Bidders stood shoulder to shoulder to a Take a Stand to break the $100 million barrier in money raised for cancer research during the 20th Annual V Foundation Wine Celebration. 

The three-day festivities raised a record breaking $18-million pushing the 20-year total to over $100-million raised.  Inspired by the late Jim Valvano, the V Foundation’s theme this year was “Time is Precious.” 

Celebrity hosts included Mike “Coach K” Krzvzewski, Scott Hamilton, Robin Roberts, Joe Theismann and Lou Holtz.  They joined several famed Napa Valley vintners and restauranteurs who provided an epicurean and culinary delights to a sold-out crowd.

The three-day signature fundraising event kicked off August 2, with a Hall of Fame luncheon at Harbison Estate, hosted by Joe and Pat Harbison and sponsored by ESPN.  Several intimate dinners followed that evening at Sinegal Estate Winery, hosted by proprietors David and Shelley Sinegal; Spottswoode Estate Vineyard & Winery, hosted by proprietor Beth Novak Milliken; and Trefethen Family Vineyards, hosted by proprietors, John and Janet Trefethen and Pride Mountain Vineyard, hosted by Stuart and Suzanne Pride Bryant.   Additionally, Davis Estates proprietors, Mike and Sandy Davis hosted members of the V Foundation Giving Club at the Humanitarian and Founders Dinner.

On August 3, members of the Giving Club attended the Presidents Club & Vintner Grant Honoree Luncheon, sponsored by ESPN and Bentley Motors, hosted at Far Niente Winery by proprietor, Beth Nickel. The 2018 Vintner Grant Honorees were recognized for their continued support of the V Foundation with a grant awarded in the collective names supporting breast cancer research.  The honorees are all breast cancer survivors and include; Suzanne Pride Bryan, Karen Aldoroty, Gina Gallo, Lauren Ackerman, Beth Novak Milliken, in honor of Mary Novak and Robin Lail.

Beth Nickel of Nickel & Nickel has hosted the Gala and Auction every year since 2005.

Fitz and the Tantrums entertained the guests.

V Foundation Celebration 2018

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Since it was first held in 1999, this three-day Wine Celebration event has attracted donors from all over to the Napa Valley to raise millions for The V Foundation for Cancer Research. It was founded in 1993 by ESPN and the late Jim Valvano, legendary North Carolina State basketball coach and ESPN commentator. The V Foundation Wine Celebration has helped fund 600 research programs at medical and research facilities across the country. Dedicated to giving back to Napa Valley and the Bay Area, the Foundation has included many Bay Area institutions among its grantees, including St. Helena Hospital, Queen of the Valley Medical Center, Stanford University and UC San Francisco. Founded by Julie Allegro, The V Foundation Wine Celebration has grown to be to one of the top-rated charitable auctions in the country. For more information on The V Foundation Wine Celebration, please visit


Article By: Kari Ruel

Photos Courtesy of: Bob McClenahan