By Linda Parlapiano
Special to the Live Wire

Photo Courtesy of Manchester Community College

Manchester Community College’s 23rd annual Evening of Fine Wines will have a French theme this year, including the top auction item: a trip to Paris, France.

The college’s major fund-raising event will be held the evening of Friday, May 1, and includes a silent auction, wine and beer samples from area wineries and vendors and hors d’oeuvres and desserts prepared by students in the MCC Culinary Arts program.

Last year’s event raised more than $250,000, all of which goes to scholarships given to students through the MCC foundation.

Event coordinator Kisha Zullo said the college hopes to raise more than that this year, but the effort requires participation from college faculty, students, alumni and the community.

“We need about 120 volunteers to help with everything from set up and directing in the parking lot, to breakdown and getting ice for the wine tables,” said Zullo.

Support from donors is fundamental to MCC’s budget. The proceeds benefit MCC students through scholarships, Student Life and other programs, Zullo said.

One such program is MCC’s ICE Radio, which will be broadcasting the event.

“We’ll be doing red carpet interviews, parking lot reports, and broadcasting live all night,” said ICE Radio faculty advisor Albert Kim. “This is the biggest fundraising night for the college so we want to be involved in that gala.”

If you are unable to attend the event you can tune in to ICE Radio’s smartphone app on, Kim said.

The event’s honorary chairperson this year is Geno Auriemma, the head coach for the University of Connecticut Huskies woman’s basketball team, and will be hosted by David Fisch from 104.1, WMRQ, along with Abbey Niezgoda from NBC CT.

Those interested in volunteering should contact Kisha Zullo at Individual tickets start at $85 and are available for purchase, along with sponsorship packages, at