12th Annual Collaborative Fundraiser Launches to Fight Local Hunger

Auction and Wine Reception set for Thursday, December 8, 2022 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, a 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, a raffle and a culminating auction and wine reception.

The Barrel Full of Money campaign has raised over $370,000 since inception in 2011, equating to nearly 2 million 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 Erik Mora, 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, Cayuse Vineyards, Columbia REA, Dunham Cellars, Earl Brown & Sons, Grocery Outlet, Hayden Homes, TMACS, The Thief Fine Wine & Beer, Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, Winery Compliance Services, Winery Fulfillment Services, Blue Mountain Action Council and Walla Walla Valley Wine and its members.

The campaign will officially begin with a special tasting of sparkling wines hosted by The Thief Fine Wine & Beer, alongside a “load the barrel” ceremony to launch the campaign at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 3. Guests can participate in the tasting of six wines for $20, and 50% of proceeds 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 November 1 and December 8.

Local businesses and wineries will assist in fundraising efforts by hosting signage with QR codes for customers to donate to the campaign, as well as select businesses donating a portion of sales and tasting fees. Grocery Outlet will allow customers to round up or add a donation to the fundraiser at check out. Pepper Bridge Winery is donating 5% of all sales between November 7-December 8, and Caprio Cellars is donating 5% of sales from November 7-December 11 to the campaign. In addition, Gifford Hirlinger will once again donate all tasting fees from the year to the campaign.

After two years online, the main event of the campaign, the auction and wine reception, will return to an in-person event this year. Hosted in Dunham Cellars historic WWII airplane hangar,  Walla Walla Valley Wine members and local businesses will donate special wine bottles, products, and other unique experiences to be bid on through a silent auction. A live auction of premium items will be presided over by Dave Mitchell. Dunham Cellars wine will be available, and guests can enjoy heavy appetizers from TMACS. Tickets are available for purchase online at WallaWallaWine.com/Event/BFOM-2022/ for $75.

“We look forward to coming together as a wine community over the next month to support locals in need,” says Liz Knapke, Executive Director of the Walla Walla Valley Wine. “The December auction and wine reception is a great opportunity to rally together as a community and 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. 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 at (509) 529-4980. The raffle drawing will take place live during the December 8 auction at Dunham Cellars, and participants need not be present to win.

Online donations are accepted at  tinyurl.com/bfom-2022. Checks can be mailed to Blue Mountain Action Council at 8 E Cherry Street, 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

  • November 3: Fundraiser officially kicks off with “Bubbles for BMAC” and a “load the barrel” ceremony at The Thief Fine Wine & Beer, 6:00 p.m.
  • November 3 – December 8: Raffle tickets available for purchase by calling the Blue Mountain Action Council (509) 529-4980
  • November 1 – December 8: Barrels and QR codes collecting donations at local wineries and businesses
  • December 8: Auction and wine reception at Dunham Cellars, 6:00-9:00 p.m.

Barrel Full of Money is made possible by:

Alaska Airlines, Cayuse Vineyards, Columbia REA, Dunham Cellars, Earl Brown & Sons, Grocery Outlet, Hayden Homes, The Thief Fine Wine & BeerTMACS,  Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, Winery Compliance Services and Winery Fulfillment Services.



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 Walla Walla Valley Wine

Walla Walla Valley Wine 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. Walla Walla Valley Wine functions as the leading informational resource for consumers, media and trade interested in learning more about the Valley’s wine industry.


Media Contact:

Shelby Gillin
Communications & Marketing Manager, Walla Walla Valley Wine
shelby@wallawallawine.com | (509) 526-3117 office

Back To News