The Santa Barbara Wine Auction benefiting Direct Relief will be held at the exclusive Bacara Resort & Spa on Saturday, March 12, 2016. It will be an evening of fine wines, delectable foods, and an auction with lifestyle experiences and rare library wine lots.
The Santa Barbara Wine Auction was established in 2000 with the vision of ensuring that people in need across the U.S. and world have access to life-saving medical aid. The founders of the event, the Santa Barbara Vintners’ Foundation, created this biennial wine auction to champion Direct Relief’s mission: Improving the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergency situations by mobilizing and providing essential medical resources needed for their care.
Since inception the Santa Barbara Wine Auctions have raised over $3 million, which has been leveraged into almost $100 million in medical aid to equip frontline health workers, free clinics, and other health centers with medical supplies and equipment to treat the world’s most vulnerable people.
The Santa Barbara Vintners’ Foundation and Direct Relief have raised funds which are used to pioneer innovative medical assistance initiatives, many of which never would have been possible without the money raised through the benefit auction. These include expanding access to vital treatment for children with pneumonia; equipping local Medical Reserve Corps volunteers with emergency preparedness supplies; and laying the groundwork for what is now the largest charitable medicines program for vulnerable people in the U.S.
Direct Relief USA is an important part of the organization’s efforts to strengthen America’s healthcare safety net by providing nonprofit community clinics and health centers with medicines and medical supplies for their low-income and uninsured patients.
With support from Direct Relief, aid organization Last Mile Health (known in Liberia as Tiyatien Health) trained 10 Frontline Health Workers (FHW) in the last year to identify, treat, and refer children with symptoms of pneumonia – the number one cause of death of children under five worldwide.
Direct Relief USA provides Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) volunteers with ruggedized, specially designed backpacks filled with medical supplies to help address community health needs in an emergency. The packs enable MRC members to respond when disaster strikes.
Direct Relief has equipped midwives, supported programs of obstetric fistula repair, increased access to cervical cancer screening, and has provided general medical aid in support of children’s health programs.
Please check back for this celebrity announcement!
I started in the kitchen when I was very young, and I am still as intrigued with the process as I was when I was a 15-year-old Garde Manger in a small French restaurant in my hometown.
In 1991 at the age of 22 I was given the opportunity of a lifetime – help design an upscale seafood restaurant in San Francisco from scratch – and I threw myself into the project heart and soul. It became AQUA and opened to rave reviews in a town known for great cuisine.
Now here it is, 20+ years and many restaurants later. I reimagined AQUA and completely restored it to create Michael Mina. Since then, I’ve opened more than 20 destination restaurants, hired world-class executive chefs and the best teams you can find. With their help, I am honored to say, my restaurants have achieved a success that has put the Mina Group ahead of its class.
You could say that the key ingredient to this accomplishment is an unwavering passion for food combined with a commitment to phenomenal service for our guests.
My philosophy on cooking is my philosophy on life: create balance and harmony. In the end, it is all about creating lasting relationships. I hope to meet and cook for you one day soon.
I love bold flavors in food. I love balanced food and I love food that keeps me excited throughout the entire course.
My job as a Chef, and my team’s job, is to make food come alive. We strive to create incredible meals each and every day that make our guests sit up, take notice, experience delight and wonder, “Exactly what was in that dish?”
We accomplish this through a balance of flavors: acidity, sweetness, spice and fat. These are the four key ingredients that should be present in any dish. Does it have enough acid? Enough spice? If you don’t use all four, that’s okay, but whichever ones are used must create a balance so that your food screams bold.
If you don’t have a lemon, replace it with another acid. If you don’t have molasses, try honey. And if you run out of butter, perhaps use an avocado. Stick to the main ingredients, don’t be afraid to play around – and keep the balance.
DawnMarie Kotsonis, originally from Brooklyn, NY, but now calls Southern California home. DawnMarie’s introduction to fundraising began in the 1980’s while running a successful commercial auction firm and with a very personal experience of raising funds in support of Cystic Fibrosis – the disease that claimed the lives of both her nephew and her best friend.
With nearly 30 years of auction and fund development experience, DawnMarie has presided over countless record-breaking auctions including Wine Spectator Top-10 charity events. DawnMarie’s high energy and fun approach to an auction makes her equal part entertainer and fundraiser. She feels that the key to a successful benefit auction is “To make it fast, make it fun and leave everyone feeling great for having raised a lot of money for a great cause!”
DawnMarie was the auctioneer at the 2014 Santa Barbara Wine Auction, and is excited to participate again in the 2016 auction in support of the amazing work done throughout the world by Direct Relief. A true believer in the mantra “no margin … no mission,” DawnMarie applauds Direct Relief’s incredible success in turning every dollar raised into approximately a $35 return on their supporter’s contributions.
The Santa Barbara Vintner’s Foundation will announce the honorees soon!
Please see our Corporate Sponsorship Packet for additional details and benefits for each sponsorship level.
One Premier Sponsorship Level
Available SOLD OUT
Four Platinum Sponsorship Levels
Available SOLD OUT
Table sponsors will enjoy the company of two vintners as guests at their tables, and will be poured special vintages and library wines from their cellars.
The following wineries from the Santa Barbara County Vintners’ Association will be hosting a table!
The Wine Auction will feature carefully crafted, priceless experiences in food, wine, travel, and leisure to auction off to the highest bidder.
The official Preview Catalog for the Auction will be available closer to the event date!
You are invited to spend your weekend at the award-winning Bacara Resort & Spa. The resort is nestled on the bluff and beaches of the Gaviota coast between the Pacific Ocean and Santa Ynez Mountains, offering relaxed luxury and breathtaking views for an unforgettable getaway in Santa Barbara.
For reservations, please call Bacara Resort & Spa at (855) 968-0100.
To request more information please contact Jennifer Kocian.