May 21, 2014 -- San Francisco: Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area and Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards have long teamed up on an event that not only showcases some of the best wine and food being produced in Sonoma County, but also helps children suffering from life-threatening illnesses.
Wishes in Wine Country, held Saturday, May 17th, at Sonoma-Cutrer, set a new fundraising record—over $773,000 (including cash and in-kind contributions)—and attracted close to 700 guests. Over 35 local restaurants and wineries offered guests small tastes and pours during the Grand Tasting from 2:30-5:30pm. The Sunset Dinner followed, with a three-course dinner and live auction. John Ash & Company provided the catering for the dinner, and Sonoma-Cutrer provided wine pairings.
Sunset Dinner guests were also introduced to Sam Tageson, the 18 year old from Martinez who suffers from hypoplastic left heart syndrome, and whose wish to be a San Jose Shark was widely publicized in March, attracting over 2 million views to the YouTube video of his wish. Sam and his mother Lisa spoke to the sold out crowd, choking back tears as they described Sam’s condition and what his wish meant to him. Following this, the live auction featured a wide array of extraordinary trips, wine themed items and experiences. Highlights include a private dinner at Kosta Browne winery, which sold for $18,000 and Sonoma-Cutrer’s Legacy wine, which was offered for the first time at this event. Legacy is the creation of three of the winery’s past and present winemakers, and is a cuveé Chardonnay made from 2012’s best barrels. The biggest lot, and always the most meaningful, is the Adopt-A-Wish® lot, during which guests can make a donation to help make a child’s wish come true. This inspired $165,000 in contributions for this lot – an event record and enough to grant 22 wishes.
“This is one of my favorite events all year. We have so many loyal donors who join us each May at Sonoma-Cutrer to help raise money for wishes,” said Patricia Wilson, Executive Director Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area. “But the reason for our event remains the same—hundreds of children in our home towns face life-threatening medical conditions that forever change their lives, and the lives of their families. So I was moved to tears when a saw the sea of paddles go up during our Adopt-A-Wish lot, which goes entirely to granting more wishes.”
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