Walla Walla Valley Wineries, Businesses Collaborate on Annual Fundraiser for Walla Walla Food Bank

Walla Walla Valley Wineries, Businesses Collaborate on Annual Fundraiser for Walla Walla Food Bank
WALLA WALLA, WA — Walla Walla Valley wineries, along with other area businesses and non-profit organizations, are partnering this holiday season to raise money for the Blue Mountain Action Council (BMAC) Walla Walla Food Bank. Donations from the Barrel Full of Money fundraiser will be used to purchase bulk food items and perishables for those in need.
The Barrel Full of Money campaign has risen over $65,800 in cash since its inception in 2011, and organizers hope to top last year’s record-breaking total of over $23,000. The BMAC Food Bank distributes an estimated 870,000 pounds of food through pantries in Walla Walla County every year.
Barrel Full of Money is a collaborative fundraising effort by Alaska Airlines, Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center, Olive Marketplace & Café, Columbia REA, Baker Boyer Bank, Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, Capps Broadcast Group, Blue Mountain Action Council, and the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance and its members.
“The money raised through Barrel Full of Money significantly contributes to our success in nourishing those in need in our community,” said Jeff Mathias, Food Bank Director for Blue Mountain Action Council. “With this money, we can purchase bulk food items and perishables which help balance out the non-perishables that are donated from a variety of other sources each year.”
A “load the barrel” ceremony will launch the campaign at 4:30 p.m. on October 6 at Olive Marketplace & Café. This ceremony will honor Duane Wollmuth, the late Executive Director of the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance, as this campaign was near and dear to his heart. Guests can participate in a sparkling wine toast while witnessing a full-sized wine barrel turned donation vessel roll into the café and then help load the barrel with money. A second wine barrel donation vessel will be placed at The Maple Counter Café and then it will travel to various local businesses until mid-December.
In 2015, an auction and wine reception was added to the fundraising campaign and resulted in a 52-percent increase in monies raised from the previous year. The 2016 auction and wine reception will take place on Thursday, December 8 at Corliss Estates. Wine Alliance members and partners will donate large format wine bottles and other special experiences to be sold through a silent auction. Corliss Estates will provide wine for the evening, and Olive Catering will provide heavy appetizers. Tickets are available for purchase online at wallawallawine.com/barrelfullofmoney for $50.
In addition to the wine barrel donation vessels and the auction, donation canisters will be placed at wineries throughout the Walla Walla Valley until mid-December.
Another major commitment to this campaign is a donation by Alaska Airlines of two roundtrip airline tickets to anywhere Alaska flies. These airline tickets, with a value of $2,500, are useable for one year from date of issue, are unrestricted and have no 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 a dining voucher of $80 at The Marc Restaurant. The raffle drawing will take place on December 15 at the conclusion of the fundraising campaign. Raffle tickets will be sold for $10 each and will be available for purchase at Olive Marketplace & Café and by calling the Blue Mountain Action Council (509-529-4980) until 5:00 p.m. on Monday, December 12.
“Barrel Full of Money is an impressive testament of how well this community rallies together to assist those in need,” said Ashley Riggs, Communications and Marketing Manager of the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance. “This campaign provides a wide range of participation opportunities, whether you’re emptying loose change into a wine barrel or bidding on a trip during the silent auction.”

Barrel Full of Money Events

October 6: Fundraiser officially kicks off with “load the money” ceremony at Olive Marketplace & Café, 4:30 p.m.
October 6-December 9: Donation canisters at local wineries and businesses
October 6-December 9: Raffle tickets available for purchase at Olive Marketplace & Café or by calling the Blue Mountain Action Council (509-529-4980)
December 8: Auction and wine reception at Corliss Estates, 6:00-9:00 p.m.
December 15: Raffle drawing and check presentation at Baker Boyer Bank, 4:30 p.m.
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
Communications & Marketing Manager, Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance
ashley@wallawallawine.com | (509) 526-3117 office
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