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Walla Walla Valley Wineries, Businesses Kick-Off Collaboration on Annual Fundraiser to Fight Local Hunger

Wine reception and auction set for Thursday, December 7, 2017 at Corliss Estates
by Press Release
October 20, 2017

WALLA WALLA, WA – Walla Walla Valley wineries, along with other area businesses and non-profit organizations, are partnering this holiday season to raise money for the Blue Mountain Action Council (BMAC) Food Bank. Donations from the Barrel Full of Money fundraiser will be used to purchase bulk food items and perishables for those in need.

The Barrel Full of Money campaign has risen nearly $93,000 in cash since its inception in 2011, enough to have fed local families around 470,000 meals. The BMAC Food Bank distributes over 870,000 pounds of food through pantries in Walla Walla County every year.

“The Food Bank relies largely on a system of connections and partnerships throughout the entire community,” explains Jeff Mathias, Food Bank Director for Blue Mountain Action Council. “For every dollar donated BMAC returns $6 in food assistance to our community. The money raised through Barrel Full of Money significantly contributes to our success in purchasing bulk food items and perishables to nourish locals in need.”

Barrel Full of Money is a collaborative fundraising effort by Alaska Airlines, Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center, Olive Marketplace & Café, Columbia REA, Baker Boyer Bank, Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, Elkhorn Media Group, Seguin Moreau Cooperage, Blue Mountain Action Council, and the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance and its members.

A “load the barrel” ceremony will launch the campaign at 5:00 p.m. on October 25 at Olive Marketplace & Café. Guests can participate in a sparkling wine toast and help load the barrel with money. A second wine barrel donation vessel will be moved between various local businesses until mid-December.

An auction and wine reception will take place on Thursday, December 7, 2017 at Corliss Estates. Wine Alliance members and partners will donate special wine bottles and other unique experiences to be sold through a silent auction. Corliss Estates will provide wine for the evening, and Olive Catering will provide heavy appetizers. Tickets are available for purchase online at for $50.

In addition to the wine barrel donation vessels and the auction, donation canisters will be placed at wineries throughout the Walla Walla Valley until early December.

Alaska Airlines is continuing their support with two roundtrip airline tickets to anywhere Alaska flies, with a value of $2,500. Tickets are valid for one year from date of issue, are unrestricted, and do not have blackout dates. The tickets will be given away as the grand prize in a raffle, with the second prize being a one-night stay in a Luxury Tower Suite at The Marcus Whitman Hotel and a dining voucher of $80 at The Marc Restaurant. Only 500 raffle tickets are printed, they sell at $10 each and are available for purchase from Barrel Full of Money steering committee members or by calling the Blue Mountain Action Council (509-529-4980). The raffle drawing will take place during the December 7 auction at Corliss.

Online donations are accepted at Checks can be mailed to Blue Mountain Action Council at 1520 Kelly Place, Suite 140, Walla Walla, WA 99362. Checks should be made out to BMAC with “Barrel Full of Money” in the memo line.

“Barrel Full of Money is an impressive demonstration of how well this community pulls together to assist those in need,” said Heather Unwin, Executive Director of the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance. “This campaign provides a wide range of participation opportunities, whether you’re emptying loose change into a wine barrel or bidding on a trip during the silent auction.”

Barrel Full of Money Events
October 25: Fundraiser officially kicks off with “load the money” ceremony at Olive Marketplace & Café, 5:00 p.m.
October 25 - December 7: Raffle tickets available for purchase by calling the Blue Mountain Action Council (509-529-4980)
November 1 - December 7: Donation canisters at local wineries and businesses
December 7: Auction and wine reception at Corliss Estates, 6:00-9:00 p.m.
December 14: Check presentation at Baker Boyer Bank, 4:30 p.m.

About the Blue Mountain Action Council

The Blue Mountain Action Council is a community action partnership agency providing a wide array of services to help people meet their basic essential needs. The BMAC food bank is the regional distribution center for the five local food pantries in Walla Walla County as well as the pantries in Columbia, Asotin and Garfield Counties. More information about the BMAC and its programs is available at or by calling 509-529-4980.

About the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance

The Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance is a non-profit wine industry membership organization whose primary mission is the marketing of the Walla Walla Valley’s American Viticultural Area (AVA). The Wine Alliance functions as the leading informational resource for consumers, media and trade interested in learning more about the Valley’s wine industry.

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