Greater Bay Area Make-A-Wish Foundation Raises over $ 570,000 to Grant Wishes to Local Children.

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Greater Bay Area Make-A-Wish Foundation Raises over $ 570,000 to Grant Wishes to Local Children. Next Year's Croquet Invitational at Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards to be held May 19, 2007

The 2006 Croquet Invitational and Charity Auction, a benefit for the Greater Bay Area Make-A-Wish Foundation® ( brought together 1,100 people to experience Wine Country’s best food, wine and croquet at Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards in Windsor for children with life-threatening illnesses. The day generated over $570,000 in cash contributions and the Foundation estimates it will top $600,000 in cash contributions with additional contributions expected post event. Over $280,000 via in-kind donations of products and services were donated to help offset the cost of producing the event from a variety of Wine Country and Bay Area businesses. The popular event is one of the largest fundraising events for the chapter.

Held Saturday, May 20, The Croquet Invitational was hosted by Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards and organized by Make-A-Wish and its outstanding community volunteers. This year’s auction committee was co-chaired by Sandra & Scott Ormerod of Santa Rosa and Jay & Don Emmons of San Francisco. The festivities began Friday evening with an elegant dinner to celebrate the event’s corporate sponsors, including the Bay Area Mercedes-Benz Dealers, Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards, CNA, and Weil, Gotshal & Manges, LLP. In its usual tradition, Sonoma-Cutrer hosted the invitation-only dinner and featured its finest wines.

The event included a new “Savory” and “Sweet” Tasting featuring the finest culinary treasures in Wine Country. It also debuted a new “mini-live” auction and an additional silent auction. However, the most popular new feature was the “Dueling Vintners” pitting Napa vs. Sonoma winemakers. John Holdredge of Holdredge Vineyards in Healdsburg was defeated by Andrew Delos of Nickel & Nickel in Oakville during the exhibition croquet match. Both winemakers agreed, however, that there were no losers on Saturday. Clearly the big winner in the day’s festivities was Make-A-Wish and the children it serves.

The auction portion of the event once again brought together a wide array of donors who donated extraordinary lots. Highlights of the auction included: Woodstock Statue inspired by a local wish child, sold for $10,000; South African Safari sold for $14,000; Telluride Luxury Villa sold for $8,000; Scottish Castle sold for $10,000. While travel and vacations dominated the auction, wine lots also earned plenty of bidding excitement with rare and collectible wines.

“The community has really come together to support this event,” said Patricia Wilson, Executive Director of the Greater Bay Area Make-A-Wish Foundation. “I can promise you we will put these funds to immediate and magical use for our wish families. We are on track to fulfill a record number of wishes this year and these funds mean that a lot more children will receive their wishes!” Wilson added, “We are so pleased the weather cooperated, not a drop of rain fell Saturday – something Mark Danon, Chief Meteorologist at KRON-TV likes to take credit for, but I think it was Make-A-Wish magic! My heart goes out to everyone who attended and supported the Croquet Invitational. I am so pleased that the new Tasting and auction elements were a big hit with our donors. We are already looking forward to next year!”

Next year’s event will be held on Saturday, May 19, 2007.

About the Greater Bay Area Make-A-Wish Foundation

In 2006, the Greater Bay Area Make-A-Wish Foundation® celebrates 22 years of fulfilling magical wishes for children with life-threatening illnesses. One of the largest chapters nationwide, it has granted 4,000 wishes in its 17 Northern California counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Marin, Monterey, San Benito, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, Siskiyou, Solano and Sonoma. In August 2005, the Chapter was recognized with a coveted “Best in America Seal of Excellence” award, the first Make-A-Wish Chapter to achieve this distinction for its outstanding management and governance practices. Of the 1,000,000 charities operating in the United States today, it is estimated that fewer than 50,000, or 5 percent, meet or exceed these standards, and, of those, fewer than 2,000 have been awarded this Seal. For more information, please call (800) 464-9474 or visit

Auction photos will be available on the website -- -- in the coming days.


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