The American Riviera Wine Auction was an incredible affair! On February 11, 2012 the Santa Barbara Vintners’ Foundation (SBVF) hosted their 7th American Riviera Wine Auction (ARWA) to benefit Direct Relief International. The event was themed “Casino Royale”—a classic Monte Carlo-style, black-tie evening with a touch of 007 glamour and adventure. This exclusive event, held at the famous Coral Casino, part of the Biltmore Four Seasons in Montecito, California, featured live and silent auctions brimming with money-can’t buy lifestyle experiences, as well as Santa Barbara County’s most celebrated vintners and their private reserve wine tastings, a guest chef, and surprise celebrity appearances. By donating 100% of the night’s proceeds, these important benefit auctions have now raised more than $2 million. With the help of generous auction donors, bidders and event attendees the SBVF donated over $500,000 – making the 2012 ARWA the most successful wine auction yet.
In 2010, Direct Relief and the SBVF asked attendees to Stand Up and Be Counted for US Programs, raising $23,500 to strengthen and support Direct Relief USA by providing Santa Barbara and Ventura County Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) volunteers with ruggedized, specially designed backpacks filled with medical supplies to help address community health needs in an emergency. Those packs enable MRC members – trained, credentialed, medical personnel – to respond when disaster strikes. This year in 2012, we carried on the tradition and invited event attendees to Stand Up and Be Counted by raising their paddles to Join the Fight Against Childhood Pneumonia. Childhood pneumonia is the leading cause of death in children under age five, killing more kids than AIDS, malaria, and measles combined; taking the life of one child every 20 seconds. This year in 2012, event guests ‘stood up’ and raised $122,000 enabling Direct Relief to fulfill its commitment to helping 50,000 children with pneumonia receive the care they need. By working with healthcare providers in 10 countries, Direct Relief will support the fight against childhood pneumonia in the most vulnerable communities around the world.
Direct Relief is truly honored by the generosity of the Santa Barbara Vintners’ Foundation, the Santa Barbara vintners and wineries, and all the guests and friends who turned out in support Direct Relief’s efforts to provide life-changing medical aid to communities across the U.S. and the world. The partnership between Direct Relief and the Santa Barbara Vintners’ Foundation over the past twelve years has resulted in thousands of people receiving critical medicines and supplies that they would not otherwise receive, and this year is no exception.
Another big thank you to everyone who had a hand in making this night such an memorable event.