Last weekend, as you likely know, we held the first annual Omaha Charity Wine Auction in support of the Omaha Public Schools Foundation. It was, simply put, an amazing event. In three hours we raised over $15,000 for a charity that directly supports teachers and their students in Nebraska’s only urban school district. There were some steep learning curves along the way, but in the end the event went better than any of us could have expected.
At one point in the evening, I got into a bidding war with the school superintendant over a few magnums of amazing wine. He won one and I won the other, and we had a great time talking about it. At another point, I met several board members and local community members and got to talk about the exciting work they are doing with other organizations. It was ultimately a lively, inspiring afternoon. At the end, exhausted, I was overwhelmed by gratitude for all of those who helped make it happen. In particular I’d like to thank:
- My wife, Sonja. She not only tolerates it when I come up with these ideas and devote my time and energy to them, but she also bought a ticket and then showed up and helped set up hours in advance. Further, she let me bid on and ultimately win some wine, and she bid on and won a theater membership for next year. Thanks, babe.
- I must also thank my parents for coming to town to watch our children so that Sonja and I could attend. Thank you!
- The 144 people who showed up at the event and bought tickets to support the charity. In particular, a big thanks to Jill, Troy and Deanna, Todd and Michelle, Cheryl, and all of the other friends of mine who came and spent their afternoon there. Thank you.
- The staff and board of the OPSF. The incredibly hard work of Mike and Kathy David, who donated the space for the event, as well as Executive Director Toba Cohen-Dunning, were really what made the event happen. Such an amazing group; I was honored to assist.
- The Winery, and Dave, for helping me get some truly excellent wines to pour that afternoon. If you’re buying wine in Omaha, The Winery is a great place to go. Thank you, Dave.
- Last but certainly not least, the wineries and my friends in the wine industry who donated the silent auction items that brought in so much money for this great charity! Special thanks to Mike Farmer at Euclid, Steve at Ledson, Jean Hoefliger at AO, Mike and Nicol Duffy at Optima, Hugh Davies at Schramsberg, Dallas at John Anthony Vineyards, Emilio Tedeschi at Tedeschi, Eric and Tom at the Pellet Estate, Miljenko, Violet, and Ken at Grgich Hills, Chris at Kennefick Ranch, Catherine and Alexander at Volker Eisele, Tom at Pine & Brown, Jed Steele and Rusty at Wine Spoken Here, Valerie at Kelleher, Randle at Calafia, Michael at Honig, and Paul at Executive Travel. Your generosity made this event a tremendous success and I cannot thank you enough. Please know, however, that I intend to try.
I know you know that I love wine. But I think what I love most about it are the amazing people behind it, people like those I listed above, and its ability to bring people together and do good things. This event was evidence of that. Thanks to everyone who was a part of this amazing event. It was an honor for me to play a small part in it. I hope to see you again next year!