Thank you to all of our generous sponsors that make this event possible!

Platinum Sponsor


Gold Sponsors






Silver Sponsors



Barbara Henoch







Bronze Sponsors

Karel Weigel




Wit, Wisdom & Wine


The next Wit, Wisdom & Wine will be held:

Saturday, January 14, 2017  Registration will open mid October.



Photos from Wit Wisdom & Wine 2016


About Wit, Wisdom & Wine

Wit, Wisdom & Wine is the Rochester Public Library Foundation's annual fundraiser featuring entertaining speakers, fantastic wine, delicious food and great conversation

Recap of 2016 Wit, Wisdom & Wine Event

       Gift Baskets from silent auction

We had a great evening with programs by 10 fantastic speakers. From Majestic Monarch Butterflies to Disco there was something for everyone! The hardest part was narrowing it down to 2 sessions!

Back by popular request, we featured fabulous food by Omar’s Kitchen and great wines poured by Apollo Liquors. Many local businesses, library staff, community members and Board Members donated great items for our Silent Auction.




2016 Wit Wisdom & Wine Speakers

There were two breakout sessions - the first at 7:00pm and the second at 8:00pm.

150 Years of Library Service in Rochester - John Hunziker

Library service began here in Rochester in December of 1865. You are sitting in the fourth library, as we celebrate 150 years of libraries in Rochester. Where do we go from here? Join Historian, John Hunziker, as we look at where we have been and where we are going. Come listen, share some insights, and share your vision for the future of the Rochester Public Library.

Looking at Religion Through a 21st Century Lens - Father Nick Mezacapa

Chad Israelson's Bob Dylan presentation

Over the centuries, religious practice has had to evolve with the culture, while the written words upon which these religions are based, have stayed the same. The challenge continues to be how religion and culture integrate, so that application has vitality. This presentation aims to consider this challenge.

The Story Behind the Photo - Tim Penny

In this Power Point presentation, Tim Penny will share numerous photos taken during his time representing Southern MN in Congress (1982-94). Pictured with Presidents (Reagan, Bush, Clinton), Cabinet members, foreign dignitaries and more, Penny will explain what was happening before (or after) each photo was taken and which issues were being discussed. Penny’s presentation will give the audience an inside look at the life of a Congressman.

Baking Boot Camp From the CIA-What we Learned - Elaine Case & Bill Wiktor

They’re back! After their Cooking Boot Camp experience, Elaine Case and Bill Wiktor followed with a four-day baking boot camp at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. From learning the creaming method for quick breads, to rubbed method for pies and biscuits, to the enriched doughs of challah, and to the lean doughs of breads and baguettes there is a lot to understand and comprehend. But don't be overwhelmed, it's not as daunting as it sounds. Enjoy the session and samples!

Simulation in Medical Education - Dr. Walt Franz

Wine serivce from Apollo Liquors

If you have taken a commercial airline flight or seen a health provider recently, it is very likely that the team or individual responsible for your well-being was trained using simulation. This talk will cover some facets of simulation and how it is playing a role in safer and more effective health care for all of us. Dr. Franz will also include some examples of how simulation both locally and nationally plays a critical role in training and sustaining the ability of our first responders and military to save lives during times of crisis or conflict. Dr. Franz is a world renowned staff physician at Mayo Clinic and a retired Colonel, US Army Reserve, Medical Corps.

Unlaced: The Legacy of Red Wing Shoe Company - Clare Pavelka

The legacy of crafting footwear in Red Wing, MN. Join Red Wing Shoe Company Corporate Archivist, Clare Pavelka, as she traces the journey of the Red Wing Shoe Company from humble beginnings in 1905 to how it became a global leader in the footwear market today.

The Regal Monarch Butterfly: The Mystery, The Migaration, The Magic - Pamela Meyer

Where do all the monarchs go? A mystery that took over 40 years to answer and was solved with the help of everyday citizens. Just how does some-thing that weighs less than half a paper clip fly over2,000 miles to rural Mexico to the exact same mountain region every year, having never made the trip before? Learn about the life cycle of Minnesota’s state insect and the fascinating migration of this internationally traveling butterfly. See footage of the overwintering sanctuaries in Mexico from a trip Quarry Hill staff took back in 2007. Understand how everyone can help preserve the magic of this iconic butterfly and its phenomenon migration.

The Me Decade, the Worst Decade Ever, the Disco Era - Chad Israelson

The 1970's have been called lots of things. Come learn about, relive and rejoice in the history and culture that made the 1970s a unique time. We will focus on the decade's music along with other popular culture highlights and historical events. You can decide whether the 1970's were our "Long National Nightmare" or we all "Had a Nice Decade."

Fine Wines of Italy - Alfonso Aiello

Food from Omar's Kitchen

Alfonso Aiello, a native of Napoli, Italy is the Sales and Import Manager for Wine Merchants. An Italian wine specialist, who manages over 65 Italian wineries, Alfonzo will lead you in an educational class and tasting of fine wines from the many regions of Italy. He has unique expertise having lived and traveled in many of these areas, and has experienced first-hand what is going on at the wineries. Sip, learn, enjoy!

Foraged - Paul Koerner

Hear the background story behind Forager Brewery. From initial conception, to construction phase, and the final step ofopening to the public. Paul Koerner will discuss where they get their ingredients and how they foraged for a vast majority of materials used in this process. He will also discuss how their brewery forages for ingredients locally and what types of connections they make during these excursions. He will finish by highlighting the importance of staying local and investing in the community around you, showcasing exactly how much there is available in just SE Minnesota. Oh yeah, and there will be beer to taste.

WWW 2016 Committee Members:

Vicki Allen, Phyllis Berman, Joanne Swenson, Jacque Sourkes, Barbara Eakins, Martha McClees, Mary Dunlap, Rita Oswald, Jean Burrington, Nicole Henry, Marilyn Campbell and Terri Heim 

All proceeds from the event support the mission and goals of the Rochester Public Library Foundation, which is to increase support for the Rochester Public Library while educating the community about the Library’s role in meeting community needs.