Wednesday, May 1, 2013

If I had a million dollars...

That popular refrain from that Barenaked Ladies song has been going through my head the past couple of days. It often does at this time of year, as we approach our annual Auction Napa Valley fundraiser and celebration of all the things that make Napa Valley special - wine, cuisine and the scenic beauty of this amazing place. But, perhaps, the thing that is most special is the coming together of the vintners and the local community to make a difference for those most in need in Napa County.

The NVV just announced $1 million in funding per year for at least the next three years to help close the academic achievement gap in Napa County. The first year of funding for this endeavor comes from proceeds of last year's Auction Napa Valley.

The initiative will specifically target English-learning students at the preschool level, and will also provide parental support services in our local school neighborhoods with the greatest need. Not only will this help these youngsters to get a better start in school, it will ultimately benefit us all as studies indicate these kind of programs result in higher graduation rates, lower arrest rates and reliance on social services, along with greater lifetime earnings (and the resulting tax revenue). It's an idea that state and federal leaders have also identified as a priority.

The contribution from Auction Napa Valley 2012 is just a portion of the total proceeds that were given to area non-profits. In total, the NVV has given $7 million this past year to a variety of community partners - you can read more about it in our recently published Annual Report.
If I had a million dollars, I'm not sure what I would do, but I do know that I'm grateful for the generosity of our vintners, our bidders and our community so that the NVV could do this.
Patsy McGaughy
Communications Director
Napa Valley Vintners

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