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Local Food Bank Receives $34,500 from Walla Walla Valley Wineries, Businesses

Photo: Members from the Barrel Full of Money steering committee present a check to Blue Mountain Action Council on December 14, 2017. From left to right: Kari Palmer, Scott Peters, Philippe Michel, Jeff Mathais, Kylie Sheckler, Tracy Parmer, Cindy Widmer, Sierra Buchell, Ashley Riggs. 

WALLA WALLA, WA (Dec. 15, 2017) – The Barrel Full of Money fundraiser broke its own record again this holiday season, as more than 60 Walla Walla Valley wineries, area businesses and non-profit organizations teamed up to raise a monumental amount of money for the Blue Mountain Action Council (BMAC) Food Bank.

Barrel Full of Money is a joint effort by Alaska Airlines, Baker Boyer Bank, Blue Mountain Action Council, Columbia REA, Elkhorn Media Group, the Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center, Olive Marketplace & Café, Seguin Moreau Cooperage, the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, and the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance and its members to raise money that will be used to buy food for those in need. During a check presentation at Baker Boyer Bank in downtown Walla Walla on Thursday, December 14, the steering committee presented a check to BMAC for $34,500.14.

“The Barrel Full of Money fundraising campaign reached new heights this year, the 28% increase from last year is remarkable,” said BMAC Food Bank Director Jeff Mathias. “The money raised in this effort will provide over 191,600 meals for our neighbors in need.” 
 
The BMAC Food Bank distributes over 928,000 pounds of food through pantries in Walla Walla County every year. Since its inception in 2011, the Barrel Full of Money campaign has raised more than $127,000 in cash for the local food bank, all of which has been used to purchase bulk food items and perishables.

Components of the annual two-month long fundraising campaign included a raffle with a grand prize of two unrestricted roundtrip tickets by Alaska Airlines; donation canisters at local wineries; full-sized wine barrels – used as donation vessels – at local restaurants; Seguin Moreau Cooperage donations from every wine barrel sold to Walla Walla Valley wineries; a wine reception and auction at Corliss Estate; and cash donations from local businesses and residents. 

“Barrel Full of Money was designed for the community to band together to assist those in need,” said Ashley Riggs, Chief Operating Officer of the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance. “I’m delighted to see more businesses join the effort each year and I look forward to the continued collaboration and success of Barrel Full of Money for years to come.”

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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. 

About the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance
The Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance is a non-profit wine industry membership organization whose primary mission is the marketing of the Walla Walla Valley’s American Viticultural 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 CONTACT:
Ashley Riggs
Chief Operating Officer, Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance
ashley@wallawallawine.com | (509) 526-3117 office