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Walla Walla Valley Wineries Raise Money for Food Bank

Over 50 Walla Walla Valley wineries, along with other area businesses and non-profit organizations teamed up this holiday season to raise thousands of dollars for the Blue Mountain Action Council’s (BMAC) Walla Walla Food Bank. Donations are being totaled, and a final check will be presented to BMAC during a presentation in the lobby of Baker Boyer Bank in downtown Walla Walla on Thursday, December 19 at 3:00 p.m.

In just its third year of existence, the Barrel Full of Money campaign is already one of the Food Bank’s most successful fundraisers. In its’ first year in 2011, just over $2,000 was raised and in 2012, $13,500 was brought in to help the Food Bank shore up its food supplies.

All donations from the Barrel Full of Money are used strictly for bulk food items and perishables, according to Kathy Covey, Community Services Director for BMAC. “As everyone knows, the cost of basic essentials, such as food, has risen significantly in recent years,” she said, “the Barrel Full of Money campaign is an ideal way for the community to help those less fortunate.”

Alaska Airlines, Baker Boyer Bank, , Columbia REA, the Downtown Walla Walla Foundation and its’ members, the Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center, Oak Tradition, Olive Marketplace & Café, MyColumbiaBasin.com, and the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance and its’ members all joined together to raise money for the campaign this year.

In addition to sponsorship cash contributions by the steering committee members, two large barrel manufacturers – Tonnellerie Radoux and Tonnellerie Millet – pledged $5 for every wine barrel sold to Walla Walla Valley wineries, and donation canisters were placed in wineries and businesses all over the Valley. Olive Marketplace & Café hosted a full-size wine barrel as a collection vessel, along with a silent auction featuring donated bottles from five Walla Walla wineries.

Alaska Airlines donated two unrestricted roundtrip airline tickets to be given away as the grand prize in a raffle drawing. Second prize in the raffle is a one-night stay at Walla Walla’s Marcus Whitman Hotel and dinner for two at the Marc Restaurant. Tickets sold for $10 each, and the raffle drawing will take place on December 19.

“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. “We’re looking forward to growing this campaign even more in the years to come.”