Children honored at Winter Wine & All That Jazz wine tasting

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About 750 people crowded around the wine, cheese and fruit tables during the eighth annual Winter Wine & All That Jazz fund-raiser for the Carson Advocates for Cancer Care on Saturday night in the Carson Nugget Ballroom.

"This is our major fund-raiser for the year," said Ann Proffitt, president of the group. The group uses the funds to help cancer patients without insurance pay for the costs of treatment. Last year they helped about 75 patients, according to Proffitt, herself a survivor of breast cancer. "When we started this event we were only helping about 20 -- so we've come along way," she said.

On the west end of the ballroom The Russ Lindquist Band Sierra Swing & Jazz Band was playing on stage while on the east end tables were piled with rolled slices of turkey, ham and roast beef, cheeses, watermelon, cantaloupe and, of course, plenty of fruit of the vine.

"There are almost 50 wines being poured tonight from 26 wineries," said Proffitt, who also runs the Cancer Resource Center at Carson Tahoe Hospital.

"That's my real job," she says.

The Carson Advocates for Cancer Care are an almost entirely volunteer organization, with the only paid employee being director Jon Coates. "That helps us keep our overhead to an absolute minimum," said Proffitt.

Saturday's event also featured a raffle and silent auction. Two of the more popular items in the auction were a two-night stay in a Mariner's Resort cabin at Eagle Lake with dinner for two at the Galley Restaurant and a full-day fishing boat rental, and the other a gift certificate for a night at the Atlantis in Reno including dinner at Monta Vigna Italian Ristorante.

Other auction items included a print of a Mimi Jobe painting called "Forest of Fantasies," Kirkwood lift tickets and gliding trips with Soar Minden.

The 16-piece Russ Lindquist Band Sierra Swing & Jazz Band was providing musical accompaniment and getting ready for dancers.

"We're about to pick it up a bit," said Steve Tchudi, a baritone saxophone player from Reno. "At this event we usually play the easy-going, society and big band tunes," he said.

Emily Mata, 2, and Tobin Volberding, 7, were honored guests at this year's event.

Emily and Tobin, both of Dayton, are each dealing with brain tumors and receiving financial assistance from the advocates.

The organization, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3), was started in 1992 by six volunteers. They offer their services to cancer victims in Storey, Douglas, Churchill and Lyon counties as well as Carson City.

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