Gene and Cheryl Long opened Sassafras Springs Vineyard and Winery 5 years ago. With over 60 acres on the estate, the Longs have created beautiful spaces for guests to relax with a glass of wine, have a party, host a special event and have beautiful wedding, all going on at the same time in different spaces.
How did you become involved with the Children’s Safety Center?
We became involved when Emily from the Children’s Safety Center reached out to us regarding a fundraiser they were having and they were looking for a donation of wine. We have been a contributor to them since that first year we opened and met them. We took a tour of the center and they showed us all that they do. Gene and I both cried. Literally, we cried.
Why do you continue to stay involved?
We have such a heart for the Children’s Safety Center because it is such a necessary part of our community and we have a heart for what they do at the center to help sexually and physically abused children. The number of children that they saw last year was a approximately 838. The need for their service is so grand.
What is your favorite thing about the Children’s Safety Center?
We love the people that work there. They have a sincere heart for helping children and adolescents through a traumatic time. We love the way that they handle this horrible situation and help families from disclosure of abuse to healing. The way that they mentor, nurture and council is so well thought out and organized.
Why is it important to spread the mission of the Children’s Safety Center to the community?
More people need to be aware. There needs to be more awareness and support so the center can provide these necessary services. God puts us here for a reason, and we believe that the more people that know about the purpose of the center, the more money they will receive to support the children.
Fun Fact that people may not know about The Long’s or Sassafras Springs?
We love what we do! We love our customers and we love to meet new ones too. It is a small farm winery family business. We have 15 children and grandchildren so far. We hope all of our children join in and work at the winery. Some already do. Drew is our general manager, Derek is our wine maker and vineyard/grounds manager and Sarah is our wedding/event coordinator. Gene is usually mowing or building something and Cheryl is social media/advertising and email queen. Our first wine that we produced and bottled was entered into an international wine competition and we won a gold medal. There is so much to do and we have had so much growth. We want to continue to grow. Our lodge at the winery will be opening soon so stay tuned!
Any last thoughts folks should know?
Gene and Cheryl have recently retired and we now have a corgi dog. She will be around the winery some too. We welcome you to come by anytime and visit us and try some of our wine.