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MBEF Wine Auction

Jun 15, 2014 03:06PM ● By Jeanne Fratello

Late-night dancing at the Manhattan Wine Auction

The Manhattan Beach Education Foundation (MBEF) held its annual wine auction on June 14 at the Manhattan Country Club, raising over $1 million to benefit Manhattan Beach schools. The 20th annual Manhattan Wine Auction, the largest wine auction in Southern California, was fully sold out with more than 1600 attendees.

This year's event featured wine samples from 75 world-class vintners and 40 top local restaurants. The auction lots included fine and rare wines, exotic trips, luxury sports and dining events, and one-of-a-kind experiences such as a ride on the Goodyear Blimp. 

The event's main attraction, the spirited live auction, raised $322,000 for the foundation. Notable items donated by longtime supporters included:

  • One barrel of Napa Valley Reserve, donated by Erin and James Keller, which went went for $32,000;
  • Diamond earrings set in 18K gold with over 400 brilliant-cut diamonds; donated by Mary Kelley and 23rd Street Jewelers, which went for $20,000;
  • A 1996 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Assortment Case donated by long-time MBEF Endowment Board members Jeff and Sheryl Thaler, which went for $32,000.
Chevron, a founding sponsor, also presented MBEF with a check for $50,000, and a check for $250,000 directly to Manhattan Beach Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Michael Matthews.
During Live Lot 23, The Endowment Challenge, auction coordinators were able to rally the crowd to raise more than $315,000. The challenge was kicked off by Keith Brackpool, the owner of Manhattan Country Club, and received overwhelming support from 60 community members.

"This takes a community effort," said MBEF President Nina Patel. " It takes hundreds of volunteers to put such an event together, and all for a great cause. Our wine auction would not be successful without our corporate sponsors and our Wine Advisory Board members who donate a significant portion of the wine that is auctioned at the event. What is wonderful is that we have volunteers who don't have children in our schools volunteering and even some who don't even live in Manhattan Beach."

Following the auction, attendees enjoyed live music and dancing from the John Brown Band.

Founded in 1983 by concerned parents and community leaders of the South Bay, the Manhattan Beach Education Foundation raises money to improve Manhattan Beach public schools. It pays for teachers and other educators whose positions the state of California does not fund or require but the city's parents and educators consider necessary for a quality education, including classroom teachers, librarians at each of Manhattan Beach's seven schools, science and reading enrichment, music teachers, guidance counselors, college and career counselors and more. All told, MBEF funds 70 educators and critical educational programs at a cost of more than $5 million annually.

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