Skip to main content

MB News

Manhattan Wine Auction Raises $800,000 for Manhattan Beach Schools

Jun 16, 2021 04:36PM ● By Jeanne Fratello

The Chao family hosts a dinner with Nick's Manhattan Beach at the 2021 Manhattan Wine Auction.

The annual Manhattan Wine Auction, produced by the Manhattan Beach Education Foundation, raised nearly $800,000 over the weekend for Manhattan Beach schools. Now in its 27th year, this was the second year in a row that the event has been held virtually.

Hilary Mahan, executive director of the Manhattan Beach Education Foundation, said that she was "very pleased" with the support from the community.

"Two virtual events in a row is not easy - but parents and supporters rallied together around our public schools again," Mahan told DigMB. "To net almost $800k after a year like the last, is something we can all be proud of."

The virtual event provided a variety of opportunities to support Manhattan Beach public schools. One of the evening’s highlights was a "paddle raise" that brought in approximately $360,000 in donations that will be designated to restore previously cut programs.

"Students were the big winners," said Mahan. "The paddle raise raised over $360K to restore MBEF programs for 2021/22. We are currently working with MBUSD and the MBEF grants committee to determine how we can help with programs for next year."

"To have that kind of success says so much about MBEF and about our community," said MBUSD Superintendent Mike Matthews about the wine auction in an email to parents on Monday. "Congratulations to all of us!"

Wine Auction Included a Variety of Experiences

The 2021 wine auction included a variety of experiences, starting with virtual tasting opportunities. Guests had the opportunity to participate in selected virtual tastings prior to the livestream event with one of several vintners, distilleries or breweries. Partners included Culture Brewing, Donelan Family Wines, Keplinger Wines, Laurel Glen Vineyard, Nosotros Tequila, Sojourn Cellars, Spa Girl Cocktails, Uncle Nearest and Zachys.

New for this year were the Culinary & Wine Experiences, which paired fine dining experiences from local restaurants with high-end wines from the wine auction’s own Reserve Room winery partners. Guests had the option to enjoy with friends at home either The Arthur J and Fairchild Napa Valley, Slay Steak + Fish House and Arrow&Branch, MB Post and Memento Mori, Slay Italian Kitchen and Frias Family Vineyards, Petros and Sanguis, Nick’s Manhattan Beach and Epoch Estate Wines, or Love & Salt and Vineyard 7 & 8 Experiences.

The silent auction, which opened online a week prior to the event with over 450 items, raised $230,000. The online Live Auction raised $115,000, and featured packages including a San Francisco and Napa Valley wine excursion; Chef’s Dinner and Wine Pairing at The Strand House; the annual Chairman Emeritus Dinner hosted at Redbird this year; a luxury ski vacation to Taos Ski Valley; exquisite diamond jewelry, and an extensive wine selection with rare and collectible wines donated by MBEF’s Wine Advisory Board.

The community was also invited to participate in a raffle drawing for a week at the exclusive Esperanza Resort in Cabo.

During the evening's livestream event that was produced from Center Court at the Manhattan Beach Country Club, MBEF presented its 2021 Legacy Award to the Pipkin family. With seven children, and now several grandchildren growing up in Manhattan Beach, the Pipkins have been leaders in a longstanding partnership with MBEF.

Jan and Chet Pipkin "were among the trailblazers who committed to the MBEF mission early on," said Scott Rosenthal, MBEF Board President.

At the paddle raise, Jill Dunn and Fredrick Walker of Chevron, a founding partner to the Manhattan Wine Auction, kicked off the event with a gift of a $100K. The funds have the potential to restore MBEF programs that were diminished in some way due to the 2019/20 MBUSD budget cuts, including music, science, library, counseling, P.E., MakerSpace, and class size reduction.

“MBEF recognizes that a high-quality education makes all the difference – and that this quality education depends on opportunities for students," said Mahan in a statement after the auction. "Opportunities for exploration, innovation, critical thinking, creativity, self-expression, collaboration, risk, and ultimate growth. The challenges of this past year were overwhelming, and at times, felt insurmountable. But as we look to the start of a new school year, we want our students to return to the classroom with every advantage for success. Thanks to the generous donors during the Paddle Raise for Programs, MBEF is looking to restore a significant number of the academic and enrichment programs in our schools that allow students to discover their interested and forge their own path.”

Top sponsors of the wine auction included Chevron; the Pipkin Family; the de Roos, Disser & Sorensen Families; Ellis Law Corporation; Kinecta Federal Credit Union; SKECHERS; Vista Sotheby’s International Realty; and Molly & David Wright.

MBEF plans to return to the Manhattan Country Club on June 4, 2022 for the 28th Annual Manhattan Wine Auction, when it will return to the traditional format.

The Manhattan Beach Education Foundation (MBEF) is a community-driven fundraising organization. It funds programs and also supplements state funding for programs that inspire and enrich academic excellence in Manhattan Beach's public schools. In the 2020/21 school year, MBEF funded $7.5 million in grants for programs in grades K-12.

For more information about MBEF, visit To learn more about the Manhattan Wine Auction, see

Subscribe to MB News Emails * Don't Miss a Thing, Sign Up Today!

* indicates required
Email Format

Subscribe to MB News Emails * Don't Miss a Thing, Sign Up Today!

* indicates required
Email Format