The 16th annual V Wine Celebration, which raises funds for the V Foundation for Cancer Research, is slated for Thursday, Aug. 7 through Saturday, Aug. 10, in Napa Valley. The three-day signature fundraising event encompasses fine wines, gourmet cuisine, live music entertainment, and live and silent auctions.
Over the last 15 years, the V Wine Celebration has raised more than $53 million with this annual event. Funds have helped the organization provide 539 cancer research grants nationwide, including grants in the San Francisco Bay Area to the Martin O’Neil Cancer Center at St. Helena Hospital, Napa’s Queen of the Valley Medical Center, Stanford University School of Medicine and UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Earlier this year, The V Foundation appointed Steve Bornstein as its board chairman. Bornstein was instrumental in helping to create the foundation in 1993 when he was president of ESPN. Formerly the president and CEO of the NFL Network, Bornstein succeeds Robert Lloyd, who served as The V Foundation chairman from 1994 to 2014, in memory of his best friend, Jimmy Valvano. Lloyd will remain an active member of the board of directors and continue to play a leadership role in the V Wine Celebration.
“The V Wine Celebration is a fabulous weekend with abundant offerings of great wines, superb food, and the gathering together of old and new friends in the fight against cancer,” said Julie Allegro, founder of The V Wine Celebration.
This year’s event will kick off Thursday, Aug. 7 with dinners at Raymond Vineyards, Silver Oak Cellars and Vineyard 7 & 8. Donors of $500,000 and above will be hosted by Suzanne Pride Bryan and Stuart Brian at the Humanitarian & Founders Dinner at Pride Mountain Vineyards.
On Friday, Aug. 8, donors of more than $50,000 will be invited to attend the honoree luncheon at the Napa Valley Reserve. The 2014 Vintner Grant honoree at the luncheon will be Naoko Dalla Valle, founder and proprietor of Dalla Valle Vineyards. Dalla Valla lost her father to lung cancer and her husband to prostate cancer, and in January of this year, her 11-year-old nephew succumbed to Diffused Pontine Instrinsic Glioma (DPIG). Determined to fight this horrible pediatric brain cancer, Dalla Valle has raised $350,000, including a matching grant from Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff and his wife Lynn. The V Foundation will make a grant in Dalla Valle's name to help launch a DPIG clinical trial at UCSF.
Friday evening’s popular “Let’s Get it Started” party at the Vintage Estates in Yountville, showcasing the All-Stars of research, will feature Napa Valley restaurateurs and vintners, and offer a custom barrel auction, where guests will have the opportunity to bid on cases of custom-created wine blends from winemakers.
Saturday, Aug. 9, will begin with a Cancer Research Symposium hosted by members of The V Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Committee, presenting the most current advances and discoveries in clinical applications, new diagnostics and alternative treatments for cancer. The symposium will be followed by an Innovators & Icons Marketplace event with wine and food from local purveyors.
The weekend’s activities will culminate with a gala dinner and live auction at Nickel & Nickel Winery, followed by a private performance by The Midtown Men, the four stars from the original cast of Broadway’s Jersey Boys.
Olympic gold medalist, world figure skating champion and U.S. Olympic Hall of Famer Scott Hamilton will serve as the host of The V Wine Celebration. In 1997, Scott was diagnosed with testicular cancer, which he battled and overcame. Years later, he also faced a brain tumor diagnosis twice, finally recovering in 2010.
The fund-a-need will raise funds in support of bladder cancer research, in honor of Dave Kane. Kane, an active V Wine Celebration board member for many years, lost his 17-year battle with bladder cancer in 2011.
For more information about The V Foundation Wine Celebration, visit WineCelebration.org or contact The V Foundation Wine Celebration office at 707-963-0611.