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Manhattan Wine Auction Returns In-Person, Raises $1.3 Million

Jun 09, 2022 09:59AM ● By Jeanne Fratello

2022 Manhattan Wine Auction. Photo via MBEF

On Saturday, after two years of virtual events, the 28th annual Manhattan Wine Auction returned in person to the Manhattan Country Club. The event raised more than $1.3 million for Manhattan Beach schools.

One of the South Bay’s most celebrated fundraisers, the Manhattan Wine Auction draws both Manhattan Beach parents as well as other South Bay residents and wine connoisseurs.

“It is clear that the tradition of the Manhattan Wine Auction holds a special place in the hearts of our community members," said MBEF Executive Director Hilary Mahan. "The outpouring of support – from the entire community – is unmistakable year after year, but this year in particular was special. The commitment to education was evident in the number of volunteers, guests, auction items, restaurants and wineries. Everyone stepped it up and was ready to celebrate.”

The sold-out crowd of 2,000 guests enjoyed tastings and samplings from 45 local restaurants and more than 80 wineries, breweries and distilleries; as well as silent and live auctions.

The event featured a silent auction, which had opened to the entire community one week prior, that raised a total of nearly $300,000. 

The in-person live auction included special wines and one-of-a-kind trips and packages such as VIP tickets to the AT&T Pebble Beach Celebrity Pro-Am via a Challenger Jet, a trip to Napa Valley with private tastings at Arrow & Branch and Memento Mori wineries, and a three-night stay at the Four Seasons Resort and Residences Los Cabos at Costa Palmas. All told, the live auction raised $330,000.

Lead sponsors of this year's event included founding sponsor Chevron; Premier
sponsor Kirkland & Ellis; Platinum sponsors Desolation Hotel, First Republic Bank, Running Point Capital Advisors, Spencer & Weiss Families, and Wells Fargo The Private Bank; and Vineyard
Court sponsor J.P. Morgan Private Bank. The Bay Club/Manhattan Country Club served as host and provided additional support.

Paddle Raise Brings in $225K for STEM

Each year the MBEF Board of Directors works with district leadership to determine an immediate need to fundraise for during the Paddle Raise at the wine auction. This year, the MBEF Board voted to focus on raising funds to expand the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) program at all grade levels. 

This year's Paddle Raise brought in more than $225,000, including a $100,000 gift from Chevron.


“MakerSpace and Science Lab in all of our elementary schools, STEM electives in the middle school, and a robust technology and engineering program at the high school have inspired our students to consider how STEM is incorporated into everything they do," said Mahan. "The partnership with Chevron over the years has been instrumental in building the current STEM programs, and the funds raised at the Wine Auction will build on this momentum to equip our students with more opportunities for exploration and discovery.”

Greenberg Honored with Legacy Award

At the event, MBEF presented its 2022 Legacy Award to Skechers co-founder and president, Michael Greenberg. The MBEF Legacy Award honors those individuals, families and businesses who have demonstrated exceptional commitment to the MBEF mission.

“We need more leaders like Michael Greenberg; selfless, creative, eager to help and capable of inspiring others to do the same," said MBEF President Scott Rosenthal. "He has raised millions to support area children through the Friendship Foundation, the Skechers Foundation, and the annual Skechers Pier to Pier Friendship Walk, of which contributions to MBEF have totaled more than $2 million over the course of the event’s lifetime.”

Past recipients of the Legacy Award include Rod Spackman, retired Corporate Affairs Manager of Chevron, and Jan and Chet Pipkin, founders of Belkin.

Proceeds Benefit MBEF Endowment Fund

The Manhattan Wine Auction has been a foundational event in support of the Manhattan Beach Education Foundation and the Manhattan Beach public schools.

For the past two years of virtual and semi-virtual events, the wine auction raised $800,000 in 2021 and $1 million in 2020. In previous years with in-person events, the wine auction had raised as much as $1.8 million.

All proceeds from the Manhattan Wine Auction benefit the MBEF Endowment Fund.

The MBEF Endowment provides critical financial support for MBEF’s mission to enrich teaching and promote innovation and academic excellence in the public schools of Manhattan Beach.

The endowment aims to provide a stable and consistent source of funding that avoids fluctuations in the economy and the unpredictability of state funding for education, as well as enrichment opportunities today and in the future.

Each year, a disbursement from the endowment supports MBEF programs for the coming year. In 2021, the disbursement was over $1.1 M to support $5.3 million in programs that engage students in learning and provide opportunities for discovery in grades TK-12 for the 2021-22 school year.

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