Nonprofit is adding other charities to which it gives

Published in the May 9 – 22, 2018 issue of Morgan Hill Life

Morgan Hill Life file photo
Cherisse White, left, and Ava Serna, display six bottles of wine that were auctioned at a past South Valley Wine Auction.

The South Valley region loves its wine and loves its schools. Two decades ago, locals started the South Valley Wine Auction to find a way to use vino to help student athletes obtain the equipment they need to participate in sports. This year, the gala will be held May 11 at the Morgan Hill Community and Cultural Center.

The South Valley Wine Auction has been mainstay of the Morgan Hill community for 20 years, said Pamala Meador, president of the Morgan Hill Community Foundation, which is organizing the auction.

“It has been a vehicle for raising money for our middle school and high school sports programs, but this year we are changing it up a bit and opening it up to other charities,” she said. “This way we can cast a wider net and bring more funds to a variety of charities in our community. We are hoping the community embraces our efforts and comes out to participate.”

Meador has a passion for Morgan Hill and a love of wine, so when she saw the South Valley Wine Auction event ending, she decided to act and brought the MHCF in to continue the popular fundraiser.

“I see this as being just the beginning of what the Morgan Hill Community Foundation can do for vast and varied philanthropic community,” she said. “Coming from an old local farming family, I would love to see our wine region celebrated.”

The SVWA encourages locals to find a charity they are passionate about and would like to support, said Lori Fox, the SVWA sponsorship chair.

“The SVWA is a fundraiser designed to connect the South Bay community and businesses with the nonprofits that serve our area, helping to raise funds and awareness of the services they provide that help many people,” she said.

The auction is a wonderful way to get to know the Morgan Hill community under one roof and make new friends and acquaintances, she said.

“Our community is growing fast, we have many busy professionals living here but working outside of our area,” Fox said. “We hope to draw more people to experience the South Valley, get to know many of our great businesses and leaders that represent both the nonprofit and for-profit sectors, all while having a great time enjoying regional wines and food.”

Money raised will be put right back into the community, Meador said. The Morgan Hill Community Foundation, which is sponsoring the event, will use their proceeds to support its grants and scholarship efforts. The Wineries of the Santa Clara Valley will use their proceeds to enhance and promote our wine region. The other charities support causes such as children with cancer, the creation of a “Peace Pole Monument” planned for the Morgan Hill City Hall Plaza, rescuing and fostering dogs in our community, underserved children and elderly, the Magical Bridge Foundation and the Inclusive Playground, and the South Valley Civic Theatre.

Guests will enjoy dinner and wine, live music and, of course, a fun-filled auction near the end of the evening where they can bid on high-end vino as well as other items, Meador said.

“We will have a VIP area where you can see our wines evaluated and participate in selecting that night’s People’s Choice Award,” she said. “We have hired Dee Dee Kiesow of BenEvent, an engaging and funny auctioneer.”

Guests will also be able to meet representative of the charities supported by the auction so they can ask question and possibly get involved, she said.


The wine auction is a “one-stop venue” to draw new residents to get to know the Morgan Hill community, meet the wine makers who helped establish the South Valley’s wine industry and enjoy glasses of their vino, Fox said. The guests will enjoy locally-prepared cuisine by some of Morgan Hill’s premiere restaurants and meet leaders who work to serve many of the underfunded local services.

“The auction items are fantastic,” she said. “We have great trips, a week-long stay at a fun beach house in Capitola, a trip to Puerto Vallarta, a stay and golf in Palm Springs, San Jose Sharks, San Francisco and San Jose Giants items and a special dinner with the 49ers, to name just a few items. And, don’t forget some wonderful fine wine!”

Meador encourages everyone to come out to this year’s SVWA and help local nonprofits and sports programs.

“We are looking for people whose hearts are as big and their wallets,” she said. “It will be a great time to experience the fabric of our community, enjoy great food, wonderful wines and make a huge difference to some great organizations.”

Marty Cheek

Marty Cheek

Publisher at Morgan Hill Life
Marty Cheek is the publisher of Morgan Hill Life and Gilroy Life. He is also the co-author with Congressman Jerry McNerney of the book Clean Energy Nation: Freeing America From the Tyranny of Fossil Fuels.
Phone: (408) 782-7575
Marty Cheek