One local fundraiser is forging ahead, despite the impacts of COVID-19. For the last four years, the Santa Monica Education Foundation’s annual Santa Monica Wine Auction has raised funds for local public schools through a gala food and wine tasting at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows. COVID-19 has made gathering in-person for this year’s event impossible.
Rather than cancelling, the event organizers are moving to a unique, fully online model for this year’s Wine Auction.
All community members are invited to attend the live-streamed event, which will take place on May 3 at 7 p.m. Lasting approximately 45 minutes, the event will include a live auction, surprise videos and more. Bidding has already begun in the online silent auction portion of the event. Full details are available at smwineauction.org.
“Last year’s Wine Auction raised over $333,000 for our local public schools. Those funds are impacting thousands of students this year,” said Linda Greenberg, the Ed Foundation’s Executive Director. “While the coronavirus has upended all aspects of our lives, the needs for our public school students are still very real. Important arts, STEM and wellness programs depend on funds raised at the Wine Auction. We knew we couldn’t let our students down by cancelling the event. Our Ed Foundation Board, the event’s Wine Advisory Board, and staff are excited to be transitioning to an online format. It will be a chance for our entire community to come together to support Santa Monica’s students.”
The four previous Wine Auctions have raised a combined $992,000 for local public schools. The money raised directly funds arts programs, classroom aides, STEM and student health and wellness programs in Santa Monica public schools next year. Annual donations and Ed Foundation endowments are funding $2.64 million in programs during the current school year. Fundraising for 2020-2021 school-year programs will continue through June 30, 2020.
For more information or to make a donation, go to smedfoundation.org.
Ann Conkle, Director of Communications and Events Manager