Crowds celebrated as Stew Leonard's in Norwalk was honored Thursday night for its 10th annual food and wine tasting to benefit United Way of Coastal Fairfield County. In the last 10 years that the dairy store has hosted the St. Patricks Day inspired event, it has helped the United Way raise $100,000.
"The Connecticut General Assembly hereby offers its sincerest congratulations to Stew Leonard's in recognition of the 10th annual Stew Leonard's food and wine tasting event in Norwalk," said Rep. Terrie Wood.
Connecticut has an achievement gap that's among the largest in the country. The United Way of Coastal Fairfield County helps needy children from Darien through Stratford succeed in school, improve their family's home and financial stability and improve their health.
"It's really really important that we intervene early in a child's life, from cradle, to career. Stay with that child and help them succeed and Sen. Duff and I worked closely together, and Terri Wood closely together and know there's no Republican or Democratic way to educate a child."
"There's all sorts of titles and honorary people here, but Kim and I look at everybody as friends," said Stew Leonard Jr. "I was born at the Norwalk Hospital, I've never really lived more than five miles from the Norwalk Hospital and this is my home right here."
"There are so many competing organizations, and good places to put your money, we're just glad you're putting it with the United Way and this great cause," said Sen. Bob Duff.
"Some of the goals going forward is really trying to make sure that children are ready for kindergarten, especially folks that may not have access to preschool, try to get as many children as we can at third grade reading level when they are in the third grade. We also have a big mentoring program that helps children know about the future and it has someone that they could talk to about planning for that future so that they stay in school and graduate," said Chairman of the United Way of Coastal Fairfield County Robert Trefry.
Those who attended were able to taste 100 different wines, beers and whiskies and sample a variety of different Irish inspired foods.
"Irish mac and cheese consists of Irish cheddar cheese with a stout beer, Irish backed bacon and then we put some green in it, broccoli, scallion, and chive."
The chairman of the United Way of Coastal Fairfield county says he hopes the non profit will raise about $10,000 from the event.