For over a decade, Maragas Winery has been raising food and money for NeighborImpact during their holiday season events. This year, Doug Maragas, winemaker, has expressed increased concern over the lack of food for many people in Central Oregon. He stated “just after Thanksgiving, I spoke with Scott Cooper, director at Neighbor Impact. He gave startling numbers – this November, NeighborImpact provided 62,000 meals to those in need. That’s over a four-fold increase from last year.”
To help raise food and money for the NeighborImpact food bank, Maragas, this Christmas Eve from 11:30am to 3pm, will be having an Open House where donations will be accepted for the program. Maragas also disclosed that “it’s been a trend that over the year’s we’ve had less patron participation in the fund raiser and except for Scott at Neighbor Impact, we’ve not disclosed we’ve been supplementing with winery funds the amounts coming in from patrons.”
This year, Maragas stated that he felt it was a good idea to let people know about this trend and that their “winery will match the donations from patrons to encourage people to give.” Maragas also stated that this year will be the first year they will not be collecting food, explaining “we will only be collecting money for the program because often people will bring things that will lack sustenance or not be useful to the homeless and working poor. This way, our efforts will have more of an impact and there are parts of the program that require funding to get the food to the people.”
As in years past, the Open House is free to attend, and Maragas Winery will be providing each patron with a cup of mulled wine, spiced popcorn, and live holiday music. Doug Maragas daughter, Samantha Maragas, will be singing. Maragas went on to say that he knows that “people may feel that having your 17 year old daughter sing sounds somewhat hokey, but believe me, when you hear her, your mind will quickly change. It’s not just me that finds her voice enchanting, because professionals have had the same opinion, she has sung solos at Carnegie Hall in New York, Musikverein in Austria, La Familia Sagrada Basilica in Spain, and trained at the Boston Conservatory this past summer.
The Winery is decorated for the Holidays and it’s ambiance, just one mile north of Terrebonne at 15523 SW Hwy. 97 in Culver, Oregon, in Central Oregon’s pastoral countryside is beautiful. Maragas emphasized that “many Central Oregonians think we’re remote, but that is incorrect. We’re only 10 minutes north of the Redmond Home Depot on Hwy. 97.” Maragas said he mind as well send a plug their way, since he “is frequently going to either Terrebonne Hardware or Home Depot to maintain their vineyards and winery.”