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September 2015 Give

Sonoma Wine Country Weekend

Jointly produced by the Sonoma County Vintners and the Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Foundation, Sonoma Wine Country Weekend is the county’s signature and largest charity event. Honorary chairs this year, selected in recognition of their significant contributions to the development of Sonoma County as a wine region and destination, include Jean-Charles Boisset of DeLoach Vineyards and Buena Vista Winery, Joe Anderson and Mary Dewane of Benovia Winery, and Mark and Terri Stark of Stark Reality Restaurants.
The weekend begins on Friday with Sonoma Starlight, a night of wine, food and dancing at Francis Ford Coppola Winery. Taste of Sonoma, featuring 200 wineries (pouring more than 800 different wines) and 60 chefs, takes place Saturday at MacMurray Estate Vineyards. Sunday is the flagship Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction at Chateau St. Jean, where you can enjoy gourmet food and wine, mingle with vintners and bid on exclusive items. There are also many winemaker lunches and dinners throughout the weekend. An online auction is now live, where you can bid through September 25. Proceeds benefit local charities supporting students, children, farm workers and people in need.
To date, the annual event has raised more than $16 million ($5+ million last year). In April 2015, a record-breaking $3,385,400 in contributions were distributed to 84 Sonoma County nonprofit organizations, including more than $1.7 million from the Fund the Future initiative to support children’s literacy programs.

Trading Tours

San Rafael-based nonprofit Marin Charitable is partnering with Austin Charity, a similar organization from Austin, Tex., to create an enticing weekend vacation prize. In the swap, Marin Charitable will be raffling away a weekend getaway to Austin (pictured here), which Austin Charity is preparing (with goods and services donated by its community supporters and local Austin business), while Austin Charity will be raffling a weekend in Sonoma, Marin and San Francisco (collected and organized by Marin Charitable).
Both Marin Charitable and Austin Charity are working toward the same goal—to raise money and awareness for at-risk youth. “It’s a friendly competition for a good cause, which we’re both very enthusiastic about,” says Kristina Hoffman, president of Marin Charitable. The fund-raiser will impact educational opportunities and critical services for children in need in both communities.
The travel package each organization is creating will include airfare, hotel, restaurants and the must-see locations in each city. The winners of the Marin raffle will be able to experience Austin’s music, barbecue and cultural festivities.
The fund-raiser will culminate at Marin Charitable’s Denim & Diamonds Gala event on October 17, where the raffle will take place. Ticket prices for the event are $150 and raffle ticket prices are $50 per ticket. All the money raised from the fund-raiser will go to different programs that are specific to Marin youth. “We want to give as much as possible to the organizations that help our kids,” says Hoffman, “It’s our goal to raise awareness and contribute as much as we can.”

Show You Care

United Way of the Wine Country’s annual Day of Caring is the largest day-long volunteer event in Wine Country. In 2014, more than 1,500 volunteers completed more than 100 projects benefiting 60 local community organizations and parks—that’s more than 12,000 volunteer hours (valued in excess of $317,000). This year’s event, the 25th annual, takes place September 9. If you’ve ever wanted to volunteer and weren’t sure where to begin, contact United Way to find out how you can help.


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