Local winery’s newest product honors Don Morris and Cheryl Hart while giving back to the community

Local News

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — As a community continues to mourn the loss of Vigo County Councilman Don Morris and his wife, Cheryl Hart, a local winery’s newest bottle will be named on their behalf.

T.J. Haase Winery, located in Clinton, Ind., will donate a portion of sales from its newest wine, “Livin’ Beyond the Strings,” toward a charity that Morris and Hart were involved with.

Of all the venues Morris performed at as a musician, he was a fan favorite at T.J. Haase. Owner Doug Haase said he knew what to do with an unnamed wine after the sudden passing of Morris and Hart.

“The rose, Don was always so rosy,” he said. “He was always energetic. With this wine being sweet, I think it’ll fit the pallet of multiple people, and Don was obviously a friend to multiple people.”

From the label to the name “Livin’ Beyond the Strings,” the wine honors Morris’ love of music and his time as a local musician.

Most importantly, Haase thinks this initiative is a way to help those mourning an unexpected tragedy.

“I’m hoping that when someone buys this bottle of wine they can take it and enjoy it and talk about their memories of Don and Cheryl,” Haase said.

David Haynes, a lifelong friend of Hart and Morris, says he’ll remember his friends by how they lived.

“They were great individuals as well as being a wonderful couple,” Haynes said. “They allowed each other to be who they were individually and they sough strength in each other.”

With too many memories of Morris to count, he said Don always put others first.

“After I had a heart attack in December 2005, Don called me and asked how I was doing,” Haynes said. “I went outside to find my entire driveway had been cleared out and shoveled by him. I don’t think I ever thanked him enough.”

T.J. Haase Winery Manager Brooke Laswell said she’ll remember Don and Cheryl’s outgoing nature.

“Between his music sets, he would go from table to table and talk to people and take song requests,” she said. “I truly don’t believe he ever knew a stranger. We hope this new wine will help people remember those good times.”

While Don has been described as a lover of music and a community minded person, Haynes said he will remember Cheryl as an energetic, loving and driven person. He recalls one of his last time seeing the two was an unplanned visit with his granddaughter.

“My granddaughter absolutely loved Donnie,” Haynes said. “[Hart and Morris] loved laughing, they loved the company that they kept. I will so miss laughing with them. Maybe I’m just sad because more people won’t get to know them like I did. It just hasn’t hit me yet. This is such a loss for our community.”

A celebration of life was held from June 5 at the Hulman Center.

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