View Mobile Site

Ask the Expert

Signal Photos


Vine 2 Wine in the afternoon

Betty Ferguson Foundation raises money women and children’s programs in Valencia at Bridgeport Lake

Posted: April 9, 2009 12:04 a.m.
Updated: April 9, 2009 4:30 a.m.
Guests, left to right, Frank Kleeman, Debbie and John Heys, at the eighth annual Vine 2 Wine fundraiser to benefit the Betty Ferguson Foundation. Guests, left to right, Frank Kleeman, Debbie and John Heys, at the eighth annual Vine 2 Wine fundraiser to benefit the Betty Ferguson Foundation.
Guests, left to right, Frank Kleeman, Debbie and John Heys, at the eighth annual Vine 2 Wine fundraiser to benefit the Betty Ferguson Foundation.

Wine flowed, friends gathered and a good time was had for a good cause at The Betty Ferguson Foundation’s eighth annual Vine 2 Wine event, held on Sunday at the Bridgeport Lake Club in Valencia.

New faces joined established regulars at the afternoon fundraiser that attracted nearly 180 guests to benefit the foundation’s women and youth programs.

“This is one of my favorite events and I look forward to it every year,” said Kris Hough, vice president and Santa Clarita Valley regional manager of SCV Bank, title sponsor for the event two years running.

“It’s so great to be here to support women and youth in society while also being surrounded by such beauty,” said Hough.

The fundraiser was held at the Bridgeport Lake Clubhouse, offering an easy elegance amidst the serene lake backdrop.

“It brings in springtime in a really wonderful way,” said Jane E. Bettencourt-Soto, executive director of the Betty Ferguson Foundation.

“We love to bring good people together. Add excellent food and wine in a beautiful venue and it’s a winning combination.”

Fine wines were offered in tastings from local wine sponsors, who set up individual vendor tables in the main clubhouse for patrons to circulate and sample.

To further enhance guests’ experience, an array of gourmet food was presented, offering tastefully sized portions of delectable treats.  

A silent auction featured decorative, wine-themed gift baskets.

Adding to the ambience was the musical flair of Jeff Vincent, founder and member of the Journey tribute band, “Don’t Stop Believin.”

“I love all of these women,” said Vincent, whose mother in law is foundation co-founder, Marjanne Priest. “They make you feel like family, even if you haven’t known them very long. I will always support them in any way I can.”

Vincent and the full band will play the foundation’s annual Woman of Honor Dinner on Sept. 19, when the 2009 Woman of Honor recipient, Chancellor Dianne Van Hook of College of the Canyons, will accept this year’s award.

“People were so generous and our vendors really went above and beyond,” said Bettencourt-Soto. “We can feel all of the support from the community and it means so much.”

Among the community members present were past recipients of the foundation’s Woman of Honor, the award given annually to an inspiring figure in society.

Dianne White Crawford, the 2004 Woman of Honor, said she was honored to be in the company of so many extraordinary women.

“Every person has a story,” said Crawford. “It’s astonishing what people in our community accomplish behind the scenes. These individual stories are what make things happen.”

“The women of this organization have such big hearts,” said Liz Seipel, the foundation’s 2008 Woman of Honor. “They are all so caring of each other. They want women be the best they can be and that is truly wonderful to see.”

Seipel was recognized for her 32 years of dedicated work with the Child and Family Center, an organization that provides mental health services to children and families.

“Encouraging involvement in the community is so important,” said Seipel “Reaching out and giving of yourself is what it’s all about. The effects of those positive efforts will always be there.”

Vine 2 Wine was designed to generate support for various programs geared towards the Betty Ferguson Foundation’s mission “to train, develop and empower women and youth to be a vital force in society.”

Judy Cox, daughter of the late Betty Ferguson, co-founded the organization  in 1998 with Priest.

“To help women and children feel safe is the most important place to start,” said Cox, of the work done by the foundation. “We want to help them listen to their hearts through learning to trust and connect with others.”

“The members involved in this organization are some of the most welcoming, warm individuals you can find anywhere,” said Elizabeth Hopp, the foundation’s 2007 Woman of Honor. “I truly admire how they are able to build confidence in others, while still maintaining their own humility. It’s very inspiring to me.”

Dr. Alan Barbakow, the first male president of the Betty Ferguson board said he feels very strongly about the group of strong and empowered women.

“I have always been a supporter of women’s issues,” said Barbakow, “And never thought I’d get such a great opportunity to support on this level.”

“I believe there is something inside of women that makes them need to connect to others,” said Cox. “If women connect to something that is real, they may be able to connect more with themselves. We hope they take the strength they find and pass it on to their children. This is our legacy — feel it, know it and carry it on.”

For information visit or call (661) 702-8712.


Most Popular Articles

There are no articles at this time.
Commenting not available.
Commenting is not available.


Powered By
Morris Technology
Please wait ...