10/13/2011 - St Helena, CA--Today the Napa Valley Vintners(NVV), non-profit trade association representing more than 420 wineries in America's premier wine region have surpassed $100 million in giving to the community from its annual June fundraiser Auction Napa Valley (ANV). With $6.85 million in funds from the 2011 event given to scores of non-profit programs county-wide, a community celebration was held at The Culinary Institute of America in St Helena, to honor the outstanding beneficiaries who work diligently every day to provide services in the areas of healthcare, youth development and affordable housing non-profit programs, as well as the hundreds of local, hard-working volunteers who make the event possible each year. The 2011 grants bring the total 31 year giving total to nearly $104 million.
"I cannot believe it--what a dream come true." Said Margrit Mondavi who along with her husband the late vintner Robert Mondavi, brought the idea of a charity wine auction to the Vintners more than 30 years ago. "That first year we worked so hard to launch the auction and were thrilled that we raised $140,000. What seems like yesterday has become the leading charity wine auction in the world and has helped so many in our community--I am very proud to have been here from the start."
"It rained for the first time in our history this year," said 2011 honorary chair Koerner Rombauer of Rombauer Vineyards. "Nevertheless, we had a ball, we were out there under the tents at Meadowood--all in it together--and knew it would be a milestone year from the start. Our family is on top of the world at having been a part of the overall success of the event."
"That first year there was no money and no criteria. For decor--grapevine prunings, cotton Indian bedcovers and balloons were all we could afford. Besides a handful of dedicated visionaries, hundreds of community volunteers and supporters saved the day. That incredible collaboration is still the basis for Auction Napa Valley's success," said Molly Chappellet, who along with her family from Chappellet Vineyard and Winery is the 2012 honorary chair.
"From American Canyon to Calistoga, Auction grants have allowed the community to thrive with excellent healthcare, youth development and affordable housing programs that benefit all segments of Napa County. What began in 1981 with our then-65 member association as a fundraiser for the two area hospitals has grown to include nearly 50 agencies that support the Auction's mission," said 2011 NVV and ANV Board President Kathleen Heitz Myers
Annually a small army of nearly 600 community members rally to volunteer their time to make the Auction the "must attend" wine event, from helping orchestrate the Barrel and Live Auctions, to serving wine, setting tables and greeting guests and much more. Tonight's celebration honors those loyal, tireless teams who take time from work and family to help ensure the Auction's success.
Over the years Auction Napa Valley has introduced some ground-breaking initiatives through its funding such as:
• 1999's $3 million grant to build the Napa Valley Vintners Community Health Center which today houses Community Health Clinic Ole, Sister Ann Dental Clinic, Healthy Moms and Babies and Napa Emergency Women's Center in Napa
• 2005's $1 million grant to Children's Health Initiative Napa County--the largest industry gift to date for any CHI and which continues today to provide access to health insurance for every child through 18 years of age in Napa County
• 2007's $2.4 million Y.E.S. Initiative--Youth, Education, Success and subsequent funding of $350,000 this year which provides leading-edge learning to school-age children throughout Napa County
Auction's impact goes beyond in ways less obvious, but nonetheless impactful. One example is to the tenant agencies of the NVV Community Health Center who have realized since 2002, when the facility was completed, a savings of more than $3.5 million off market rental rates--which allows these agencies the ability to offer more comprehensive programs and services than would otherwise be possible.
These are just a few examples of the county-wide impact of Auction giving. Read below to see this year's complete list of beneficiaries.
Auction Napa Valley 2012 will take place May 31 through June 3, 2012 with the Saturday Live Auction taking place at the renowned Meadowood Napa Valley as it has every year since 1981.
About Auction Napa Valley
Auction Napa Valley is the most successful charity wine auction in the world and this year surpasses more than $100 million in giving to scores of non-profit programs. The annual fundraiser is hosted by the Napa Valley Vintners. The auction was founded in 1981 under the vision of Robert and Margrit Mondavi and has grown to be a four-day celebration of wine, food and fundraising held the first weekend in June.
About the Napa Valley Vintners
The Napa Valley Vintners is the non-profit trade association responsible for promoting and protecting the Napa Valley appellation as the premier winegrowing region. From seven founding members in 1944, today the association represents more than 420 Napa Valley wineries and collectively is a leader in the world-wide wine industry. To learn more about our region and its legendary American wines, visit www.NapaVintners.com.
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