Wine-tasting event in Dayton hailed a success

Committee members for the Dayton Fire and Police Museum's wine-tasting event on March 8 gather for a group photo just before the doors of the Dayton Community Center opened to welcome 200-plus guests.

By Vanesa Brashier,

More than 200 guests made their way through the lobby of the Dayton Community Center on Friday to sample 12 Texas wines for the Dayton Historical Society’s fundraiser for the Dayton Fire and Police Museum.

“It was very successful. We had a steady stream of traffic for more than an hour. Everyone had a great time and didn’t want to leave at the end of the night,” said Caroline Wadzeck, who served on the wine-tasting event committee.

Wadzeck estimates that the event brought in between $6,000 and $10,000, but the exact amount will not be tallied until next week.

All of the funds raised will be spent on renovations to the old Dayton Police Department on Church Street – the future home of the museum.

“We are in the midst of tearing down walls and ceilings, taking out wiring, and starting on the ground level to rebuild it as a museum,” Wadzeck said. “We will have many more fundraisers. The next one will be at Dayton Ole Tyme Days on April 12-14. We will have a jail cell set up and people will have to pay to get out.”

The opening of the fire and police museum is still two years into the future as Wadzeck estimates that is how long it will take for the volunteers to raise funds and gather memorabilia and artifacts to display.

“We are soliciting materials from our local residents that are related to Dayton police and fire, such as hats, boots, coats, photos and other memorabilia,” Wadzeck said.

Once established, the museum will be the first of its kind in Liberty County. Wadzeck believes preserving the history is imperative.

“Over the years, we have had more than 300 volunteer firefighters and well over 200 police officers in Dayton. The fire department history goes back to 1930 and the police department goes back to 1956,” she said. “These folks put their lives on the line for all of us and are deserving of their history to be appreciated and preserved. This is in honor of their service.”

If you missed this year’s wine-tasting event, you’ll have to wait until next spring. Wadzeck said the committee is looking forward to building on the event’s success.

Sponsors for the event were A Conner Consulting, Noble Exploration, B & S Social Club, Susan Simmons, Pace-Stancil Funeral Home, Steven Holbrook, David and Aline Parker, Sterling Realty, E. R. Richter Family, Allegiance Bank, Randel Arnold State Farm Insurance, Sjolander Resources & Development, LLC., and Bluebonnet News. 

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