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Vintner Kathleen Heitz Myers, president of the Napa Valley Vintners’ board of directors, wanted to make sure the crowd she spoke to Thursday night understood how valued they were. 

In the barrel room at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, Myers said, “I want to give a very special thank-you to a special group of vintners. With everyone working together, it is an honor and privilege to celebrate this milestone.” She spoke both to those who chaired Auction Napa Valley through the years (including Dick Maher and Jay Corley from the 1980s) and the vintners, volunteers, bidders and others who make the annual auction possible. 

Myers and the Napa Valley Vintners, a nonprofit trade association, celebrated the giving away of $6.85 million in grants, which were the proceeds from the 31st annual Auction Napa Valley. The bigger milestone, though, was the giving away of $100 million since the auction began in 1981. 

Myers said she remembers the first auction that raised $140,000 and supported both Napa Valley hospitals, St. Helena Hospital and Health Center and Queen of the Valley Medical Center. As was true from the beginning, all the net proceeds raised through the auction stay in Napa County, to fund nonprofit organizations in three categories: health and wellness, children and youth, and housing. The breakdown for the 31 years was $57.7 million for health and wellness; $12.2 million for children and youth; $7.8 million for housing; $7.8 million for special projects and initiatives; and nearly $20 million for the Health Care Fund, which will provide funding for the community in case the Auction Napa Valley isn’t held one year or if there is a natural disaster. 

Myers said that 25 to 35 percent of the entire Napa Valley community is involved in Auction Napa Valley.

To punctuate that point, Molly Chappellet, who with her family are chairs of the 2012 Auction Napa Valley, said the family “will need you all to reach the standard set” in the past for the auction. Her son, Cyril Chappellet, said, “This gets done by the community. People come from all over the world to make Auction Napa Valley special.” But, he added, “You make it special!” 

Grants from the 2011 Auction Napa Valley equaled $6.85 million, as follows: health and wellness grants totaled $3.7 million, children and youth grants totaled $1.35 million and housing grants were $980,000. An additional $750,000 was for property to expand the NVV Community Health Center in Napa. 

Auction Napa Valley provided some $2.25 million to Calistoga and St. Helena nonprofit organizations, although many of the other nonprofit agencies provide help and services throughout the county. 

A sample of those grants includes the following: 


Health and wellness

• Calistoga Affordable Housing: Rebuilding Calistoga, $30,000. CAH and StopFalls Napa Valley will send teams of volunteers to deserving homes in Calistoga to make repairs and implement safety modifications that improve the living conditions of senior and disabled residents. 

• Community Health Clinic Ole: Care for the Underserved, $700,000. These funds support quality, affordable primary and preventive medical, behavioral health and education services to Napa County’s low-income, uninsured and underinsured residents. 

• Community Health Clinic Ole: Healthy Moms and Babies Perinatal Services Program, $200,000. Healthy Moms and Babies supports perinatal services for Napa County’s low-income pregnant women. 

• Community Health Clinic Ole: Sister Ann Dental Services Program, $400,000. Sister Ann provides quality, affordable, dental services and dental health education to Napa County’s low-income, uninsured residents and children. 

• Cope Family Center and Calistoga Family Center: SAFE Families, $175,000. SAFE (Self-Sufficiency, Access to Services, Freedom from Violence and Education) Families intervenes early to improve children’s and families’ psychological/ social functioning through child abuse prevention efforts and basic needs services. 

• Gunilda Rianda Senior Center Association: Healthy Minds & Healthy Bodies, $30,000. This programs keeps older individuals (65-plus) in the upper Napa Valley mentally and physically fit to help maintain long-term health and ability to remain independent. 

• St. Helena Family Center: Service Connections and Building Strong Communities, $40,000. Funds will provide access to safety net services including health insurance, income tax assistance, food, housing, medical and employment resources, along with comprehensive family support services. 

• St. Helena Hospital Foundation: Health Care for the Indigent, $400,000. Funding will provide acute medical care to the uninsured and underinsured of Napa County. 



• Calistoga Affordable Housing: CAH Operations, $30,000. This grant supports operations to continue its programs, explore five new housing development opportunities and conduct a workforce feasibility analysis. 


Children and youth

• Boys & Girls Club of St. Helena and Calistoga: After-School Education and Safety (ASES), $150,000. The agency aims to create a seamless educational, social and recreational day for school-aged children by providing academic, youth development, art and recreation programs, with the goal that student test scores improve and social development, self-confidence and self-worth grow. 

• St. Helena Family Center/Calistoga Family Center: Upvalley Student Assistance, $100,000. This program helps students overcome obstacles in their lives and promotes academic achievement through a school-based approach to providing services to students seeking support or needing interventions for substance abuse, mental health or social issues that affect academics, behavior and school attendance.


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