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The Long Beach Grand Cru is an international wine competition& culinary experience created and hosted by the Long Beach office of the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles (LAFLA) to raise funds in support of programs and services for low-income citizens who meet Federal poverty guidelines. Legal Aid is committed to promoting access to justice, strengthening communities and effecting systemic change through representation, advocacy and community education. LAFLA helps its clients escape domestic violence, avoid homelessness, obtain food and health care for themselves and their children, and move from welfare to work. LAFLA changes entire communities by helping to develop desperately needed jobs, affordable housing units, child care, youth services and other support systems in disadvantaged neighborhoods. In CY 2004, LAFLA advocates helped more than 13,300 clients and aided nearly 37,529 more through outreach programs -- men, women and children whose disadvantaged circumstances made them vulnerable to fraud, abuse, neglect and bureaucratic error. In January, 2001, the Legal Aid Foundation of Long Beach merged with the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles.
The Legal Aid Foundation of Long Beach created a modest wine tasting benefit in 1988. In 1994, the Foundation's Board of Directors recommended a major shift in the development of the event and, in 1995, the Long Beach Grand Cru Wine Competition and Awards & Tasting fundraising benefit had its debut. The Competition continues to grow in size and prestige attracting wineries from around the world. It has gone from a one-day competition to two days. In 2005, 5 Sweepstakes, 52 Chairman's Best of Class, 98 Gold, and 386 Silver medals plus 388 Bronze certificates were awarded. (Please visit our entries page) to view the medal winners list.) The wine tasting and culinary event attracted 1,200 guests. These companion events were conceived to increase awareness and raise funds to support the Foundation's legal services and education programs. The Long Beach Grand Cru Competition has made its mark as one of the fastest growing professionally judged wine competitions on the West Coast.
- Marilyn Levak
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