Friday, February 09, 2007

Media Contact: David Perry & Associates, Inc. / David Perry(415) 693-0583,

6th Annual "Wine and Wishes" Gala Raises $650,000 for Make-A-Wish

8 February 2007, San Francisco: Wine and Wishes 2007, an event that benefits the Greater Bay Area Make-A-Wish Foundation ( , far exceeded the event committee’s expectations. Combining contributions from ticket sales, live and silent auctions, corporate sponsorships, and cash donations, the event raised $650,000 to grant wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses. This represents an 8% increase over last year. An additional $290,000 was contributed in in-kind donations. Now in its sixth year, the event sold out months in advance and has developed a reputation for providing a lavish sampling of the Bay Area’s best wineries and restaurants.

"For the third consecutive year I have had the privilege to announce that every dollar raised by this event will go directly to granting wishes," said Patricia Wilson, Executive Director of Make-A-Wish. "We have developed a loyal following of supporters over the past six years, and are extremely grateful to our patrons, corporate sponsors and in-kind contributors who are responsible for the event’s success."

Held this past Saturday, February 3rd on Treasure Island, Wine and Wishes featured a gourmet four-course meal created by four of the Bay Area’s top celebrity chefs, including Bart Hosmer, Parcel 104; Roland Passot, La Folie; Xavier Salomon, Executive Chef and William Werner, Pastry Chef, The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay; and Quentin Topping, Tanglewood. In addition, distinguished chefs from over 25 other restaurants, including Bacar, Farallon, Millennium and One Market, offered a sumptuous array of hors d’oeuvres during the Tasting portion of the event. Thirty-five wineries, including Far Niente, Patz & Hall, Nickel & Nickel Winery, and Saintsbury delighted those in attendance with their signature wines.

Over a third of the revenue from Wine and Wishes came from the silent and live auctions, bringing in $263,000. The top lot this year was a weeklong culinary experience in Tuscany. Two other lots that brought in high revenue were an American Idol experience including tickets to the show’s taping, and a wine country trip planned and hosted by Chef Roland Passot. Next year’s Wine and Wishes will take place on Saturday, February 2, 2008.

About the Greater Bay Area Make-A-Wish Foundation:In 2007, the Greater Bay Area Make-A-Wish Foundation® celebrates 23 years of fulfilling magical wishes for children with life-threatening illnesses. One of the largest chapters nationwide, it has granted over 4,000 wishes in its 17 Northern California counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Marin, Monterey, San Benito, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, Siskiyou, Solano and Sonoma. In August 2005, the Chapter was recognized with a coveted "Best in America Seal of Excellence" award, the first Make-A-Wish Chapter to achieve this distinction for its outstanding management and governance practices. Of the 1,000,000 charities operating in the United States today, it is estimated that fewer than 50,000, or 5 percent, meet or exceed these standards, and, of those, fewer than 2,000 have been awarded this Seal. For more information, please call (800) 464-9474 or visit

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Many children in the world may never reach the age of 20 because they have life-threatening illnesses. These range from sickle cell anemia to leukemia, just to name a few. There are more than 150 organizations worldwide that give these kids a chance to enjoy life by granting their wishes. One organization that stands out as the leader for granting children with life-threatening illnesses their wishes is the Make a Wish
In 2005 the Make a Wish Foundation granted more than 12,500 wishes, with many of wishes trips to Disney's theme parks. The average cost of a single wish is more than six thousand dollars. Of every dollar donated, 79% goes toward granting wishes, which is more than can be said for some well known charities. To qualify for a wish, the child has to be 2-1/2 to 18 years old and be doctor certified with a life-threatening condition. Any race or socio-economic status is accepted.
I just attended the Wine and Wishes 2007 Charity Benefit for the San Francisco Chapter of Make a Wish. This gala included some of the great restaurateurs, and vintners from around Bay Area. Presenting chefs included names like, Nate Appleman of A16, Arnold Eric Wong of bacar, and Mark Franz of Farallon Restaurant. Guests were able to sample food and drinks while they placed bids at the silent auction, which included weekend getaways and cases of top shelf wines, fine pearls, and even a signed Joe Montana football jersey. All the money raised went toward granting wishes to children whose lives might not allow them to live and enjoy life as normal children might.
The wine and food tasting was just one of the events - there was the Wine and Wishes Winemaker Dinner which began after the tasting event. A band of chefs called the Back Burner Blues Band, included Chef Joey Altman, who was once one of's featured chefs. The dinner was a three course meal. The first course was Three Beets, Two Nuts and a Pear (I'm not making this up). The second course was Cedar Planked Scallops with a Deconstructed Clan Chowder, and the third course was Roasted Veal Loin with a Chanterelle and sweetbread Crepinette, Sunchoke Puree, Horseradish Veal Jus. Dessert there was Salad of Citrus Confit, Caramel Ganache and smoked salt. Our wine glasses were never empty from the moment we entered the door.
After dinner was the auction with items up for bid that would rival lifestyles of the rich and famous. (Nothing that I could afford, but it was nice to dream.) One of my favorites was life in the fast lane, where five of your friends would be treated to a fleet of high performance luxury cars (Ferrari, Lamborghini or Maserati) for a weekend as you toured the wine country Italian style. Opening bid $2,000. I didn't stick around long enough to see how the bidding went, but If I had the money, there were a few items I might have bid on. However, I'm a journalist and we don't make that kind of money. Let me rephrase that. Most of us don't make that kind of money. If you are feeling charitable, the Make a Wish foundation is the way to go. Although I am still a big fan of donating to food shelters, since the birth of my three year old I have a soft spot in my heart for the little ones. Reporting from San Francisco's Treasure Island I'm Stanley Roberts of