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Naturally in Niagara

The Gretzky’s Great Grape Stomp

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“It’s so easy to say yes,” says Sandy Lee of the Ontario Lung Association, “but to stomp for two minutes – that’s hard!”

As anyone who’s ever taken part in the Annual Great Stomp held at the Wayne Gretzky Estates Winery will tell you, getting those slippery little grapes to give up their juices is no easy feat – for the feet!

This year, Walter Gretzky once again served as host for this great event in support of the Ontario Lung Association and Naturally in Niagara was on the scene to watch the entire grape squashing extravaganza.

Team members had two minutes each to create as much juice as possible, using only their feet.

The looks on the faces of the grapey participants were priceless as they realized how intense the challenge really was! To their credit, all participants pushed through the burn, squished their hearts out and honoured the ancient traditions of winemaking.

A total of three teams battled for the top spot. The No. 99 Wayne Gretzky Winery squad crushed 20,011ml, The St. Catharines Stompers squished 21,900 ml  but it was The Northern Starz who destroyed their competition in the initial round with an impressive total squeeze of 24,820 ml.

But the grape stomping game is a fickle business.

After one last round, the St. Catharines Stompers came out on top with 18,000 ml and headed home with not only the medals but also the grand prize: “The Grape Foot”.

“I think everyone had a great time meeting Walter Gretzky, Dad of The Great One – and hearing him tease that he doesn’t mean Mario Lemieux’s dad!  Walter was signing autographed bottles of the Great One’s Wine all day,” said Sandy.

Walter could be seen all over the winery, watching stompers and signing autographs.  He also entertained the children and told wonderful stories to all the attendees. Naturally in Niagara’s favourite moment of the day was Walter Gretzky’s comedy special.

“How do you know when it’s spring time in Toronto?” Walter asked his excited listeners, “The Leafs are out!” As the crowd erupted into laughter, Walter followed up with a one/two punch: “What’s the difference between the Leafs and the Titanic? Nothing, they both sink when they hit the ice!”

This year’s event raised $1,104.38 for Lung Health Research.

“We are hoping to expand to at least 10 teams next year and raise a minimum of $10,000.00,” says Sandy.  “If any corporation would like to host a Corporate Stomp to benefit Lung Health Research that would be wonderful.  It makes a great team building exercise and it’s tons of fun!”

Naturally in Niagara feels that this is a fantastic event. We are looking forward to promoting next years Great Stomp and helping Walter and Sandy
surpass their goal of $10,000!

To make donations to help out this year’s cause click here, or you can contact Sandy Lee at slee@on.lung.ca

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The Author

Marc DeLisio is the Director of Marketing and Technology at Naturally in Niagara. Marc loves Niagara, and is striving to make it an even better place to Live, Work, Play, Invest and Retire!

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