For the second year in a row the annual California and Nevada Credit Unions for Kids Wine Auction has raised more than $1 million for the 11 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals in California and Nevada.
The sold out event, which took place at the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel in Dana Point, California, drew a record 500 attendees and was supported by more than 85 credit unions, business partners and hospitals.
The California and Nevada Credit Unions for Kids Wine Auction is the largest fundraising event for CMN Hospitals, having raised more than $4.8 million since 2006 for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
“For the second year in a row we have eclipsed $1 million in donations in support of the eleven Children’s Hospitals in California and Nevada, thanks to the amazing efforts and generosity of our sponsors, donors, and volunteers,” said Bill Cheney, event chairman and president/CEO of SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union. “We are pleased to be giving back to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and the children they help in our community.”
With a Diamonds are Forever/James Bond theme, the evening included fine food, dancing, and both silent and live auctions. Attendees had the opportunity to bid on more than 450 gift packages that included bottles of fine wine, premium whiskeys and sakes, travel getaways, and sporting events.
The evening’s special guest, nine year-old Max Wilford, a former CMN Hospital patient, inspired attendees by sharing how Children’s Hospital of Orange County has changed his life. When he was just four years old, Wilford was diagnosed with a rare and unusually aggressive form of a fairly common brain cancer. He had brain surgery at CHOC to partially remove the brain tumor. After five brain surgeries, two chemotherapy protocols, 30 radiation treatments and a theraputic super-boosted ketogenic diet, Wilford has been thriving against the odds. He’s inspired his community to give “Maximum Love” via the MaxLove Project. The brave 9 year-old also shared plans of being a chef when he grows up.
Lead corporate sponsors of this year’s event included CU Direct, the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues, CO-OP Financial Services, and CUNA Mutual Group. As corporate sponsors, these organizations covered all overhead costs associated with the auction.
As a result of the efforts and contributions of each of these organizations, as well as the event’s other sponsors, 100% of the money raised will directly benefit the eleven Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals in California and Nevada.
The CUs for Kids Wine Auction is directed by an executive committee, with at least one credit union CEO representing each of the benefitting hospitals:
Chairman Bill Cheney, SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union – Children’s Hospital Orange County
Jeff York, CoastHills Credit Union – Cottage Children’s Medical Center
Nader Moghaddam, Financial Partners Credit Union — Children’s Hospital Orange County
Geri LaChance, SESLOC Federal Credit Union – Cottage Children’s Medical Center
Teresa Freeborn, Xceed Financial Credit Union – Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
Brett Martinez, Redwood Credit Union – UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland
Darren Williams, Wescom Credit Union – Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
Shruti Miyashiro, Orange County’s Credit Union – Children’s Hospital Orange County
Carrie Birkhofer, Bay Federal Credit Union – Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital
Steve O’Connell, North Island Credit Union – Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego
Erin Mendez, Patelco Credit Union – UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland
John Cassidy, Sierra Central Credit Union – UC Davis Children’s Hospital
Hank Barrett, Valley First Credit Union – Valley Children’s Hospital, Madera
Steve Renock, Kern Schools Federal Credit Union – Lauren Small Children’s Medical Center, Bakersfield
Eric Estes, Boulder Dam Credit Union – Dignity Health St. Rose Dominican Hospital Las Vegas and Renown Children’s Hospital, Reno
Debra Schwartz, Mission Federal Credit Union – Rady Children’s Hospital, San Diego
Credit Unions for Kids is the brand under which America’s credit unions fundraise for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Since 1996 the credit union industry has raised over $150 million for affiliated children’s hospitals. Annually, credit unions are the third largest “corporate” contributor to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals behind only Wal-Mart and Costco.