Third Annual Silicon Valley Wine Auction Raises $1 Million for Education

The Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Education Foundation’s third annual Silicon Valley Wine Auction on May 20 & 21 raised over $1,000,000 and drew more than 1,000 guests to Runnymede Farm in Woodside, California. Proceeds benefited the Silicon Valley Education Foundation’s Elevate [Math] and STEM Leadership Institute programs.

The weekend-long event featured 50 local vintners from the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association pouring more than 150 ultra-premium wines. During the 300-guest dinner on Saturday, celebrated wine auctioneer Fritz Hatton, led a spirited live auction, raising thousands for STEM education programs. Notable live auction lots included a dinner for 10 at Mount Eden Vineyards with Chef Jim Stump, private jet for 10 to Los Angeles for a tour of SpaceX and lunch at Nubo, trip of a lifetime with great white sharks and large animal diving with famed photographer Manuel Lazcano, Diventure.

A highlight of the evening was the appearance of former SVEF Elevate [Math] student Katalina Huerta, who told of her failing math grades in elementary school that turned around after she took the Elevate [Math] summer program. Elevate [Math] paved the way for Katalina, now 18, to get into college and pursue her dream of becoming a nurse. She now attends San Jose State University

The Taste of the Mountains Grand Wine Tasting on Sunday featured premium wines from more than 50 Santa Cruz Mountains winemakers and a silent auction with over 100 wine lots. Guests were invited to visit the farm’s sculptures on a docent-curated art tour. The day drew more than 600 attendees.

“Funding from the Silicon Valley Wine Auction helps socio-economic challenged students in the Elevate Math program stay on track academically, cultivate college-bound mindsets and develop positive attitudes toward learning,” said Dave House, Chair of the wine auction.

“We are so pleased with the tremendous success of this 3rd annual event – which continues to demonstrate phenomenal fundraising growth each year – and we’re very grateful to our Silicon Valley Wine Auction partners for their terrific support,” said Muhammed Chaudhry, President and CEO of SVEF. “It was an amazing celebration of great wine and food for a wonderful cause – supporting STEM education programs across Silicon Valley and preparing students for the future.”

“The Silicon Valley Wine Auction showcases the wines of the Santa Cruz Mountains and the high-quality winemaking taking place place in Silicon Valley – while funding education and supporting our local community,” said Mark Vernon, president of the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Education Foundation. “We are proud to contribute and fund our future.”

Top donors included: Brocade, House Family Vineyards, DJM Capital Partners, D. John Miller Family Charitable Foundation, PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers), Intel, Joe Escobar Diamonds, Ferris Capital, Krause Foundation, Eden Valley Vineyards, Kings Mountain Vineyards, First Tech Federal Credit Union, Brenner Financial, Kahng Foundation, ID345, The Core Companies, Judy and Mike Bruner, and Patty Hatter.