This is the time of year for giving thanks, and for giving to others. It seemed like a good time to tell you about some of the charities we are involved with. A dear friend of ours, with whom we collaborate on many charitable events, refers to us as the “Winery that Gives”.We definitely try to do our part and are involved in several charitable organizations. Through our winery we are able to give back to the community, both locally and globally, and in so many different ways. We believe strongly in giving back to the community.
Kevin and I are both musicians, so it seems natural to give to musical charities. We serve as the wine sponsor to two local organizations. The first is MUST, Music in Schools Today, which is an organization that helps to bring music and music education to the classrooms in Bay Area schools, including the Oakland/Alameda districts.
Another is SF Jazz, which, besides putting on a fabulous series of jazz concerts throughout the year, also puts together workshops to bring music and music education to the classroom, particularly jazz studies. With funding for music and the arts dwindling, this is especially important.
We also work to raise money for the Vail Jazz Festival in Vail, CO, whose mission is to perpetuate jazz through live performance and through jazz education with a focus on developing young musicians and young audiences.
We are involved in numerous local charities: Alameda Family Services, Alameda Civic Ballet, Alameda Friends of the Library, the Alameda Education Foundation, Girls, Inc., the Boys and Girls Club of Oakland, Boys and Girls Club of Alameda, and the SF Lighthouse/Meals on Heels program.
One of our most popular fund-raising tools has been auctioning off winemaker dinners at our 1880′s Victorian home in Alameda. This auction item has consistently brought in multiple buyers as the winning bidder will often “challenge” other bidders to match their bid for an evening of their own. The event includes an elegant six-course meal, each course paired with R&B Cellars’ wines (of course), and a live jazz trio to serenade the diners.
At the end of the evening we invite the guests into our living room to enjoy a glass of our R&B Cellars Port wine beside the fireplace while Kevin and I join the trio for a few jazz tunes. Kevin is a jazz pianist and I am a singer.
Through these ventures we have helped raise over $100,000 for these wonderful local charities.
For the upcoming holiday season, we are proud to have just launched a private label fundraising program for San Francisco’s Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy in the Castro District. This will allow the school to raise sorely needed funds for programs that are in danger of being eliminated.
Lastly, a charity that is near and dear to our hearts is Can Do MS (Multiple Sclerosis). We are the national wine sponsor as well as a fund-raising team. This organization helps to empower people living with MS to improve the quality of life, and has positively transformed the lives of thousands of people across the US and Canada. We have raised more than $250,000 over the last 6 years.
We’re the lucky ones! Kevin and I have each other, a fabulous family and wonderful friends, our health, and a really cool winery!!! We feel blessed to be able to give back to the community. For more information on any of these organizations, give us a call. Happy Thanksgiving y’all!