The $10 million campaign that could take Jameson Animal Rescue Ranch nationwide
IF WE CAN PUT HUMANS ON THE MOON, THEN CERTAINLY WE CAN build a sustainable ranch and solution center for animals in Napa Valley. That was the message Monica and David Stevens, founders of Jameson Animal Rescue Ranch, not-so-subtly delivered to their guests at WineaPAWlooza 2019, a memorable, 2-day affair that fittingly took place during the 50th anniversary of Apollo It’s moon landing. JARR seized the opportunity and launched its Moonshot, a bold, capital campaign to raise $10 million to build the facility which famed architect Howard Backen will design. Under the stars at the beautiful Tusk estate high in the hills of Oakville, I sat in astonishment when a $1 million pledge from donors wishing to remain anonymous was announced to gel the ball rolling for Lot 17 in the live auction, JARR’s Moonshot. Please go to www.jamcsonanimalrcscucranch.org to learn about this campaign and plans lo replicate the center across the country.
The generosity of the people of Napa Valley never ceases to amaze me. On this evening, vintner Michael Uytengsu opened up his private estate, which he calls Papa’s Perch in honor of his late father, for the first time for a charity event. We were welcomed with Billecart-Salmon Brut Rose, which we sipped while enjoying the jaw-dropping views of the valley before strolling into the cave for a grand lasting featuring several wines handcrafted by winemaker extraordinaire Philippe Melka. Vintners, including Robin Lail, Bret Lopez, Dario Sattui, David Long and Lawrence Fairchild, mingled with fellow animal lovers and other wine glitterati. I chatted with David Griffin, the new general manager of the NBAs New Orleans Pelicans, and his wife, Meredith. David then introduced me to former Los Angeles Laker Josh Hart, whom he had traded for earlier in the month. The GM told Josh I was a Lakers beat writer back in the 90s—when David worked in the PR department of the Phoenix Suns (and Josh was an infant). Such a small world!
We returned outside for a five-course, plant- based dinner created by top chef Casey Thompson and supported by Estate Events by Meadowood. The array of wines included a delicious 2012 Limited Edition Tusk poured from 3-1 iter bottles and a 2015 Lindstrom Pinot Noir, which I must add to my wine collection. Auctioneer Fritz Hatton cajoled attendees to dig deep for animals—and they did. One winning bidder shelled out $70,000 for a double-magnum (3L) of 1998 Screaming Eagle from the founders cellar. Another guest, for $90,000, purchased the Beckstoffer Bonanza, an enviable collection of 30 magnums of Beckstoffer-bred wine, including a few Alpha Omega wines, donated from the personal cellar of grape grower Andy Beckstoffer, who attended with his lovely wife, Betty. What a special evening this was. Unfortunately, a conflicting event at Alpha Omega winery kept me from attending the second night of WineaPAWlooza so I missed walking my chihuahua, Honey, whom I adopted from JARR, in the legendary pet parade at One Hope Estate in Rutherford.
July is one of the months where there is way too much going on in Napa Valley with the amazing, 10-day Festival Napa Valley occupying one third of it. The festival’s finale at Alpha Omega was especially entertaining with a performance by singer Robyn Adele Anderson, who adds her vintage flair to renditions of songs from across many musical genres. I’m now addicted to this YouTube sensation’s channel.
I didn’t slow down in early August. It was impossible to with the V Foundation Wine Celebration, which raised $7 million for the V Foundation for Cancer Research, taking place. An energetic concert by The Struts on the lawn at Domaine Chandon and a fun silent disco following the Rock the V party the next night deprived me of my beauty sleep, but it was worth it. 1 hope to see you at some of the exciting fundraisers this harvest season.
(KRON) — In tonight’s Flying Tails, we visit a Napa County rescue organization that makes the animals’ lives comfortable.
We’ve been crisscrossing the state for years, picking up dozens and dozens of cats and dogs and even the occasional bear cub.
Once we drop off the animals, our work is done and we focus on our next trip. But what happens after we’re gone — to the animals left behind?
“Those that can be, get adopted out,” Monica Stevens said. “Those that we believe this is their last and final stay of their life, we make sure that they have the best days of their life.”
Monica Stevens is the founder and CEO of Jameson Animal Rescue Ranch in Napa County. It’s one of the many shelters and sanctuaries where our furry passengers get dropped off.
She gave us a tour to meet some of the 70 residents on the property, including Cupid the pit bull that had almost no hair and could barely walk.
He’s doing fine now.
And the new “Catio”, a cat patio for senior cats, some who’ve outlived their human owners.
“We have a great partnership with the Napa County animal shelter who gets a lot of senior cat surrenders,” Stevens said. “Over the past five years, we’ve probably taken in 200 cats.”
Many of the cats are in their teens and they and other unwanted animals will likely spend the rest of their days here.
“Mainly it’s from animal shelters. People surrendering their cats,” Stevens said. “People not being able to afford their horses the feed and the care that they need.”
Speaking of horses, some of those are here too. Each has their own personality.
Jameson said it’s helped more than 40,000 animals during fires and floods across California and beyond.
Some of the horses were rescued during the North Bay fire storms.
Many of the nation's top charity auctions enjoyed another record-breaking year in 2019. Wine lovers became local heroes as 13 auctions topped the $1 million mark in live bids, earning a spot on Wine Spectator's annual list of top charity wine events. Those highest-earning events raised a combined $44.1 million in live bids for underprivileged children, health initiatives and art and cultural institutions across the country.
Beyond breaking $1 million in live bids, the Auction of Washington Wines (AWW), Naples Winter Wine Festival, Sonoma County Wine Auction, Carnivale du Vin, Auction Napa Valley, Classic Wines Auction and WineaPawlooza all surpassed their 2018 totals, while a few set their highest totals ever.
Wine-focused lots were central to the success of the highest earners, such as Naples Winter Wine Festival (NWWF), the No. 1 auction in the nation for a fifth straight year, which raised nearly $13.1 million in live-auction bids and nearly $16 million total. An auction lot of double magnums of Screaming Eagle's first eight vintages sold for $350,000, while an Adriatic cruise paired with four double magnums of Darioush Darius II Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 sold for $400,000.
NWWF benefited more than 45 non-profit organizations dedicated to improving the lives of children in Collier County, Fla., and auctiongoers were able to meet some of those kids. "Meet the Kids Day continues to be a highlight of the Naples Winter Wine Festival," NWWF director Barrett Farmer said. "This year's Fund a Need focused on Naples Children & Education Foundation's Children's Mental Health Initiative, and it was moving to witness how this topic was so deeply rooted in the community."
The Sonoma County Wine Auction also fetched one of the biggest wine lots of the year, offering a 378-bottle collection of Sonoma Cabernets and Bordeaux blends, which sold for $510,000.
Down South, Emeril Lagasse's Carnivale du Vin delivered New Orleans flavor with live entertainment, cirque-style performers and local culinary arts high school students who designed and prepped a four-course menu alongside Emeril's team. The event raised $3.6 million for children's charities. Over in Texas, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo's annual auction raised over $1.7 million in live bids.
AWW made noise in the Northwest, raising $1.6 million for Seattle Children's Hospital, thanks in part to its highest-selling lot ever: a 1928 Ford Roadster that went for $425,000. The Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest, Destin Charity Auction and Portland, Ore.'s Classic Wines Auction were also among those supporting children's causes.
High Museum Atlanta Wine Auction, Sonoma County Wine Auction and Festival Napa Valley focused on the arts and community enrichment programs. "The funds we raise at our gala provide free and affordable access to world-class performances," president and CEO of Festival Napa Valley Rick Walker said. "They support our primary mission: to make the arts accessible to all."
WineaPawlooza focused on animal rescue, while Toast to Your Health directed its campaign to tackling cardiovascular disease. "WineaPawlooza 2019 was a milestone event for Jameson Animal Rescue Ranch," co-founder and CEO Monica Stevens said. "We launched our capital campaign that night and one of our supporters stood up and pledged $1 million to the building of our Ranch and Education Center in Carneros."
Despite not breaking the $1 million mark in live-auction bids, several auctions made big splashes with their overall event totals. Dallas' Côtes du Coeur raised $4.5 million and Napa's Harvest Stomp raised $2.3 million. Carolina's Triangle Wine Experience (TWE), ¡Salud! Oregon Pinot Noir Auction, Inspire Napa Valley, Oregon Wine Experience, Nashville Wine Auction, Kansas City's Shuttlecork and Idaho's Sun Valley Center Wine Auction all raised over $1 million.
"The Triangle Wine Experience raised $2.3 million last year, allowing the Frankie Lemmon School [a preschool for kids with and without special needs] to serve 95 children for the 2020 school year and helping close the gap of financial need so that no child need be turned away from the school due to financial restrictions," TWE director Tiffany Langhi said.
This year is looking like another banner year, as newcomers such as Orlando Wine Festival & Auction take the stage and long-running auctions add innovative fundraising strategies. "Our focus in 2020 will be engaging with more wineries as we expand the opportunities for participation and engagement with wine lovers," said AWW executive director Jamie Peha. "We'll continue to focus on innovation in fundraising by bringing new experiences to bidders who prefer intimate settings … and utilizing technologies such as mobile bidding."
Whatever the cause, wine lovers across the country joined paddles and made a difference in 2019. "Their unending support has allowed us to break our fundraising record from year to year," said Festival Napa Valley's Walker. "We hope to do the same in 2020."
The weekend benefit kicked off on Friday night with a grand tasting that presented wines from Arietta, David Arthur Vineyards, Riverain Vineyards, Sire Estate, and more. On Saturday, wine and animal lovers enjoyed tastings, a pet parade, and a concert featuring the Sun Kings at One Hope Winer)'. All proceeds went to Jameson Animal Rescue Ranch in St. Helena. 8) Guests attend the grand tasting at a private Oakville estate. 9) Wine luminaries Dario Sattui, Jon Lail, and Andy Beckstoffer.
Monica and David Stevens, owners of 750 Wines in St. Helena, founded Jameson Animal Rescue Ranch just five years ago. Since then, the organization has helped 12,000 people in the bay area, either financially or with animal rescues and behavior issues.
The nonprofit also has purchased four acres and a ranch in south Napa where they house and adopt out rescue horses, dogs, cats, and pigs.
The operation is largely funded by its annual WineaPAWlooza event, with donated auction lots, food, wine, and a pet parade, this year held Saturday, July 20. At least $1 million towards JARR’s capital campaign has been pledged from the event so far.
Each year the stakes have been raised with larger and more rare donations from some of Napa Valley’s most famed wineries and vintners, and rare wine experiences.
This year’s unique auction lots included a double magnum of 1998 Screaming Eagle, which Robert Parker called “the ultimate collector’s Cabernet Sauvignon,” a three-pack of 100-point 2007 Scarecrow, and 30 magnums of Beckstoffer-bred wine from the vineyards of To Kalon, Dr. Crane, Las Piedras, George III, and Missouri Hopper.
The event was hosted by One Hope Winery. Located in Rutherford, the winery is scheduled to open early in 2020. The One Hope Foundation partners with wineries to donate portions of sales to nonprofits like OLE Health, said Mari Coyle, vice-president of winemaking at One Hope.
JARR redefines ‘animal shelter’
In the last five years, as JARR has grown, it has also honed its mission, redefining what it means to be an animal rescue operation.
For starters, it is taking “a moonshot,” as Monica Stevens says, to raise $10 million towards building a sustainable, bio-diverse working ranch and hub for animal advocacy nationwide.
The ranch would serve as a blueprint for other communities to use—kind of like a franchise model—that could be replicated across the country. It will have an education component reaching out to experts and giving TED talks, and will cut across regular spay/neuter programs.
“The idea is not to just take in every animal. It’s about preventing animals from having to be taken in in the first place,” said Brad Schomburg, JARR director of communications. “Ideally we want to prevent the reality of euthanasia. We’re looking at things with a larger scope, seeing where we can get down to the root of the issue, and fix things systemically.”
Napa Valley’s underserved animals
No one really knows what the current state of animal welfare is, Schomburg said. Data does show that 2.7 million cats and dogs are euthanized each year. There’s no current data on horses being euthanized, but 200,000 horses are abandoned each year, he said.
“The idea of the ranch evolved from trying to meet those needs into how do we turn this on its head? And look at the entire animal rescue welfare approach, and create a model.”
Since the beginning, JARR has been inundated with requests. Initially, Stevenson started with a traditional, one-on-one rescue operation. But she began and then assessing the needs of the entire community. She began to realize, and it became apparent, that there is no overarching oversight, no standards or applications that other Napa Valley shelters can look to in this affluent community.
“We realized that most of the rescues across the country are so underfunded, and they can’t afford staff, and they certainly can’t afford to give (help) financially, so that became a focus,” said Elisa Turner, JARR’s CFO and professed money manager. “We wanted to do whatever it takes to help our community and their animals.”
Throughout the Valley, there are sustainable, nonprofit, no-kill organizations like Wine Country Animal Lovers, (WCAL) based in Calistoga. WCAL has no facility, but operates with animal foster families, and partners with other such organizations across several Nor Cal counties, including aiding wildfire rescues.
There is also We Care in St. Helena, a no-kill shelter that houses and cares for cats, typically about 200 at time.
Stevens’ enthusiasm is infectious. It’s one thing to have a vision, but to be able to enunciate it, to have the energy and tenacity to sustain that vision, and attract like-mined bodies that form a cohesive mission to change the world for the better is something else.
“Monica is kind of a rock star. She’s a great example of putting your mind to something and doing it,” said Melissa Dobar, executive director of We Care. “We like to think we’re developing a coalition in Napa and beyond. You throw your resumes together, go upstream and fix it.”
JARR also has a relationship with Meals on Wheels. Once there, the organization found that seniors were giving their meals to their animals, because they couldn’t afford pet food. JARR subsequently started a senior and pets wellness program assisting with food and veterinary care, and volunteers that provide water and walk dogs.
“We realized if this is happening in Napa, it’s got to be happening everywhere. And it’s true,” Turner said. “Most of the rescues across the country are all underfunded. So there’s an opportunity to come along and offer a different way to help people, so that’s what we’re going to do. And all on a sustainable ranch. Like Uber, we’re going to be a different way to help people.
A gift has given back to Napa County pet owners – twice.
At a clinic Sunday in American Canyon, the owners of 155 dogs and cats lined up to bring in their furry companions for shots, tracking microchips, and spay and neuter vouchers – all offered free through the nonprofit Jameson Animal Rescue Ranch (JARR). It was a gift that drew the gratitude of many visitors enabled to protect their four-legged family members, without spending hundreds of dollars for a veterinarian visit.
“It’s a godsend; for my daughter, it’s a godsend,” said Debbie Donham of Vallejo as she held her daughter Kari’s 4-year-old Chihuahua-Pomeranian mix Midnight outside the city’s Senior Multi-Use Center – one of several dozen owners who queued up before the clinic opened at 11 a.m.
Read more at: https://napavalleyregister.com/news/local/donation-funds-free-shots-microchips-at-clinic-for-napa-valley/article_639c49ca-01aa-50b6-9604-dae7bac39de7.html
Leading charity wine auctions in 2018 raised money for worthy causes, from needy children to wildfire victims to health care
"WineaPawlooza, in a category of its own, focused on benefiting animals. "We are grateful to our spectacular Napa Valley wine community, wine enthusiasts and collectors from around the country who come together to support [Jameson Animal Rescue Ranch]'s mission of animal advocacy," said cofounder and CEO Monica Stevens."
Read full story here: https://www.winespectator.com/webfeature/show/id/America-Top-Charity-Wine-Auctions-Raised-42-Million-in-2018