In its first-ever hybrid event, the Auction of Washington Wines (AWW) collected just over $2.2 million through several fundraising opportunities.
The AWW hosted more than 700 participants in this year’s weeklong online auction, held from Aug. 10-14.
Over 300 guests attended three mini-galas at Chateau Ste. Michelle, Maryhill Winery and The Winemakers Reserve in Woodinville on Saturday, Aug. 14.
“All in all, the $2.2 million that we raised is really a culmination of all our fundraising throughout the year, although the bulk of it was raised that week,” said Jamie Peha, executive director of the AWW. “We are consistently touched by the outpouring of encouragement the auction receives from the Washington wine industry and its supporters.”
According to Peha, the donated funds will benefit three different programs. One beneficiary is the Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic, which promotes quality pediatric care and family advocacy at Seattle Children’s Hospital. These dollars will also support the hospital’s uncompensated care fund to ensure all children have access to healthcare.
Remaining funds are dedicated to the “growth and awareness” of the wine industry, Peha said. Some of the donations will go toward Washington State University’s viticulture and enology research, she said, which will “help sustain the future of the industry.”
Lastly, AWW awards one organization each year through an industry grant program. This year, the nonprofit Vital Wines received $30,000 for its work in promoting the health and wellness of vineyard and winery workers in Washington state.
Peha said that AWW looks forward to celebrating its 35th anniversary next year with its main events scheduled for Aug. 11-13.
“As with everything, the auction is looking towards the future. Next year will be our 35th anniversary,” she said. “Things are changing. The wine industry is changing. Demographics related to wine are changing. The world is changing.”
Those who could not attend the virtual or online events are still able to donate by visiting www.washingtonwine.ejoinme.org/donate.