The Keg has been a major contributor to the annual Fraser Valley Wine Fest for decades.

Langley wine and food tasting benefits kids

Langley Central Rotary Club hosts the 26th annual wine festival.

All day long, the team at The Keg Langley is “giving ’er.” They’re prepping mass quantities of prime rib, buns, and all the fixings for 500 or more people.

But there’s no grumbling about the extra workload. In fact, far from, said general manager George Missel.

He and the team are thrilled they get to play such a huge role in helping their community by helping the Langley Central Rotary host the “insanely popular” Fraser Valley Wine Festival.

Again this year, The Keg is one of the food vendors at the charity event.

They will be serving up the signature prime rib on a bun, and also giving away bottles of Keg spice to the first 250 people who visit the table.

In its 26th year, the wine and food tasting event is the premier fundraiser for the local service club.

This year, money from the wine festival is earmarked to create a customized sensory room for autistic kids at Options Community Services Langley office, as well as provide seed money for a program called Starfish, which helps feed needy children in town on weekends.

“The Keg has always been a big player in Langley, insistent on giving back to the community where we live and play,” Missel said.

“And I think this is really a wonderful event these guys host. I’m really proud – we’re really proud – to be part of it. There’s a lot of hard work that goes into making this magic happen from all of the members of the Rotary Club. It’s such a great group and such a great cause. Thanks for including us,” he said, shocked to realize he’s been at every event for the past 14 years that he’s been managing the local Keg.

Once again, this year’s wine festival will be held at Willowbrook Shopping Centre. After the mall closes down at 6 p.m., an hour is spent transforming the space. And at 7 p.m., the guests are invited in sample more than 200 wines from around the world, as well as hot and cold hors d’oeuvres and samplings from Langley restaurants.

Committee member John Morgan remembers the first event in 1989, where they had fewer than 50 people and raised about $900.

But even back then, he said, it was a great way to bring people together and to make some money for the community.

“It’s still a lot of work, but it’s also a lot of fun,” he said.

Paul Coltura has only been on the committee for seven years, but he and his company BDO believe so strongly in the good work done by Rotary that they’ve contributed more than $100,000 in sponsorship to the event through the year, knowing that every cent goes to charity.

Dorothy McKim, the club president, was excited to help decide where the money will be donated, and described the projects as worthy causes for kids in this community.

She’s always been impressed by this fundraiser, calling it a “signature event for the community” that Rotarians, sponsors, and participants should be proud to be part of.

“This being the 26th year, our big push is to make it $1 million that we’ve given back to the community, and I believe we can achieve that,” McKim said.

Approaching their traditional sell-out status, the Fraser Valley Wine Festival is set for Saturday, Nov. 7, from 7 to 9:30 p.m. at Willowbrook.

Tickets are available through Langley Central Rotary members or online at fvwf.ca. They’re also available at the customer services counter at Willowbrook.

PHOTO: Keg general manager George Missel and Langley Central Rotary president Dorothy McKim.

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