Brenda Bourassa and Mary Lanzillo, whose ‘friends’ can now wine and dine

Ealier this year, some members of Circle of Friends toasted to the success of their cookbook, “Feast of Friendship.” On Dec. 4, they will toasting once again and hope that many friends will join them. From left: Pam Patenaude, Cie Therriault, Suzanne Hall, Brenda Bourassa, Mary Lanzillo, and Emily Francis. Valley Dispatch file photo/Julia Malakie

DRACUT — The group that has made Dining in Dracut a must-see annual event is now adding “wine” to the dine.

Community Outreach-Circle of Friends Inc. is sponsoring a wine-tasting benefit on Sunday, Dec. 4, from 2 to 6 p.m. It will be held at THE SPACE at Western Avenue Studios in Lowell, a rehearsal and recording studio located in a historic brick mill building. All proceeds benefit the many charities and scholarships that are supported each year in the Merrimack Valley by this circle of friends.

Founding members Brenda Bourassa and Mary Lanzillo recently answered five questions about their plans to host a festive afternoon of wine tasting and fellowship in order to help even more people in need this holiday season and beyond.

Q: What made you decide to sponsor a wine-tasting event?

A: Several members of our group had attended wine tastings in the past, so we thought we would give it a try. We are doing this during the “Holiday Open Studios” at THE SPACE at Western Avenue Studios. The studio is located in a brick mill building near the heart of downtown Lowell. It consists of two buildings, six floors, and 143 studios with artists working in various disciplines. Anyone joining us to sample some great wines will also be able to do a little holiday shopping and support local artists at the same time.

Q: What are your goals for the wine tasting?

A: Since it’s our first time, we do no know what to expect. We anticipate our friends and family will attend. We are hoping lots of people come by so that we can raise additional funds to assist families in need. There are so many families out there who need a little assistance right now. We think having it at this unique location, a historic mill building surrounded by artist lofts, will make it even more interesting and fun.

Q: What type of wines will be available for sampling?

A: We are working with George Miamis from the Liquor Shop to purchase the wine. George is helping us select an assortment of wines for the event. He will also be handling the distribution of wine after the event for participants who place wine orders. We also plan light appetizers, such as crackers and cheese, cocktail meatballs, fingers sandwiches.

Q: Do you hope for this to become an annual event like Dining in Dracut?

A: If we are successful, we would consider holding it on an annual basis. We have great family and friends who continue to support our cause; however, we are hoping that the opportunity to shop at the assorted artist lofts will draw some additional visitors.

Q: How can we purchase tickets?

A: Tickets can be purchased through any member of Circle of Friends, at the door or at our new website. The suggested donation is $15 per person. Advance reservations are suggested. Visit our website at http:/// to order tickets online. You can choose for tickets to be mailed or we will hold them at the door. There will be a $1 shipping and handling fee per order. Any reservations made after Nov. 27 will be held at the door.


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