When you pay your hard-earned money - no matter the ticket price - to sample food and wines, the samples shouldn't resemble something you would be handed in a tiny plastic cup at your local grocery store. So, if you're the type of person who wants to enjoy healthy portioned samples of great food and drinks for a reasonable price, then you turn to your Greek friends to make it happen. The St. Barbara's Philoptochos Society will be hosting the 14th annual Savannah International Food & Wine Tasting from 3-6 p.m. Sept. 10 at St. Paul's Hellenic Center. This year's event features more than 50 wines and signature dishes from some of Savannah's best restaurants. Tickets are $30 in advance or $35 at the door and include one or more small-plate samples from each restaurant paired with select wines from around the world. The event also features a silent auction with unique merchandise donated by local businesses, artists and individuals and the proceeds from this year's auction will go to support Savannah Center for Blind and Low Vision, the Ronald McDonald House and the Philoptochos' student scholarship fund. Tickets are available in advance from any Philoptochos member, online or by phone. The group also has a Facebook page where you can see auction items and introductions to various vendors and restaurants. For those not familiar with the group, Philoptochos is the largest organization of Greek Orthodox women and supports many charities while spiritually enriching its members through philanthropic work. Established in 1931, Philoptochos is the second-largest women's philanthropic organization in the United States in terms of money donated to charitable causes. Gabrielle Franklin is the treasurer for the local Philoptochos at Savannah's St. Paul's Greek Orthodox Church and says giving back to the community is important to the group. "This is our major fundraising event each year. In the past we have been able to raise between $13,000 and $18,000 per event to support charities in our community," she says. "All of our charitable giving stays local. This year's benefiting charities include the Savannah Center for Blind and Low Vision and the Ronald McDonald House. Last year, we were pleased to support Senior Citizens' Meals on Wheels and America's Second Harvest Food Bank of Coastal Georgia." And while the food and wine tasting is unique, the silent auction is always a crowd-pleaser. Pamela Poulos, this year's silent auction chairperson explains, "We have items ranging from $25 gift cards all the way up to a $1,400 vacation package at Tybee Island. We certainly have something for everyone, including works of art, gift baskets and even a 'build-a-bar collection.'" The build-a-bar collection is essentially everything you need to start your own home bar, including measuring tools, mixers and of course, the liquor. This year's list of restaurants include some of Savannah's favorite spots such as Edible Arrangements, Papa's Bar-B-Que and Seafood, Taste of India, 45 Bistro, River House Seafood, Jalapeños, Yia Yia's Kitchen, Frali Gourmet, The Chromatic Dragon, Vic's on the River, Basil's Pizza and Deli, Olympia Cafe, Sweet Potatoes, Crystal Beer Parlor and Asian River. And while Chromatic Dragon was the newbie last year, owner Clegg Ivey says he's excited to be a part of an event he has supported for many years. "We opened in 2014, but I have personally been to this event in the past and I love it," he says. "My family is Greek ... and I grew up around really strong Greek women. The Philoptochos Society is definitely a great example of what you see in every city where you have Greek families. They are known for working very hard. We are such an industrious folk, so everywhere (we) go, we try make to make the community better ... and I'm really excited to be a part of it." Ivey says his chef plans to bring two of their popular dishes to the event. "Every week our restaurant has a bread pudding on the menu and the flavor changes, but our Heath Bar is one of the favorites, so we are bringing that. We also have a spicy black bean burger - known as the Bean Me Up, Scotty - and what our chef is going to do is serve a smaller portion of that without the bun alongside the fixings." And since Ivey is known for his gaming-inspired business ventures like his pub, his gaming facility The Guild Hall and his new store, Jolly Goblin Games, he plans to donate a basket filled with gift cards to his businesses along with games. He adds that he's happy to help the group raise money. "It's also important to me that the money stays local," Ivey says. While he enjoys the philanthropic side of the event, it's the atmosphere of the festival that Ivey enjoys the most. "If you have any Greek friends, then you know they want you to come over to their house and they are going to feed you and make sure you have something to drink. They want you to try everything, too. It's like my grandmother; she would know you were full, but she still insisted you try more of her food and it was just so good," he says. "It's like that experience, but even bigger. There is more food than you can eat. You can try really hard to visit every single restaurant there, but the amount of food and the variety of flavors you get is just off the charts."