First Stage's 2011 Wine Dinner a success!

10:40 AM
When more than 100 guests turned out to “wine and dine like the Argentine” in support of First Stage it was clear this group shares a passion for great wine and dedication to a great cause.

Hundreds of bottles of wine from around the world, some for tasting and others for bidding, lined the room as music by classic guitarist Peter Baime set the tone. Dancers from the Bailando Latin Dance Company led several brave couples including Jeff and Sarah Frank, Margarete and David Harvey, Sheri and Todd Adams and others in a lively tango demonstration. An authentic Argentine Tango performance by the Bailando dancers followed.

Sheri and Todd Adams
A five-course gourmet meal featuring the flavors of Argentina and the wines of Vina Cobos Felino was next on the agenda. Event Co-Chair, dedicated Board Member and wine connoisseur in his own right, Gregory Schmeling introduced each course and its expertly paired wine. Managing Director and Founder of First Stage Rob Goodman was an apt emcee, sharing his passion and dedication to the art of transforming lives through theater.

Margarete and David Harvey
Throughout the evening guests bid on a variety of silent and live auction items including remarkable wine lots, wine paraphernalia, tickets to performing arts productions and more. A two bottle lot of Marcassin Sonoma Coast Chardonnay and Pinot Noir were highlights of the voice auction led by spirited auctioneer and event committee member Dan Nelson.
Jane Kramer and Dan Nelson

In just its second year, First Stage’s Wine Dinner surpassed attendance and revenue goals with 100 oenophiles in attendance and over $32,000 raised during the evening. All proceeds from this event support First Stage’s mission of transforming lives through theater, providing valuable financial support for First Stage’s enriching theater productions and education programs.

Liz and Joe Kovrigin
First Stage would like to thank Co-Chairs Janet and Greg Schmeling and Wine Dinner Committee Members Amy and Bob Arzbaecher, Amy and Jon Hopkins, Michele and Dan Nelson, and Barbara and Thomas Slawski. In addition, First Stage is grateful to all of the individuals and companies that made generous contributions of wine, auction items or provided financial and in-kind support that made this event possible.

Jeroboam Sponsor
Janet and Gregory Schmeling

Magnum Sponsors
Sheri and Todd Adams, Amy and Bob Arzbaecher, Michele and Dan Nelson, Donna and Joel Nettesheim, Colleen and Tony Polston.


Habush Habush & Rottier, Kathleen and Robert Anger, Libby and Jon Baranko, Alison and Luke Kowal, Ken Mater, Lisa and Barry Moze, Janet and Gregory Schmeling

Wine Donors
Amy and Bob Arzbaecher, Heidi and Greg Borca, Dennis Connelly, Amy and Jon Hopkins, Thor Lundgren, Barry Mandel, Michele and Dan Nelson, Donna and Joel Nettesheim, Janet and Gregory Schmeling, William Seemann, Kristin and Chuck Severson

In-Kind Sponsors

HM Graphics, Nelson Schmidt

Auction Donors
Kathleen and Robert Anger, Amy and Bob Arzbaecher, Babboni Photography, Bailando Latin Dance Company, Libby and Jon Baranko, Beans & Barley, Heidi and Greg Borca, Janelle Carter – The Cork Chronicles, Cathy and Mario Costantini – La Lune Collection, Charro, Cocina DeLeon – Jan and Linda Mulholland, Donna and Joel Nettesheim, First Stage, Florentine Opera Company, Mary and Rob Goodman, Italian Community Center, Kohler Co., Dr. George J. Korkos – Rujuva Skin Care, Julia and Chef David Magnasco, Ken Mater, Milwaukee Irish Fest, Meaghan Morrissey, Donna and Joel Nettesheim, Oconomowoc Arts Center, William Raasch, Janet and Gregory Schmeling, Soaps & Scents – Mayfair Mall, Sarah Timmer, The University Club, Eileen and Andrew Weltcheff.

For more photos of this event by M Magazine photographer Matt Haas, click here.

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