry Garcia, Vice President of Special Projects for the McAllen Chamber.  “As of right now, the event is a month away and tickets are almost all sold out.  The event’s popularity is due to the reputation the Santa Fe Steakhouse has made for itself.  The Chamber couldn’t be more honored to be part of the Classic and to be able to work with Sony Rego,” she added.

Santa Fe Steakhouse is known for consistently providing excellent customer service, attention to detail, an extensive wine list and for using only the finest ingredients to provide a unique dining experience. It is no wonder that for several years it has won The Monitors Readers’ Choice Award and Wine Spectator’s Best of Award of Excellence for the past ten years.

Garcia encourages anyone planning to attend the event to get their tickets soon.  Individual tickets and table reservations are available and can be purchased at the McAllen Chamber of Commerce, 1200 Ash Ave., the Santa Fe Steakhouse, 1918 S. 10th Street or at House.Wine & Bistro, Salt New American Table or Holiday Wine on Tamarack and 10th.

Wine Classic 2014 is proudly sponsored by Santa Fe Steakhouse, L&F Distributors, LLC, All Occasions Party Rental, McAllen/Hidalgo International Bridge and Wells Fargo.  For more information, please contact Gerry Garcia at 682-2871 or Sony Rego at 630-2331.