community

Fire pit Fridays and a 5K

October means that we are open every Friday until 7:30. If you haven’t stayed for an incredible Fire Pit Friday with Chef Josh’s farm-to-table menu, sunset views and a crackling fire, please don’t miss out. We hear glowing reviews from everyone who’s experienced one and there are only 3 Fire Pit Fridays left this year. Seize the s’mores!

Over 250 participants raised money for cancer patients.

Over 250 participants raised money for cancer patients.

Besides, is there a better time for drinking wine outside than October? The air is so clean and the sun is purer under turning leaves of gold and orange. It’s a time for taste buds to cozy up to our Reserve Red or indulge in our Norton or Chambourcin wines. And if reds aren’t your thing, you can still enjoy a tasty Moon Dance or Seyval Blanc. You won’t even need an ice bucket. 

Chuck Kellerstrass took home 2nd place in his division. Can't spell WINNER without W-I-N-E!

Chuck Kellerstrass took home 2nd place in his division. Can't spell WINNER without W-I-N-E!

The past weekend was a first for us at NightHawk. October 7 was the inaugural Miami County Cancer Foundation No One Fights Alone 5K sponsored by us! We hosted over 260 race participants plus volunteers and had a blast for a great cause, even in the morning mud.

The Fontana Fire Department helped a few cars out of the mud. Unfortunately, they couldn't stay for the wine!

The Fontana Fire Department helped a few cars out of the mud. Unfortunately, they couldn't stay for the wine!

The Miami County Cancer Foundation’s mission is to support county residents diagnosed with cancer. They provide valuable resources like gas cards to help with trips to treatment, grocery cards for food, homemade chemo hats, and loans of medical equipment such as hospital beds, canes, wheelchairs and walkers. They also wrap each cancer patient in love – by giving each and every one a handmade quilt from the Miami County Quilters’ Guild.

Julie Bussen got 1st place in her division and her brother Steven took home 2nd in his. Way to go, super sibs! 

Julie Bussen got 1st place in her division and her brother Steven took home 2nd in his. Way to go, super sibs! 

Cathy Leaver and Michelle Bridges are two dynamic forces behind the foundation, working hard to raise money to help others. The cancer foundation is 100% run by volunteers-- every penny donated goes directly to helping people with cancer.

Cathy Leaver, one of the founders of the MCCF, with her brother Doug Hewitt and his wife Alice. 

Cathy Leaver, one of the founders of the MCCF, with her brother Doug Hewitt and his wife Alice. 

All participants got t-shirts and a custom wine glass, lots of them staying to enjoy a morning tasting (either indoors in our tasting room or outside in our rustic corn crib) followed by an early gourmet lunch from Chef Josh. All in all it was another example of how people come together at NightHawk to help others and have fun while doing it.

Making good wine and doing good things… sounds pretty good to us.

Fundraiser for Betsy

Betsy Hasselquist has been a longtime friend of NightHawk-- you could even say she’s been a friend of the winery since before there was a winery. In 1992 she and her husband, Peter, met Don and Cathy and took pity on the crazy dreamers who were building a straw bale house by hand. They helped with numerous tasks related to construction and in 1994, when the home was finally finished, Peter’s band - the Blue Moon All-Stars - rocked out at the house-raising party. Sadly, Peter passed away in 2000. And even though the band members have all gone on to other projects, they reunite to honor him (usually just once a year) at the Paola Roots Festival.

So, although it was a hot summer Sunday on August 20, 2017, Betsy could think of no better place to celebrate her Aunt’s birthday than NightHawk Winery. They enjoyed our handmade wines, the shade of our walnut trees, the fluttering butterflies in the garden, and raised their glasses to another year well-lived.  

Unfortunately, August 21-22 was not as relaxing. Flash floods in Miami County dumped about 10 inches of water in a very short time, creating a disastrous and significant weather event that took everyone by surprise. The creek rose rapidly and in a matter of moments, Betsy's life changed. She was rescued via boat from her rooftop with only her dog, Digger, in her arms. When she was able to return to the house, it was ruined and so were most of her possessions. The only thing the flood didn’t destroy was her unstoppable spirit. 

So when Susan, Betsy’s sister, asked for our help with a fundraiser we didn’t hesitate. We gathered on October 1 under a brilliant sky to support our friend and have some fun along the way. Friends, neighbors, (and even winery visitors who just wanted to know what the heck was going on) gave money, drank delicious wine, had some tasty food and enjoyed the music.

Peter’s band reunited just for the occasion and it was magical to find everyone dancing on the patio, surrounding Betsy with love, support, and some really great blues! Our day of honoring Betsy bumped the amount raised for her home repair fund to over $27,750. Isn’t it amazing what people can do when they work together? And, if you want to donate there’s still time, even if you weren’t able to come celebrate with us. 

Last Saturday’s event reinforced our belief in the healing powers of great wine, live music, real food, and good people. Life can change in just one day, so take time to savor every moment. 
 

betsy-fundraiser-band.jpg