Newsmakers Making A Difference: Bob And Sonya Evanosky, Aspen Lane Wine Company

Andy Dahn
May 08, 2018 - 10:20 am

Aspen Lane Wine Company

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- In 2010, Bob Evanosky was a stay-at-home dad in west suburban Aurora, taking care of his three, severely disabled sons.

"A couple buddies in the neighborhood stopped by and said 'hey, do you want to make some wine?' It wasn't uncommon to have our garage door open and my three boys are in there in their wheelchairs, mashing grapes. People said 'hey, you should start selling this stuff,'" Evanosky said. 

But Evanosky was hesitant. The bottle's labels were of his sons, and he said profiting off of them just didn't feel right.

He and his wife Sonya launched Aspen Lane Wine Company in 2016 with a different idea.

"The winery was created for the purpose of generating revenue for charities that support children and adults that suffer from disabilities," Evanosky said.

Sonya Evanosky said Aurora's first craft winery is a social enterprise, giving 100 percent of its profits back to the community.

"Disability has many flavors, shapes and forms," she said. "They're all people."

The winery has given over $100,000 to more than 13 different charities.

"We don't see that slowing down anytime soon," Evanosky said.

The couple said taking care of their children and running the winery can get overwhelming, but it's worth it.

"It gives great satisfaction to know that we're leaving the place a little bit better than we found it," he said.

As WBBM celebrates its 50th anniversary as Newsradio, this year we’ll be honoring 50 Newsmakers making a difference in the community.  Listen for reports each Tuesday.

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