The Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation’s third annual Wine Auction fundraiser raised over $285,000, including $92,500 in corporate support. The elegant event, presented by Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows/MSD Capital, Kaiser Permanente and Santa Monica Place/Macerich, took place on May 6 at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows, the event’s sponsor hotel.

At the event, 400 attendees enjoyed tastings from more than 30 food and wine vendors, while shopping in live and silent auctions. Dessert tasting and dancing capped off the evening. The three Wine Auctions have now raised a combined $659,000 for local schools. All proceeds from the event benefit the Ed Foundation, which funds programs at every school in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District.

Ed Foundation-funded staff and programs include arts education for the district’s 4,900 elementary students, 87 instructional assistants, and enrichment grants for all 16 schools in the district. Most schools decide to use these grants to provide STEM programs, expanded arts curriculum, or student wellness programs.

“What a perfect evening of supporting our students!” said Linda Greenberg, Executive Director of the Ed Foundation. “The positive energy at the event was palpable. The food and wine were top notch and the auctions were exciting. We are very grateful to everyone – attendees, sponsors, vendors and volunteers – who made this event our most successful Wine Auction so far.”

Thanks to donations made during the event, the Education Foundation met a $100,000 match from the Franklin Elementary School PTA. With the match met, the PTA will donate $100,000 to the Ed Foundation’s Academics Endowment, helping to ensure crucial programs for students in perpetuity.

Participating restaurants at the event included Bareburger, Blue Plate Oysterette/Taco, Caffe Luxxe, Fig, Herringbone, Little Fatty, Locanda del Lago, Lunetta, Margo’s, Melisse, Milo & Olive, Red O, Sushi Roku, Upper West Restaurant and Upstairs 2. Wine, beer and spirit tastings included The Wine House, Bonaccorsi Wine Company, Carlisle Winery & Vineyards, Dragonette, Empress 1908 Gin, Far Niente Wine Estates, Folk Machine, Foxen Vineyard & Winery, Habit Wine Company, Jackhammer Wine Co., Luuma, Margerum Wine Company, Mattiasson Wines, Nicolas-Jay, Nomadica Wine, Orin Swift, Pali Wine Co., The Prisoner Wine Company, Revel Wine, Sandhi Wines, Stolpman Vineyards, and Three Weavers Brewing Company.

Many local businesses sponsored the event through the Ed Foundation’s Corporate Heroes program. In addition to the presenting sponsors, they include Cedars-Sinai; Edison International; FreeAssociates; The Gallery Food Hall, Harding Larmore Kutcher & Kozal, LLP; CIT’s OneWest Bank; Pacific Park; Pence Hathorn Silver; Saint John’s Health Center Affiliation Endowment Fund; Stifel; UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica; DFH Architects, LLC; DLR Group; Gelson’s Markets; Keygent, LLC; and Khedr Management Company.

To learn more about SMMEF visit www.smmef.org or www.facebook.com/smmef.

Submitted by Ann Conkle, SMMEF Communications and Events Manager

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