9th Annual Collaborative Fundraiser Launches to Fight Local Hunger

Auction and Wine Reception set for Thursday, December 12, 2019 at Dunham Cellars   

WALLA WALLA, WA – Walla Walla Valley wineries, along with other area businesses and nonprofit organizations, announced the annual launch of Barrel Full of Money, their two-month-long fundraising campaign to benefit the Blue Mountain Action Council (BMAC) Food Bank. The Barrel Full of Money program raises funds that are used to purchase bulk food items and perishables for those in need through a kick-off event, donation barrels and canisters, a raffle and culminates with an auction and wine reception.

The Barrel Full of Money campaign has raised over $164,000 since inception in 2011, equating to 820,000 meals for local families. 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, TMACS, Columbia REA, Baker Boyer Bank, Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, Elkhorn Media Group, The Thief Fine Wine & Beer, Blue Mountain Action Council and the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance and its members.

The campaign will officially begin with a special tasting hosted by The Thief Fine Wine & Beer, “Bubbles for BMAC,” alongside a “load the barrel” ceremony to launch the campaign at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 10. Guests can participate in a sparkling wine tasting for $15, which will be donated to the fundraising campaign.  Attendees can also be among the first to drop cash donations in the wine barrel donation vessel. Around town, smaller barrels will also serve as donation vessels and will be placed at other local businesses between October 10 and December 12.

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 6-8).

The main event of the campaign, the auction and wine reception, will return to a Thursday evening in 2019 and feature live music from Rogue Lobster. Hosted in Dunham Cellars historic WWII airplane hangar,  Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance members and local businesses will donate special wine bottles, products, and other unique experiences to be bid on through a silent auction. Dunham Cellars wine will be available and guests can enjoy heavy appetizers from TMACS. Tickets are available for purchase online at BarrelFullofMoney.Eventbrite.com for $60.

“We look forward to rallying together as a wine community over the next two months to support locals in need,” explains Robert Hansen, Executive Director of the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance. “The December auction and wine reception is a great opportunity to bid on special wines, unique experiences and much more. Whether you are looking to find a gift for a loved one or a treat for yourself, there is no better place to do it, all while giving back.”

Additionally, Alaska Airlines is continuing their support of this fundraiser 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 of the 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 for $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 live during the December 12 auction at Dunham Cellars, and participants need 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 10: Fundraiser officially kicks off with “Bubbles for BMAC” and a “load the barrel” ceremony at The Thief Fine Wine & Beer, 5:00 p.m.
October 10 – December 12: Raffle tickets available for purchase by calling the Blue Mountain Action Council (509) 529-4980
October 10 – December 8: Barrels and canisters collecting donations at local wineries and businesses
December 12: Auction and wine reception at Dunham Cellars, 6:00-9:00 p.m.


Barrel Full of Money is made possible by:

Baker Boyer Bank, Dunham Cellars, Elkhorn Media Group, The Thief Fine Wine & Beer, TMACS, Columbia REA, Hayden Homes, Rogue Lobster, Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, Alaska Airlines, The Maple Counter Cafe, Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center, Seguin Moreau and Valdemar Estates.


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 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:

Shelby Pryor
Marketing Assistant, Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance
[email protected] | (509) 526-3117 office

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