Sunday, March 17, 2013

San Francisco Wine Tasting Benefits YJI
Event organizer Shaina Zura, left, and co-host Talon Bronson.
The gallery before the event 
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - Shaina Zura, who spent some of her teenage years as a reporter with Youth Journalism International, pulled together the organization's first major West Coast benefit event on Saturday.
The adults-only wine-tasting party, held at Spoke Art, a San Francisco gallery, offered a variety of wines from around the world, cheeses and other refreshments.
A silent auction including goods and services donated by Bay Area businesses added to the success of the evening.
The San Francisco party, one in a series of "I Love YJI" fundraising events, followed others held in Durban, South Africa, Kabul, Afghanistan and in Central Connecticut, where YJI is headquartered. More events are in the works.
Zura, who wrote news stories for YJI as a high school student in Connecticut in the late 1990s, got a little help at the wine tasting benefit Saturday night from Talon Bronson, a YJI writer from Portland, Oregon.
Bronson, 21, was visiting the Bay Area and took time out to lend a hand with the event.
"It was a truly inspiring night," said Zura.
Wine expert Kellie Michelle Coahran spent the 
evening behind the wine table, explaining about 
the wines available for tasting and pouring.
One part of the gallery served as the focal point. The wine, cheese and other refreshments were displayed on the table to the left. Silent auction items and bidding sheets were on the table in the back.
Interest in YJI's work and enthusiasm for the organization was evident throughout the evening.
Participants got a chance
view great art as well
 as enjoy
a variety of wine 
and cheese.
Plenty of informational material,
such as brochures and fact 
sheets that explain about YJI,
available at the benefit.
Participants checked out the details on silent auction items that ranged from mobile phones to massage, high end cosmetics, tarot card readings and dog training sessions.
Friends gathered at the gallery to spend some time together and support YJI
Event host, organizer and YJI alum Shaina Zura, right, surveys the crowd.
Spoke Art donated its beautiful 
gallery space for Youth Journalism
International to hold its  biggest 
West Coast event yet. We're grateful
to the gallery for its generosity.
Lots of people turned out for the wine tasting benefit and a good time was had by all.

San Francisco fashion is truly cutting edge, as evidenced by this man's handsome pin.
Our beautiful hostess, Shaina Zura, tapped friends, friends of friends and San Francisco businesses for help with the wine tasting event and was delighted at the outpouring of community support.

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