TASTY — Attendees at last year's Greatest Spectacle in Tasting visit the Grindstone Charley's booth.

I’ve shared with you for the past couple of quarantined weeks all of the cool and creative ways our staff and those we serve are making the most of this time. They have been flexible and patient as we navigate through this crazy time, and we are so thankful for them.

We have tried not to dwell on the disappointing moments. Inevitably, though, we have those, too, like all of you. We had to postpone our 20th Annual Disability Awareness Basketball Game back in March. We’ve rescheduled it for June 23 at Memorial Gym, and our fingers are crossed. Kokomo School Corporation has been wonderful to work with, and we appreciate them giving us another date in hopes of a shining light at the end of this occasionally dark tunnel.

Another event that has been looming, and I’ve been in denial about, is the 26th Annual Soupley’s Wine & Spirits Greatest Spectacle in Tasting. The following is a statement from Soupley’s Wine & Spirits:

Dear Community:

It is with heavy and regretful hearts that it has been decided to cancel Soupley’s Wine & Spirits 26th Annual Greatest Spectacle in Tasting to benefit Bona Vista Programs for 2020.

In good conscience, and because of the governor’s executive order limiting the congregation of people, along with thinking of the health and well-being of our attendees, staff, volunteers, restaurants, and beverage vendors in mind, we could not assume the risk in the spread of COVID-19.

You have all been so faithful at supporting this event for the past 25 years, and we look forward to you joining us again next year when we aim to hit the $1 million mark for Bona Vista Programs! Save the date now – May 22, 2021!

With all of that being said, we hope that you will continue to support Bona Vista Programs during this challenging time. Their staff, of more than 400, continues to work the front lines each and every day to care for adults and children with special needs. The deeds of the staff are essential.

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Please note that, if restrictions are lifted, we would appreciate your consideration of offering your support and joining Bona Vista for their golf outing on Aug. 28, 2020.

Soupley’s Wine & Spirits also wants to extend our gratitude and thanks for supporting our business during this trying time. In compliance with the governor’s latest executive order, requiring us to provide curbside pickup only, we have had to temporarily close some locations and limit hours. Please visit us at the following locations: 500 E. Southway Blvd. (453-1311), 140 N. Dixon Road (457-8785), 2100 Apperson Way N. (452-8940), 1101 W Boulevard (453-1472), and 500 S. Reed Road (457-9396), during business hours of 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. You may call ahead with your order for faster service if you would prefer.

We appreciate your understanding, and please be safe.

Kyle & David Rayl, Soupley’s Wine & Spirits

It’s like a punch to the gut on many levels. We miss you all. We want to see you and hang out with you. We want to highlight local restaurants and the amazing food they have to offer. We want to share with you the seasonal wines and microbrews. We want to show you all of the amazing silent auction items we were able to obtain. We want to listen to music by local musicians. We want to be outside in (hopefully) warm weather enjoying life.

And, we know we will again. That is the bright side. This will eventually end. Unfortunately, though, no one knows when. Even if we did, would it be safe for us to gather 800 people under three tents? Probably not. Even if we did, would it be fair for us to ask restaurants and vendors who have been running at limited capacity to donate samples? Not a chance. Even if we did, would it be mindful of us to ask local businesses who may have been deemed “non-essential” to now donate a free product or services for us to add to the silent auction? Not in good conscience.

We hope that you will look forward to the Greatest Spectacle in Tasting when it returns in 2021. The money raised from this event, and the funds that will be lacking this year due to the cancelation of it, are vital to our organization and those we serve. We will need you to show up in big ways next year through this event and others.

Until then, we are going to move past our disappointment and continue to look for the good, the heroes, the opportunities in all of this, and I can’t wait to share with you more of those next week!