Vice President and Managing Director // The V Foundation

Philanthropy in Napa Valley 

Co-founded in by ESPN and the legendary and inspirational Jim Valvano, for whom the foundation is named, the V Foundation is dedicated to saving lives by helping to find a cure for all types of cancer. Since 1993, the Foundation has funded more than $225 million in cancer research grants nationwide. Longtime Napa resident Jane Baer serves as vice president and managing director of the foundation’s annual Napa-based  Wine  Celebration for Cancer Research, one of the top ten charitable wine auctions in the United States. The three-day signature event has raised more than $115 million since its launch in 1999, primarily due to Baer’s passion and commitment. Listed  in the top 3 percent of national charities, 100% of the V Foundation’s direct donations benefit innovative cancer research and related programs. “The Wine Celebration was initially intended as a modest fundraising effort,” said Baer, who was hired by the V Foundation in 2001 after a successful two-decade career working in high-end event planning, luxury travel and hotel management.   “I’ve spent the past 19 years designing and building a series of events that help to create a unique  and inclusive environment for vintners, donors, sponsors, and top oncologists to gather together in a united effort to stand shoulder-to-shoulder in the fight against cancer. I am proud and privileged to work with our founding partner, ESPN, our esteemed Board of Directors, our brilliant scientific advisors, committed vintners, and generous donors who have all helped to create an incredible organization. I truly feel that together we will be a part of finding a cure for a disease that affects one-third of the planet.”

“Jane is the heart and soul of the V Wine Celebration,” said Julie Maples, founder and chair of the event. “Jane has created a series of heartfelt events that have catapulted the V Wine Celebration into one of the top and most respected charity/wine auction/fundraising events in the country. Her creativity, knowledge, passion, and enthusiasm are unrivaled, and every guest and community member with whom she comes in contact becomes a loyal and significant partner in the fight against cancer.”


Article By: Fran Miller