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April 2015 Philanthropy

April, 2015 Issue

Entrepreneurial Education in St. Helena

Thanks to the generosity of Pascal and Melanie Levensohn of Levensohn Vineyards, international nonprofit’s BizMovie program is being implemented in 12 classrooms, grades 3 to 5, at St. Helena Elementary School.  
BizMovie teaches children the basics of entrepreneurship while encouraging them to explore technology by creating their own animated movies. Students work in teams to start and run their own movie production companies and create animated movies. For students with limited computer skills, BizMovie can be a fun introduction to technology. For others, this experience can help build computer animation fluency. This program is entirely student-driven: Students create the concept for their movie, storyboard and produce it, create and execute a marketing campaign and sell tickets to an audience. The program culminates with Box Office Day (May 27) where students present their movies.
"As residents of St. Helena, supporting the Napa Valley community is a priority for us,” says Pascal. “Being an entrepreneur for more than 35 years, I believe that helping children understand the basics of business early in their formal education can build a lasting foundation and desire to succeed later in life.’s unique program provides kids not just with the basics of building a business but also with crucial skills such as teamwork, leadership and financial management that will give them a competitive advantage to succeed in school and beyond.”

Unleashing the Fun

How about an evening of outstanding wine, food, music, auction items…and animals? All for a good cause, of course. The Second Annual Wineapawlooza, which benefits Jameson Animal Rescue Ranch, a nonprofit, no-kill rescue and refuge for companion and farm animals based in Napa Valley, will take place July 18 at Gamble Family Vineyards and Winery. Attendees will be treated to winemakers pouring some of the nation’s rarest wines as well as food created by local chefs Tyler Rodde (Oenotri), Ken Frank (La Toque), Joseph Panarello (City Winery), Jude Wilmoth (Cook and Cook Tavern) as well as the popular Raw Daddy food truck. There will be 12 luxury lots and even a red carpet for the animals. For more information and tickets, visit

Cheers to a New Tradition

A new Sonoma County tradition launches May 1. Presented by Sonoma County Vintners, the inaugural Sonoma County Barrel Auction is a live auction featuring a selection of 67 one-of-a-kind wine lots representing 12 Sonoma County appellations. The lots, which range in size from five to 20 cases, were curated in blind tastings by a hand-selected panel of six master sommeliers and one master of wine. They include the area’s most highly acclaimed vineyards and were crafted by top winemakers. The auction is open to licensed wine sellers, retailers, restaurateurs and wholesalers, who will then have the opportunity to offer true originals for resale.  
The event will include a VIP trade and media preview at Williams Selyem Winery on April 30, followed by the May 1 barrel auction at Vintners Inn, which will have a preview and barrel tasting, gourmet lunch and live auction. Proceeds will support Sonoma County marketing initiatives. For more information and to view the lots, visit

Wine for a Cause

When Colby Groom and his father, Daryl, first produced Colby Red in 2009, they had no idea how much its popularity would grow. Colby, who had two open-heart surgeries before his 10th birthday, inspired Daryl to create a wine and have all its proceeds support charities that promote heart health. The result is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Shiraz, Merlot and Petite Sirah.
Now 17 years old, Colby was recently named the Children’s Heart Foundation’s spokesperson. And Colby Red has grown from a couple hundred dollars in donations its first year to more than to $500,000 presently. Much of the success can be attributed not only to the great cause it represents, but to the cause marketing behind it—major retailers and restaurant chains as well as heart health charity organizations have made both local and national commitments to supporting it. In the end, everybody wins.


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