Rotary Clubs’ Popular Le Tour de Vin Just Around the Corner

Pop a cork, grab some great food and spend the evening helping your community. Le Tour de Vin, a powerful collaboration of the Cross Timbers, Sooner, Norman Noon and Legacy Rotary clubs, puts on this yearly event to raise money for various local organizations. I recently talked with Joe Gil, executive director, about the event’s history and the search for a new organization to help in the future.

Rotary, the world’s first service club, is 114 years old, and in Norman, members of the four Rotary clubs number nearly 35,000. Over 200 countries come together to create a global network of businesses and professional leaders that volunteer their time and talents to philanthropic endeavors locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.

Le Tour De Vin is a wine-tasting and fundraising event that has been a yearly tradition since 2003, when Cross Timbers Rotary offered a tasting event that included music, silent and live auctions, hors d’oeuvres from Norman restaurants and discussion among a diverse group of wine lovers. This first year was an attempt to raise money for the American Red Cross and other club philanthropies. The event raised nearly $40,000 and left locals clamoring for more.

Years 2004-2005 split proceeds equally between the Red Cross and Cross Timbers Rotary.

2006 and 2007 marked a joint effort between ILSY (now Bridges) and Cross Timbers Rotary to help fund the improvements of their community building and office spaces.

2008 was the first year that all three Norman Rotary clubs (Cross Timbers, Sooner and Norman) combined their efforts to expand the event, raising money for the Mary Abbott House for the next two years, which resulted in the completion of their capital building program in 2010.

Thunderbird Clubhouse was the recipient of the 2010 and 2011 LTDV, raising $90,000 to complete facility improvements and provide two years of funding to the Clubhouse.

2012 and 2013 had Food and Shelter Inc. as its recipient, helping fund the construction of an apartment complex for temporary housing needs.

Over $100,00 was raised in 2014 and 2015 for Center for Children and Families Inc. This allowed for the creation of a new children’s therapeutic area, serving youth who have experienced abuse and neglect.

The Legacy Rotary Club joined the other three Norman Rotary Clubs for the 2018 Le Tour De Vin. The joint fundraiser benefited The Studio of The Sooner Theatre and funded renovations for a permanent home for the Studio. This increased their reach in the community and helped students who would have otherwise been unable to afford the arts experience.

 For 2018-19, Le Tour de Vin benefited Full Circle Adult Day Center’s new facility, providing members with a state-of-the-art facility, new amenities and easy access to the best in support and care.

Le Tour de Vin currently is working on identifying their next beneficiary for 2020-2021. Goals for the project include “addressing a community need that is reflective of the Rotary objectives of literacy, humanitarianism, education, youth and health,” shares Joe. The LTDV 2020 recipient will be announced in June.

Be a part of something bigger than yourself and join others in your community for LTDV. This year’s event is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Saturday, June 22, at the NCED Hotel and Conference Center, 2801 East State Highway 9, in Norman.

Come hungry, as many local restaurants, including Sweet Basil and Redrock Canyon Grill, will have an incredible selection of food for attendees. The event also will feature silent and live auctions featuring fine and rare wines, trips, gifts and collectables. And of course, the highlight of the evening: wine!