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Walla Walla Valley wineries, businesses to raise money for food bank during annual fundraiser

WALLA WALLA, WA –Walla Walla Valley wineries, along with other area businesses and non-profit organizations, are teaming up this holiday season to raise money for Blue Mountain Action Council’s (BMAC) Walla Walla Food Bank. Barrel Full of Money is a joint fundraising effort by Alaska Airlines, Baker Boyer Bank, Columbia REA, the Downtown Walla Walla Foundation and its’ members, the Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center, Olive Marketplace & Café, Capps Broadcast Group, and the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance and its’ members.

The BMAC Food Bank distributes an estimated 500,000 pounds of food through pantries in Walla Walla County every year. Donations from the Barrel Full of Money fundraiser will be used to purchase bulk food items and perishables.

“All donations raised through the Barrel Full of Money fundraiser will be put to excellent use, to nourish those in need in our community,” said Jeff Mathias, Food Bank Director for the Blue Mountain Action Council. “The cost of food and basic essentials continues to rise, making efforts like this crucial to our success.”

The Barrel Full of Money campaign has raised $41,900 in cash since its inception in 2011, and organizers hope to raise more than $20,000 this year. 

New to the fundraiser this year is an auction and wine reception on Thursday, December 10. Wine Alliance members and partners will donate large format bottles and other special experiences to be sold through a live and silent auction, with all proceeds going to the food bank. Corliss Estates will serve as host and provide wine for the evening, and Olive Marketplace and Café will provide heavy appetizers. Tickets are available for purchase online at wallawallawine.com/barrelfullofmoney for $50.

In addition to the auction, donation canisters will be placed at wineries and other locations throughout the Walla Walla Valley through mid-December. Two full-sized wine barrels – used as donation vessels – will be located at Olive Marketplace & Café and another mobile location.  

Another major commitment to this year’s campaign is a donation by Alaska Airlines of two roundtrip airline tickets to anywhere Alaska flies.  These airline tickets, with a value of $2,500, are useable for one year from date of issue, are unrestricted and have no blackout dates.  The tickets will be given away as the grand prize in a raffle, with the second prize being a one-night stay at Walla Walla’s Marcus Whitman Hotel and dinner for two at The Marc Restaurant.  The raffle drawing will take place on December 17 at the conclusion of the fundraising campaign. Raffle tickets will be sold for $10 each and will be available for purchase at Olive Marketplace & Café and throughout the campaign by calling the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance (509-526-3117) until 5:00 p.m. on Monday, December 14.

“The Barrel Full of Money fundraiser is a great example how this community pulls together to assist those in need,” said Duane Wollmuth, Executive Director of the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance.

The fundraising campaign will officially kick off on Tuesday, October 13 at Olive Marketplace & Café with a “load the barrel with money” ceremony at 5:30 p.m.

Barrel Full of Money Events
October 13: Fundraiser officially kicks off with “load the money” ceremony at Olive Marketplace & Café, 5:30 p.m.
October 13-December 14: Donation canisters at local wineries and businesses
October 13-December 14: Raffle tickets available for purchase at Olive Marketplace & Café or by calling the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance (509-526-3117)
December 10: Auction and wine reception at Corliss Estates, 6:00-9:00 p.m.
December 17: Raffle drawing and check presentation at Baker Boyer Bank, 4:00 p.m.

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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 www.bmacww.org or by calling 509-529-4980. 

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About the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance
The Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance is a non-profit wine industry membership organization whose mission is the marketing of the Walla Walla Valley’s American Viticulture 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.

Media Contacts:
Duane Wollmuth 
Executive Director, Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance 
duane@wallawallawine.com | (509) 526-3117 office

Heather Bradshaw
Communications & Marketing Manager, Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance heather@wallawallawine.com | (509) 526-3117 office