The three-day V Foundation Wine Celebration, a cancer research fundraiser now in its 21st year, culminated Aug. 4 following a series of events at venues including Far Niente winery, Gargiulo Vineyards, Domaine Chandon and The Estate Yountville.
The "v" should stand for "victory" as participants proudly announced they’d raised $7 million by Sunday for the V Foundation for Cancer Research. “A big thank you to everyone who opened their hearts and wallets for our cause!” the group posted on Facebook.
Begun by legendary college basketball coach, Jim Volvano, who died of cancer in 1993, the V Foundation strives to raise money for scientific research toward a cure and one day declaring victory over cancer.
In addition to fabulous food, wine, music and mingling, a highlight of the weekend was the Auction Gala at Nickel & Nickel Winery, the gracious host for more than a decade.
More than 600 philanthropy minded folks attended the event, including luminaries such as former NBA Champion David Robinson and WWE superstars Nikki and Brie Bella. The emcee was none other than Volvano’s friend and biggest rival during his college basketball coaching days, Mike “Coach K” Krzyzewski who has provided support for the benefit for the past 12 years.
Special guest chef Emeril Lagasse lent his culinary genius to the gala, providing samples from menus from his 13 restaurants in cities such as Las Vegas, New Orleans and Charlotte, N.C.. Musical headliner, The Struts regaled attendees with their glam rock-and-roll hits.
The V Foundation Wine Celebration never ceases to amaze with its fundraising prowess. The celebration has raised more than $108 million over the years to support research in the fight against cancer.
Beloved attendees at this year’s event included founder and co-chair Julie Maples, the daughter of former ESPN Executive Vice President Jim Allegro.
San Francisco magazine’s Market President and Publisher Walter Kupiec also attended. Kupiec said the most memorable moment for him was meeting Maples and learning one of her father’s proudest achievements was his involvement with the V Foundation for Cancer Research.
Maples told Kupiec that while the gala is a cherished event, the foundation benefits many who cannot necessarily attend the event itself, and that there are many opportunities in addition to the gala to contribute to the ongoing work of cancer research. To help out, go to v.org.