Dubbing the event “100 million reasons to celebrate,” the Napa Valley Vintners gathered Thursday night to celebrate the success of the 2011 Auction Napa Valley and announce this year’s beneficiaries.
At Auction Napa Valley 2011, held June 2-5, the Vintners passed the $100 million fundraising mark for community non-profits since the first auction in 1981. The 2011 grants total $6.85 million.
Thursday’s party, held at the Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena, honored the beneficiaries, which include healthcare, youth development and affordable housing non-profit programs. The event also thanked the small army of nearly 600 community members who volunteer their time for the auction, which draws guests from around the world to bid on Napa Valley wines.
“What began in 1981 with our then-65-member association as a fundraiser for the two area hospitals has grown to include nearly 50 agencies that support the auction’s mission,” said Kathleen Heitz Myers, this year’s Auction Napa Valley and Napa Valley Vintners board president. Today the Napa Valley Vintners, founded in 1944, has more than 420 members.
“It rained for the first time in our history this year,” said 2011 honorary chair Koerner Rombauer of Rombauer Vineyards. “Nevertheless, we had a ball, we were out there under the tents at Meadowood — all in it together — and knew it would be a milestone year from the start. Our family is on top of the world at having been a part of the overall success of the event.”