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8th Annual Collaborative Fundraiser Launches to Fight Local Hunger, Includes Auction and Wine Reception with Live Music

WALLA WALLA, WA – Walla Walla Valley wineries, along with other area businesses and non-profit organizations, announce the launch of a two-month-long fundraising campaign to benefit the Blue Mountain Action Council (BMAC) Food Bank. Donations from the Barrel Full of Money fundraiser are used to purchase bulk food items and perishables for those in need.

The Barrel Full of Money campaign has risen over $127,000 since its inception in 2011, enough to have fed local families around 635,000 meals. The BMAC Food Bank distributes over 870,000 pounds of food through pantries in Walla Walla County every year.

 “The community’s collaboration and generosity are how the Food Bank is able to return $6 in food assistance for every dollar donated,” explains Jeff Mathias, Food Bank Director for Blue Mountain Action Council. “The money raised through Barrel Full of Money significantly contributes to our ability to purchase bulk food items and perishables which help balance out the non-perishables that are donated from a variety of other sources each year.”

 Barrel Full of Money is a collaborative fundraising effort by Alaska Airlines, Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center, Olive Catering, Columbia REA, Baker Boyer Bank, Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, Elkhorn Media Group, Blue Mountain Action Council, and the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance and its members.

 A “load the barrel” ceremony will launch the campaign at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 18 at Olive Marketplace & Café. Guests can participate in a sparkling wine toast and be among the first to drop cash donations in the wine barrel donation vessel. There is no cost to attend, food and beverages from Olive Marketplace & Café will be available for purchase. The wine barrel donation vessel at Olive Marketplace & Café and a second barrel donation vessel placed at Big House Brewpub, will accept donations between October 18 and December 14.

 New this year, the auction and wine reception will take place on a Friday and include live music. Dunham Cellars will graciously donate wine and their historic WWII airplane hangar as venue for the December 14 wine reception and auction. Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance members and local businesses will donate special wine bottles, products, and other unique experiences to be sold through a silent auction. Guests will enjoy heavy appetizers by Olive Catering and live music performed by Debra Aryln & The Goodness. Tickets are available for purchase online at BarrelFullofMoney.Eventbrite.com for $50 pre-sale through November 6 and then will be raised to $60.

 “We’re excited about the changes in place for the auction and wine reception this year,” explains Ashley Mahan, Chief Operating Officer of the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance. “For only $50 guests will be wined, dined, and entertained in the festively decorated Dunham Cellars event space, all while giving back to our locals in need.”

 In addition to the wine barrel donation vessels and the auction, donation canisters will be placed at wineries and businesses throughout the Walla Walla Valley until after the Holiday Barrel Tasting Weekend, December 7 through 9.

 Alaska Airlines is continuing their support with two roundtrip airline tickets to anywhere Alaska flies. Tickets are valid for one year from date of issue, are unrestricted, and do not have blackout dates. The tickets will be given away as the grand prize in a raffle, with the second prize being a one-night stay in a Luxury Tower Suite at The Marcus Whitman Hotel and an $80 dining voucher at The Marc Restaurant. Only 500 raffle tickets are printed, they sell at $10 each and are available for purchase from Barrel Full of Money steering committee members or by calling the Blue Mountain Action Council (509-529-4980). The raffle drawing will take place during the December 14 auction at Dunham Cellars, and participants must not be present to win.

 Online donations are accepted at BarrelFullofMoney.Eventbrite.com or bmacww.org. Checks can be mailed to Blue Mountain Action Council at 1520 Kelly Place, Suite 140, Walla Walla, WA 99362. Checks should be made out to BMAC with “Barrel Full of Money” in the memo line.

 Barrel Full of Money Events

October 1 - November 6: Tickets for the Auction & Wine Reception are on pre-sale $50 (ticket prices rise to $60 on November 7)
October 18: Fundraiser officially kicks off with “load the barrel” ceremony at Olive Marketplace & Café, 5:00 p.m.
October 18 - December 14: Raffle tickets available for purchase by calling the Blue Mountain Action Council (509-529-4980)
October 18 - December 14: Canisters collecting donations at local wineries and businesses
December 14: Auction and wine reception at Dunham Cellars, 6:00-9:00 p.m.
December 20: Check presentation at Baker Boyer Bank, 4:30 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 nonprofit wine industry membership organization whose primary mission is to build an internationally acclaimed Walla Walla Valley wine brand among consumers, media, and trade by providing marketing programs on behalf of member wineries, vineyards, and partners. 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 Mahan
Chief Operating Officer, Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance
ashley@wallawallawine.com | (509) 526-3117 office