August 26, 2002
$1.3 million raised at 2002 Auction of Washington Wines
by Carol Edwards
For the 15th year, a gala auction event at Chateau Ste. Michelle raised money for the Uncompensated Care Program at Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center in Seattle and the Washington Wine Education Consortium.
Last Saturday night, Aug. 24, the Auction of Washington Wines raised $1.3 million which will go to the medical program that provides nearly $26 million each year in free or part-paid care. This charity auction is now among the top in the nation and Children's largest fundraiser.
The evening began on the Chateau's grounds with champagne and music performed by Odeon Quartet. Guests then moved into the Chateau's barrel room for a silent auction, wine tasting and hors d'oeuvres.
The grand live auction was held under a huge white tent with a carpeted floor. Guests were seated at white linen-covered tables in front of a large stage.
Ted Baseler, president of Stimson Lake Vineyards & Estates, welcomed the guests, including many winemakers, wine growers and wine enthusiasts.
The 2002 auction co-chairmen were Keith Grinstein of Second Avenue Partners and Cameron Myhrvold of Ignition Partners. Master of ceremonies was Todd Johnson of KOMO TV 4 News.
Robert Vaughn, a Northwest jazz and R.& B. artist, performed his new song, Give to the Future, which was accompanied by Captain Smarty-pants, an ensemble group of the Seattle Men's Chorus. The song was recorded live for later distribution.
Auctioneers Dick and Sharon Friel, with the help of Bob Flick (member of the Brothers Four), and Cindy Cain presented the 55 items.
Most auction items centered around wines, some rare and others in oversize bottles, wine collections, wine dinners and wine trips in Washington state and Washington, D.C., and as far away as New Zealand and Italy.
Sports figures were featured in some lots and included golf with Detlef Schrempf. Other lots included Schrempg's autographed 13- 1/2-size shoes and basketball, dinner at Columbia Winery with Edgar Martinez and 14 bottles of Quilceda Creek 2000 Cabernet Sauvignon which depicted the career of former Mariner Jay Buhner.
The top lot of the evening raised $285,123 for Children's as a result of a $110,000 match from hospital patrons. In addition, eleven-year-old Elena Thomas, a patient at Children's and a special guest for the evening contributed $123 from her own savings to support the evening's fund raising.
Local wineries participated with donations in both the silent and live auctions. A dinner for 20 cooked by Canlis at DeLille Cellars went for $17,000, another dinner with Cathy and Bob Betz from the Betz Family Winery with dinner for eight at Cafe Juanita went for $10,000, and a progressive dinner for six provided by Lowell Hunt Catering at Matthews Cellars, JM Cellars, DeLille Cellars and DiStefano Winery went for $4,000. Different items included a fused art glass mural by Pat Weaver created with the help of the medical center patients which went for $11,000. A Covey Run Merlot double magnum lot which included a pure-bred golden retriever pup named Cork went for $7,000. A day for a child with KOMO's weatherman Steve Pool and a TV spot and no wine went for $3,550. A Harley-Davidson V-Rod with a case of Sky River Mead went for $35,000.
One of quiet highlights of the evening was the number of women (and some men) having their photo taken with Fabio Lanzoni who graciously smiled all evening. Fabio, a well-known Italian model for hundreds of romance novels, some of which he co-authored, was a guest at the auction. He is also known for his romance and fitness videos and now is an entrepreneur clothing designer with a line that will launch this year,
The five-course gourmet dinner was prepared by guest chefs from the Northwest.
A pre-event picnic was held last Thursday on the grounds of Chateau Ste. Michelle as part of the event package. Gala ticketholders were able to attend both events. There were also tickets available for just the picnic which featured a small auction, wine tastings and dinner.
More than1,100 people attended and 100 Washington wineries participated.
Hundreds of volunteers and businesses donated to this event. Linda Moran from the Washington Wine Commission chaired the auction.
Call (206) 667-9463, Ext. 206 or 204 for information on Washington wineries and to make reservations for the 2003 event.