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California State Society Wine Auction Raises $268,000 for North Bay Fire Relief Fund

by Press Release
December 18, 2017

Dec. 15, 2017

Washington D.C. – On Thursday, Dec. 7, the California State Society, in conjunction with Congressman Mike Thompson (CA-05), Wine Institute and WineAmerica, hosted a wine auction fundraiser in Washington, D.C. to support Redwood Credit Union Community Fund’s North Bay Fire Relief Fund. Congressman Thompson, who represents the communities hit hardest by the Northern California fires, emceed the evening’s program.

“The ex-pat community of Californians in DC is a large family dedicated to promoting the wonder, vibrancy and camaraderie of our state,” said Dave Ramey, volunteer Co-President of the California State Society. “When one part of our state is hurting, then we all hurt, and try to do something to help. The California State Society was happy to host and convene this successful charity wine auction. We thank all who so generously participated.” The North Bay Fires of October 2017 took the lives of 44 people, burned more than 245,000 acres, forcing 90,000 people to evacuate from their homes, and destroyed 8,900 homes and buildings.

“I am so grateful to everyone who helped make this event such a success: the California State Society, the wine community, sponsors, donors and so many of my Congressional colleagues,” said Congressman Thompson. “Thanks to everyone’s efforts, we were able to raise an astounding $268,000 to help the communities hit by these devastating fires. That money will help those who’ve just lost everything to begin rebuilding their lives.”

The Redwood Credit Union Community Fund’s North Bay Fire Relief Fund supports the immediate needs of people and businesses in the four affected counties (Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino and Lake) who were impacted by the North Bay fires. More information on the fund can be found here.

“We are so grateful for the generosity and leadership of Rep. Mike Thompson and all the vintners, Members of Congress and friends who made this wonderful event an amazing success,” said Bobby Koch, President and CEO of Wine Institute. “The community spirit that was ever present this evening is what makes our Nation strong and we thank everyone for their support.”

“This was a great event for a great cause,” said Jim Trezise, President of WineAmerica, “and a perfect example of how the American wine industry unites to support our own. We were privileged to work with our colleagues at Wine Institute as well as the California State Society and key members of the California Congressional delegation. Bravo!”

The wine auction’s Honorary Host Committee included 14 bipartisan Members of Congress, including Congressman Mike Thompson, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Sponsors included Jackson Family Wines, Google, PG&E Corporation, Amazon, Apple, American Academy of Dermatology, California Credit Union League, Edison Electric Institute, IBEW Local 1245, and Pandora. And the live auction was led by Steve Zacharia of Zachys Auction House.

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