Auction Napa Valley Gives Thanks for 24 Years of Successful Fundraising Efforts
The World's Leading Charity Wine Event Mines Past Experience to Create Even Brighter Future
11/23/2004 - SAINT HELENA, Calif. - November 23, 2004 - As we pause to give thanks for what we have received this past year, Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) are particularly pleased to announce that they will once again distribute significant and needed resources within the community. 2004 Auction grants totaling more than $4.6 million will be distributed to Napa Valley charities this holiday season, and planning for the 2005 event has been underway for many months.
"Auction Napa Valley is more than just a world class event," says Margrit Mondavi, who helped create the first event in 1981; chaired it, alongside husband Robert Mondavi, in 2001 and has returned as a co-chair for the 2005 event. "This is a living, breathing manifestation of community in the truest and best sense of the word. We want to honor our past and celebrate a great future in 2005."
Over the years, the Napa Valley Wine Auction has earned the reputation as the world's most successful charity wine event raising more than $52 million for the well being of the Napa community. 2005 marks the 25th anniversary of the event, recently renamed Auction Napa Valley. To plan and execute this milestone, all 24 past Auction chairs (or a representative from their family) have volunteered their time; working diligently with Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) staff since January 2004 to conduct meetings and brainstorming sessions, review 2004 bidder, NVV member and volunteer comments, and talk to vintners.
"Our aim is simple," says co-chair Dan Duckhorn, "In a time when so many organizations are producing events modeled after ours, it is imperative that we keep our Auction fresh and exciting. Changes afoot for 2005 are the result of careful consideration by the very people who have made the last 24 years such a success. And we really believe that our willingness to explore new possibilities will keep our event on top of the ever-growing list that's out there."
Following a lengthy review process it became clear that vintners and bidders overwhelmingly shared the same view -- the length of the live auction needed to be shortened, and the total number of attendees at the Live Auction needed to be reduced to enhance the quality of the event. Bidders also requested more opportunities to share time with vintners in intimate settings; while vintners were excited by the prospect of attracting new bidders and strengthening relationships with returning bidders through new event elements. Everyone agreed that the live auction should remain the highlight, and that organizers should continue to focus efforts on creating bidding opportunities that would entice guests to give generously, thereby meeting the core Auction mission to utilize the reputation of Napa Valley wines to enhance the well being of the Napa community.
These principles guided all of the changes made to the traditional schedule of events. One of the most notable is the creation of a more community-focused "festival" event to take place on Friday, June 3rd. The event has been designed to offer anyone a chance to attend a major Auction event and get into the bidding action (auctions held at the festival will close that day, and all are open to ticket holders). Tickets for the event are available through www.napavintners.com starting at 12:01 am on March 15 for a cost of $150. Highlights will include: the traditional barrel tasting and auction, the Pride of Napa Valley, and all-new activities such as an E-Auction and wine bottle ring toss.
For those that opt to attend the entire, multi day event the most noticeable change my initially be the cost of the ticket package. The package, which includes two evening vintner hospitality dinners, the Friday festival event, a vintner hospitality lunch and tickets for the Live Auction and Gala Dinner on Saturday will see a significant increase in price to more accurately reflect the true cost of the events. "Placing an emphasis on the fundraising aspect of Auction Napa Valley by increasing package ticket prices is essential," remarks 1992 Chair Paula Kornell, "Many of our past guests were surprised to learn that in prior years, the ticket price did not cover the actual event costs per individual guest."
Other changes include revising the event schedule to create more intimate opportunities for interaction between winemakers and guests. The formal dinner that usually takes place at Meadowood on Friday has been replaced by additional vintner hospitality events; and Live Auction guests will dine in one of a dozen small vintner-hosted tents following the main event.
Organizers are optimistic that the changes wrought in this anniversary year will have a lasting and positive effect on both the event itself and the community at large. "For 2005 we know that we have the benefit of the collective experience of 24 great past chairs, and that in-and-of-itself is pretty potent," says 2000 chair Nancy Andrus, "But when you couple it with our warm and welcoming cadre of outstanding volunteers and remember that all the proceeds get rolled back into our own community we believe that the result will be not only the world's most successful wine event, but the world's greatest display of cooperation and camaraderie, and that's something that everyone in the Napa Valley can take pride in."
We realize that many people have questions and concerns regarding all of the changes being discussed," says John Shafer, who served as chair in 1999. "But we hope that the community knows that we are acting in a very thoughtful and responsive way. An event of this magnitude involves so many elements that most people are never aware of. And I can assure you that everything from bidder relations to event underwriting is being factored into our plans for 2005. At the end of the day our primary goal is to take care of our community, and that is a charge we take very seriously."
The Napa Valley Vintners is a professional nonprofit trade organization. Its 250 member vintners are committed to the future of Napa Valley through the preservation and enhancement of its land, wine and community.
Contact: CONTACT: Terry Hall Direct: 707-968-4217 email@example.com