$1.5 Million: Raised at Auction of WA Wines

by Shona Milne on August 24, 2011

Auction of Washington Wines raises more than $1.5 Million for seattle children’s hospital and the washington wine education foundation

Nearly 2,500 attendees donated throughout 24th annual series of summer events

The 24th annual Auction of Washington Wines, culminating August 18-20 in Woodinville, Wash. at Chateau Ste. Michelle, raised more than $1.5 million for uncompensated care at Seattle Children’s Hospital and the Washington Wine Education Foundation. Known as the region’s most prestigious charity wine event, the weekend featured the Picnic & Barrel Auction, Winemaker Dinners, The Covey Run and The Wine Gala.

“Wow! This was truly a fantastic weekend of events. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to celebrate the Washington wine industry while raising vital funds for uncompensated care at Seattle Children’s Hospital and the Washington Wine Education Foundation, “said Sherri Swingle, Auction of Washington Wines Executive Director.

Thursday’s Picnic & Barrel Auction featured Picnic games, a silent auction, and the exciting Barrel Auction. Wine lovers attended 13 winemaker dinners on Friday evening around the greater Seattle area at various locations including Canlis, Efestē Winery, El Gaucho, private residences, and more. The weekend concluded with the Covey Run 5K and 10K Run/Walk on Saturday morning and The Wine Gala on Saturday evening.

“It is an honor to serve as co-chair for the Auction of Washington Wines,” said Rick Small, 2011 Auction co-chair and owner of Woodward Canyon Winery. “Year after year, I am amazed by the incredible generosity of Washington winemakers, growers, and the wine-loving community. This year has laid the groundwork for a fabulous 25th Anniversary in 2012.  I am anxiously looking forward to next year’s auction!”

“Every year we try new ways to keep the event exciting for our guests, vintners, growers, sponsors, etc.  This year’s patient family really touched everyone at The Wine Gala reminding us all how important Seattle Children’s is to our region,” said Michele Smith, 2011 Auction co-chair and owner of Smith and Greene Company.

Since 1999, the Auction of Washington Wines has honored industry leaders for their contributions to the Washington wine industry. With more than 40 years of experience with agriculture and pomology, growing renowned grapes from San Jose to West Richland, Jerry Bookwalter of Bookwalter Winery was the 2011 Honorary Grower. Self-taught winemaker and Seattle restaurant industry veteran, Chris Camarda of Andrew Hill Winery was the 2011 Honorary Vintner.

Highlights of the top auction items include:

  • One week aboard The World and Betz Family wines – $25,000
  • Two dinners for ten at Col Solare with Chateau Ste. Michelle CEO/President Ted Baseler – $40,000
  • Dinner at Quilceda Creek with Michael Mina – $18,000
  • Artwork “65 Roses” created by Seattle Children’s Hospital patient family and local artist Taras Lesko sold to Co-Chairs and Woodward Canyon Owners Rick and Darcey Small, who plan to incorporate the artwork into a future wine label.

About the Auction of Washington Wines

Since its inception in 1988, the Auction of Washington Wines has raised more than $24 million, with a majority benefitting uncompensated care at Seattle Children’s Hospital. This distinguished event gives wine lovers the chance to help the Washington wine industry bridge a critical funding gap for children across the Northwest. The 2011 Auction co-chairs are Brad and Michele Smith of Smith and Green Company and Seattle Children’s Guild Association & Foundation Board Trustee and Rick Small and Darcey Fugman-Small, owners of Woodward Canyon Winery. Special thanks go to our major sponsors: Chateau Ste. Michelle, John L. Scott Foundation, 98.1 Classical KING-FM, King5 TV, Seattle Magazine, Tulalip Resort Casino, Viking Range/Gateway Appliance Distributing, Vine Vertical, and Wine Spectator. www.auctionofwashingtonwines.org

About Seattle Children’s Hospital

Consistently ranked as one of the best children’s hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report, Children’s serves as the pediatric and adolescent academic medical referral center for the largest landmass of any children’s hospital in the country (Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho). For more than 100 years, Children’s has been delivering superior patient care and advancing new treatments through pediatric research. Children’s serves as the primary teaching, clinical and research site for the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine. The hospital works in partnership with Seattle Children’s Research Institute and Seattle Children’s Hospital Foundation. Together they are Seattle Children’s, known for setting new standards in superior patient care for more than 100 years. www.seattlechildrens.org

About the Washington Wine Education Foundation

The Washington Wine Education Foundation aims to strengthen the quality and reputation of the Washington Wine industry by providing support toward a world-class enology and viticulture research, education and training program specific to Washington State. A portion of funds raised during the Auction of Washington Wines goes toward scientific research in vineyards and fermentation, Washington-based educational programs that promote undergraduate and graduate degrees, and to farm worker and industry employee programs that promote health and safety. This educational group began collaborating in 2001 to create quality educational programs in winemaking and grape growing.

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