When people think of Winesong, a few thoughts cross their minds – it benefits the local hospital…it’s a big wine & food festival…there are great finds in the auction. While all of these thoughts are spot on, we at Winesong central have a slightly different take. You see, we get to witness the power of a united community. The old proverb, It takes a village, is truly the reason why Winesong has enjoyed so much success and is considered a legacy event.
It takes the community to support an event of this size, and the community includes numerous lodging properties, volunteers who count in the hundreds, local businesses who sponsor Winesong, restaurants, executive chefs, and caterers who all donate their time and talents to the Grand Tasting, local wineries who get up early to trek to the coast to share their varietals & blends, local media for promotion, donors to the auction who give generously each year, and an assortment of behind-the-scenes heroes who step up and help out in the most unlikely of ways!
And all of these community members – be it individuals, groups or businesses – give of themselves because Winesong is the major fundraiser benefiting the Mendocino Coast District Hospital, and many wouldn’t be able to live in the area if a local hospital didn’t exist. Certainly there are ancillary benefits to the community as well. Winesong attracts visitors from all over, even those traveling from abroad; in many cases, Winesong is the sole reason visitors return to coastal Mendocino annually. Their presence helps fill hotels, resorts, B&Bs, and motels after the “unofficial” end of summer. Eateries & retailers see an uptick in revenue, as do wineries, and other coastal destination visitor sites enjoy the influx of Winesong guests.
In the months leading up to Winesong, various facets of our community are already hard at work helping in a myriad of ways, and the culmination isn’t just the happy faces enjoying tastings at Winesong; rather it comes down to one singular moment when you see all the components of the community as one grand entity. That moment is mid-way through the Live Auction, at the end of the Fund-A-Need Auction Lot. The Fund-A-Need is where people donate for the sole purpose of funding a specific item identified as a major hospital need.
There is no trip exchange, there is no wine to take home; this is pure philanthropy at its most generous. And when the bids add up, all guests holding paddles, all people in the vicinity, give a rousing standing ovation as the totals are read aloud. It’s a sight to behold. Many people are caught up in this moment of giving; and Winesong staffers bear witness to the extraordinary power of the community, knowing the hard work that led to this moment, and recognizing that only a village united could have made this moment real.
Sure, stories will be told of who outbid who, of favorite wines, favorite foods, favorite musicians, and so forth; but the magic of Winesong lies in the community that supports it – without much fanfare – but who value the purpose. And to Winesong staff, a simple motto is ever present…without a sense of caring, there can be no sense of community. And so, you are invited to witness the magic this September 9th & 10th for the 32 year of Winesong, and see how good it feels to be wrapped in the arms of a coastal community.