Lake County Wine Alliance Plans County’s Biggest Annual Fundraiser

The Lake County Wine Alliance has begun planning for the 2022 Wine Auction, which will take place on Sept. 17 at The Mercantile by Shannon Family of Wines in Kelseyville. At the Wine Alliance’s April meeting, Beth Havrilla, Director and Committee Chair, and Vice President Marie Beery are leading the debate on the format, layout, and execution of the major event.

The Wine Auction is the greatest annual fundraising event in Lake County, earning more money for local charities than any other local charitable organization. The Wine Alliance donated $31,202 to various causes in the inaugural year of the Wine Auction.

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Twenty-one years later, in 2021, the Lake County Wine Auction raised $250,000 for education and community needs, with one-third of the funds going to Lake County High Schools and the rest to community needs. The Lake County Wine Alliance has given out a total of $2,327,752 in grants to 57 local groups since its beginnings.

“This year, we’ll keep raising the bar to enrich the lives of the people in our communities,” Havrilla added. “Our goal is to put on an event that is fun to attend, exceeds fundraising goals, and continues the Wine Alliance’s community ‘giving’ model that began more than 20 years ago.”

This year’s auctioneer will be Lake County Sheriff Brian Martin; the emcee will be Jennifer Strong, a local businesswoman, and community volunteer; and Congressman Mike Thompson will be a special guest. “We’d want to thank and recognize Shaun Hornby for his many years of dedication to the Wine Alliance,” Beery added. “As the auctioneer for the Lake County Wine Auction for the past 13 years, he has done a fantastic job.”

The Lake County Wine Alliance, a nonprofit cooperative that serves as the charitable arm of the Lake County wine industry, organizes the yearly event. It is made up of wineries, grape growers, vineyard owners, connected businesses, and community supporters from Lake County. A six-member volunteer board of directors and other volunteer committee members oversee the organization’s operations.

With targeted giving in the areas of education, art, health, and community services, the goal is to assist nonprofit organizations and other local activities in order to guarantee Lake County’s future. Local organizations and charities have until May 1 to apply to the Lake County Wine Alliance to be considered as a beneficiary of the Lake County Wine Auction in 2022.

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