“The V Foundation is truly a source of inspiration and generosity,” said Chairwoman Julie Maples.
“In the last two years, while we’ve continued to deal with the pandemic, we’ve raised nearly $16 million dollars through the generous support of our sponsors, donors and our gala auctions. Throughout it all we’ve held true to Jim Valvano’s legacy to ‘never give up’ as we continue to raise funds to support cancer research and programs.”
The 2021 Wine Celebration weekend was hosted by Duke University Head Men’s Basketball Coach Mike “Coach K” Krzyzewski, V Foundation Board Member and ESPN “SportsCenter” Anchor Sage Steele, and ESPN College Basketball Analyst Jay Bilas. From the gala dinner and live auction to the Answer for Cancer Symposium and ‘Rock the V’ party, the event hosted aver 450 guests and featured CNN Commentator Paul Begala as a guest speaker.
The highlight of this year’s event was the live auction gala held at Nickel & Nickel Winery with dozens of incredible lots up for bid. The evening’s top lot thrilled attendees by reaching $1 million for The Legend’s Last Legacy, Duke vs. UNC, featuring a once-in-a-lifetime weekend trip to join Duke’s Coach K for his final home game at Cameron Indoor stadium.
“When my friends, Michael and Carole Marks, pledged $1 million dollars to experience my final game at Cameron Indoor Stadium, it took my breath away,” said Mike Krzyzewski. “The honor I felt for my team, my family and my legacy was overwhelming. This inspirational moment set the tone for the entire evening.”
Other top lots included exceptional experiences paired with some of the region’ finest wines, including 40-Love of Wine & Tennis, the semi-finals & finals at Wimbledon in London with Vintner Beth Nickel of Far Niente and Nickel & Nickel, The Great American Race, joining multi-platinum recording artist and NASCAR team owner Pitbull for an all-access VIP experience , Taste of the Tuscan Sun, an exclusive Napa Valley, Tuscan and Umbria itinerary hosted by Marchesi Antinori and Antica Estate, A Feast Fit for the Gods, featuring Michelin-decorated chef Michael Mina and his award-winning MINA Group team for a feast of Mediterranean dishes, Award Winning Wine & Music, joining Vintners Shari and Garen Staglin for an entertaining winery dinner for 10 featuring a private musical performance with Tony- and Grammy-Award Winners Christian Hoff and Kate Taylor, and a Pebble Beach Lux Getaway with Vintners Robin and Michelle Baggett of Alpha Omega Winery, Cyril and Blakesley Chappellet of Chappellet Vineyards, and Rich and Leslie Frank of Frank Family Vineyards.
“With the success of the 2021 event, the V Foundation Wine Celebration has once again united generous supporters, world-class vintners and talented chefs to raise essential funds to help us move toward Victory over Cancer®,” said Shane Jacobson, CEO of the V Foundation. “Kudos to our amazing and dedicated staff, along with the individuals and organizations that continue to support our efforts.”
Since 1999, the V Foundation Wine Celebration has raised over $130 million to support the V Foundation and game-changing research and all-star scientists to accelerate victory over cancer and save lives. Currently holding 10 consecutive 4-star (highest) ratings from Charity Navigator, America’s largest evaluator of charities, the V Foundation is among the top 2% of all charities evaluated. The V Foundation is also a GuideStar Platinum-rated charity.
In its 28 years, the V Foundation has awarded more than $260 million in cancer research grants nationwide. Twenty-eight years ago, the diagnosis and prognosis related to cancer were not as optimistic as today. Because of research, there are earlier diagnoses, a better understanding of what causes some cancers, more positive prognoses of some cancers, and therapies designed to kill cancer while preserving the patient’s overall health. The V Foundation distributes research grants for all types of cancer to the most promising scientists nationwide through a competitive process vetted by a Scientific Advisory Committee. The 24th annual V Foundation Wine Celebration will be held on August 4-7, 2022.