Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Wine Wars recap

When you sign up for walking in the Breast Cancer 3 day you are told you will need to raise $2300. It feels like a million dollars, especially if you are not accustomed to asking for much of anything in your life. To many people this is more intimidating than walking 60 miles.

Last year we had our first walk, and our first Wine Wars event. For a first time event, it was a rip roaring success. Through this party we became one of the top money raising teams in the SF walk. Last years event led to another event (the dinner for 8 that turned into a dinner for 70+), which raised more money. Our band of 6 people finished fundraising with an average of over $3000 each making us a "power team". The team delegated the bulk of the $$$ to me and so I became the #4 top money raiser in last year's wall. All that success created a pretty high bar for this years event.

Last year by the time we had this event, most of the people had not made their minimum amount. This year on our team of 7 all but 2 had made their minimum. But it isn't about that, it is about doing the most you possibly can to end Breast Cancer.

Everyone knows I can be competitive. That is without question a part of my makeup. And people know that I am never ever more competitive than when it is for something important. That isn't about me, that is about ending Breast Cancer. My zeal and passion for the goal, may to some people feel like nagging, aggression, intolerant blathering. For anyone who has felt this way during the last few months, I understand how you could feel that way, but I am not sorry.

In every email, on every letter, on every post on facebook, on the blog, in conversations, in gifts I send there has been a mention, a shout out about Wine Wars or the walk. And of those there has been many. I am not shy about asking for money for ending Breast Cancer. I almost died from it. I have two daughters who are at a higher risk of developing this disease than someone else. I have seen friends die from this disease and other battle it. I have personally felt the toll that the disease take on a person and those around them, even when you survive. I know that the treatments that are found to combat Breast Cancer could be treatments that combat other cancers. I also know money is tight for most of us, and so raising money now will be more difficult and more important than ever. So excuse me if I have been too bold. I can't be any other way.

At Wine Wars this year, when the doors had opened, I was hopeful that despite the economy, we would have a good night. I knew the wine would be good with donations from Hearthstone (Thanks to Judi and Andrew Land), Pey Marin (Thanks to Jonathan and Susan Pey), Henry Wine Group (Thanks to Larry Moraes), ZAP (Thanks to Jackie and Shaun Gorman) and the wines donated by Kamere of Amador (Thanks to Gretchen and David Carlson) and of course those fine wineries who donated from Amador and Calaveras (and a few by Glenn and me) Zucca Mountain, Laraine, TKC, Chatom to name a few. Ravenswood donated 6 magnums of their finest for the silent auction raising over $400 for the evening. The wine was remarkable, the generosity touching.

The Silent Auction had items donated from individuals like the beautiful pink necklace I lost to Toni Esposti made by Sandra Mitro form LAHS, teapot form Ciao Bella, Katya necklace (donated by Patti Bott), Pillow from Featherbed and Bath (donated by Patti Williamson), Watch donated by Goli, Pest inspection from Morris Pest, Baseball from the Giants, and Giants tickets from Lindy and Bill Richardson, Chateau Montelena (donated by Myriam McCarthy), Cupcakes from SusieCakes, Private Tasting at Albeno Murani in Murphys. The silent auction brought in around $1200.

The raffle with items from.... Frantoios, Melting Pot, Larkcreek Tavern, Theresa' Nails, Michael Feldman of Maike's Body Shop, Janette Mobley of A-line, Kelly Day Median of Pancho Villas plus two wine baskets donated by the Younglings brought in around $3000.

But this year our live auction exceeded my expectations through the generous donations of Cavallo Point, the California Film Institute, Scarlett's Country Inn, Cow Girl Creamery, Hazardous Waste (Youngling, Sack, and Cihak), E-Cruise (the Moraes) and the dinner for 8 by Cihak and Youngling. Top that off with an impromptu donation from Go-Kat-Go! and on the Live Auction over $4000 was raised!

Another $2100 was raised from wine sales at the event. The door charge covered our food and the venue cost. Leaving us with a total for the event of over $10,000 (once the $$$ is finally collected for a few remaining items from the auction). My original $$ count didn't include the outstanding $$$ due for the items. So folks.... not bad, not bad at all.

The number this year were down though in attendance and for that I am a little sad. Because at the event they could have heard Go-Kat-Go! be totally awesome. They could have seen Myriam selling raffle tickets in a pink fairy dress. Then at the pinnacle of the evening they could have seen the best sport in Alain Pinel, Gib Ramirez don the dress to pull raffle tickets.. Yes, I am a a little sad they missed that once in a lifetime event.

But my heart bursts with thanks when I think of Greg and Joyce Kalal being there form Arizona to help Chuck and Stephanie Cihak do our incredible food. Stephanie is a team member and if you can believe it I gave them a budget of $500 and they cam in under budget. People are writing and calling for recipes. A second fundraiser could be selling the recipes from the event. The time, effort and skill that went into producing such a fantastic food feast is hard to comprehend. THANKS!

Carol Johnson did an amazing job on the followers including the impressive beautiful topiary at the bar. I know she wishes she had had more time! And she and Goli at the front table did a wonderful job keeping thins on track. The team were great helping to man the stations and pass appetizers. And our husbands need a shout out for pouring wine and being supportive.

So you can see now why the idea of writing this was intimidating to me. The whole evening was overwhelming. Overwhelming powerful, incredibly successful, because of so many people.

Some people may wonder how you can party around an idea like Breast Cancer. It is after all a depressing thing to think about. But... I know how we do it... and it is VERY VERY well.