22nd Annual Winemaker Dinner Was A Successful Night Under the Stars

A beautiful night under the stars–successfully avoiding the rain that covered everywhere else in the region– was held at the Paso Robles Event Center to support the programs and services of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Mid Central Coast (BGCMCC).  Presented by Pear Valley Estate Wine along with additional sponsors Pacific Premier Bank, Rotary Club of Paso Robles, Coast Hills Credit Union, John E.D. Nicholson Attorney at Law and Vino Vargas, over 100 attendees were treated to gourmet cuisine prepared by Chef Jeffrey Scott, along with wine donated by Pear Valley Estate Wine, J Lohr Winery, Austin Wines, and J Dusi Winery with beer donated by Firestone Walker.  

Mistress of Ceremonies, Gina Fitzpatrick, CEO of the Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce kicked off the program and kept the evening fun and lively.  Along with auctioneer, Todd Ventura, they raised a spontaneous extra $5000 to perform an impromptu dance on stage! Emily Reneau, Development Manager, for BGCMCC provided an update on all of the successes and milestones the organization has completed over the course of year ensuring all attendees knew they were supporting a world class organization.  Gene Runkle, BGCMCC Treasurer and co-chair of the event also warmly welcomed attendees and reminded everyone of their efforts to build and open the brand new Tom Maas Clubhouse–a state of the art facility that is serving many kids every day since it opened in June.  He went on to share that opening the new Clubhouse was the end of a chapter.  Raising funds to keep and build new programs to serve even more children was the next chapter and that important work will continue at the night’s event.  

In addition to the amazing four course gourmet meal, paired with lovely Paso Robles wines, the highlight of the evening was the passionate presentation by former “Club Kid” Abby Lopez who shared why her experiences at the Boys & Girls Clubs allowed her to reach her great potential.  Abby is now an executive with G3 Enterprises–a major logistics solutions business for the ag and wine industries– and she made it clear to all that the programs offered by BGCMCC made a huge difference in the success of her life and are critical for shaping the lives of young people who need the extra attention and support.  Her delightful presentation was followed by a video message from Rick Stollmeyer who announced “The Stollmeyer Challenge,” where he will match all donations made over the course of the year up to $300,000.00.  Seeing the need for greater STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) as crucial for 21st century kids and acknowledging the greater need to serve more teens with Boys & Girls Clubs programming, funds raised through The Stollmeyer Challenge will help the organization enrich STEAM and teen programming at all of our clubs on the Central Coast.  

With all that motivation, the final “fund a need” appeal to all attendees for the evening raised the lion’s share of dollars earned during the evening.  Over $50,000 was secured during the paddle raise and the event earned $164,000 in total through ticket sales, sponsorships, a live and silent auction as well as an on-site raffle to win a Traeger smoker donated by Idlers Home.