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Virtual V Foundation auction raises $3.6 million

From the Napa Valley Wine Insider Digest: August 14, 2020 series
  • Updated
V Foundation Wine Celebration

Michelle and Robin Baggett, owners of Rutherford's Alpha Omega Winery, hosted one of several watch parties held throughout the United States for Saturday's Momentum 2.0, the V Foundation Wine Celebration virtual auction gala, which raised $3.6 million.

Momentum 2.0, The V Foundation Wine Celebration, held virtually on Aug. 8, raised more than $3.6 million to support the V Foundation’s fight against cancer.

Hosted by the all-time winningest coach in NCAA basketball history, Mike “Coach K” Krzyzewski, ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas, ESPN’s SportsCenter Anchor Sage Steele, and Emmy award-winning auctioneer John Curley, the annual event featured six one-of-a-kind auction items, celebrity and musical appearances, and the chance to raise a glass with fellow V Wine Celebration guests, all coming virtually together to raise critical funds for cancer research.

The day began at 9 a.m. with the Answer for Cancer Symposium, followed by “V for Victory,” a one-hour television special on ABC hosted by ESPN’s Kevin Negandhi and Hannah Storm.

The virtual auction followed, featuring six one-of-a kind lots, including experiences at the Superbowl and the ESPYs with Far Niente Brand Wines, a sail-fishing competition with Emeril Lagasse, an escape to Sonoma Wine Country, and a five-night stay with Exclusive Resorts.

The top lot of the evening, at $300,000, was a collaboration between Gemstone Vineyard and Stephen Silver Fine Jewelry featuring a ruby encrusted 3L of 2019 Gemstone Ruby Barrel Selection. The event concluded with the fund-a-need, supporting the V Scholar Grants that advance the establishment of independent research programs for young scientists, starting with a challenge donation of $1 million by long-time event supporters Wayne and Nan Kocourek. The challenge was met and more, bringing the total for the day to more than $3.6 million.

“We may have been separate by distance, but we were together in heart,” said Julie Maples, chairwoman of the V Foundation Wine Celebration. “The overwhelming generosity of our sponsors, donors, and bidders has been even more amazing as we endeavored to conduct our first ever virtual event. We could not be happier with the outcome and we look forward to getting together in the Napa Valley in person next year for the 2021 V Foundation Wine Celebration Weekend!” The V Foundation Wine Celebration has raised more than $118 million for cancer research over the last 22 years.

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