Winery tour and auction raise cash for outreach

More than 100 supporters of the Cornelius-based Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center gathered June 29 for the Virginia Garcia Memorial Foundation’s first annual Grape Adventure, a wine tasting and auction fundraiser that garnered about $75,000.

The money will go to Virginia Garcia’s outreach department, which supports farmworkers.

Sixty attendees paid $100 each to spent the afternoon aboard two luxury buses touring several area wineries, including Adelsheim Vineyard, Anne Amie Vineyards, Archery Summit and Brick House Vineyards, all of which donated tastings and time to the event.

After four hours of scenic byways and wine flights, guests arrived at Rex Hill for a garden party and auction, complete with live music from local band Mockingbird and small plates from Genoa. Forty additional guests joined the group for an evening of silent and live auctions.

“It was incredibly successful,” said Olivia MacKenzie, who helped coordinate the event. “Our goal was to acquaint supporters with the clinics, and we were able to accomplish that pretty handily.”

Live auction bids of less than $5,000 were matched by an anonymous donor, and the funds will support Virginia Garcia’s Outreach Department, which supports farmworkers and their families year-round.

Each bus took off from and returned to one of the organization’s four clinics in Yamhill and Washington counties, which focus on providing health care to migrant farmworkers.

“We wanted guests to have an opportunity to see one of our clinics from the inside,” MacKenzie said.

Patients at each clinic shared personal stories, and MacKenzie remembers how one woman described her feelings about the McMinnville clinic.

“It’s not just going to the doctor,” MacKenzie said. “There’s a very deep ownership and community. It’s not ‘the clinic,’ it’s ‘our clinic.’”

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