Written by Kevin Godbee

Saturday, 08 October 2005

User Rating: / 2

fuente newman toast across americafundraising
leisure and relaxationspecial events
I had the pleasure of attending the Third Annual Toast Across America charitable cigar event conducted by the Fuente and Newman families along with 120 retailers. The third annual Toast Across America was held September 18 to 24. Proceeds go to the Dominican Foundation and the Cigar Family Charitable Foundation, which will benefit the underprivileged of the Dominican Republic. More than 5,000 people, representing all 50 states, are expected to participate in this year's effort to raise more than $300,000.

In an effort to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina, Cigar Family will contribute $50,000 of the money raised at the toast to the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund.

Smoke shops across America participate by holding their own on-premises ticketed events, which will range from smoking parties to full multi-course dinners. All ticket sales go to the Cigar Family's cause. Over the past two years, the Toast Across America has raised half a million dollars. 
2001 Silver Oak Alexander Valley, Trave Leather Humidor, 8 Padron Magnum for AuctionThe main fund-raiser gala took place September 22 at The Chart House located on the Hudson River, Pier D-T at Lincoln Harbor, Weehawken, New Jersey. I had the pleasure of attending the local South Florida event that same day, September 22 at Reel Smokers in Deerfield Beach, graciously hosted by Carlos Sanchez, the owner of Reel Smokers, and his son Chris. This is the third Toast Across America event held by Reel Smokers. They have been in business for 10 years. If you are in the South Florida area, I encourage you to visit Reel Smokers. They have every cigar brand imaginable, plus an eclectic assortment of wines, and bar with entertainment. If I could find room to put my bed, I might just move in. Here I am hanging out with the scotch tasting girls from The Macallan.Kevin and the Macallan Scotch Girls





Speaking with Chris Sanchez, I found out that the event drew more people than expected, nearly 100 versus the 60 anticipated. The overflow crowd was easily accommodated with cigars, drinks, and food. Most attendees commented on the camaraderie while enjoying the food, wine, and cigars. I had a piece of Prime Rib that overflowed my plate, falling off of both sides, and still managed to find room for the Shrimp & Lobster Scampi, and Tuna Tataki. Everyone had great fun, made new friends, indulged in food, music and drink, all while raising money for charity.

The night began with cigar and scotch tastings along with bidding on the silent auction. Attendees puffed on cigars made special for the event, Fuente Fuente OpusX Figurado 7"x48 and the Diamond Crown Maximus Figurado 7"x48 while chatting with friends they had not seen since last year's dinner.

Carlos Sanchez, owner of Reel Smoker’s, hosted the main evening festivities in the spacious clubby lounge section of their establishment. The event at Reel Smokers was highly successful. More people than expected attended and the live auction raised over $10,000 for the Cigar Family Charitable Foundation.
Carlos Shanchez of Reel SmokersThe Fuente and Newman families established the Cigar Family Charitable Foundation to help accommodate the humanitarian needs of the Dominican people, especially children. Carlos Fuente Jr., president of Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia., developed the concept. What distinguishes the Cigar Family from most nonprofit organizations is that 100 percent of every contributed dollar goes directly to charitable purposes. The Newman and Fuente families underwrite all administrative, legal, accounting, office and other general marketing costs.

It was a great event for a great cause, and a wonderful time was had by all. I can't wait until next year.

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