Central Oregon’s Largest Wine Event Pivots to Virtual Fundraiser on July 18

KIDS Center of Central Oregon, the only medical-model child abuse intervention center in our area, has pivoted its annual Cork & Barrel wine and food event fundraising series, the area’s largest wine event, to a series of virtual wine and food events. Culminating in an evening of philanthropy by way of a virtual, live auction and paddle raise on Saturday, July 18, Cork & Barrel 2020 will also include a community giving campaign that will allow for donations to benefit KIDS Center for those who are not able to participate in the virtual fundraising event on July 18, 2020.

“Fortunately, KIDS Center remains fully operational to help hundreds of children and families impacted by child abuse in Central Oregon every year,” said Gil Levy, executive director of KIDS Center of Central Oregon. “And, because Cork & Barrel events funds 20 percent of KIDS Center’s annual budget, no family ever receives a bill for receiving life-changing services to evaluate child abuse as well as family support and therapy to help them heal from and overcome the devastating impact of abuse.” 

Child abuse does not stop during a pandemic,” continued said Levy. “In fact, children are at increased risk for abuse due to the emotional and financial stress placed on families. At a time when emergency rooms are seeing more severe cases of child abuse, the Department of Human Services (DHS) has reported that calls to the national child abuse hotline have dropped by 70 percent since the closure of school. “It is only a matter of time until the real impact to children becomes known and abuse reports skyrocket.”

The funds raised via the Cork & Barrel wine and food event series are, “Essential to keeping KIDS Center fully staffed and to be able to adequately process the surge in referrals to KIDS Center for suspected child abuse as communities begin the re-opening phase and when children and youth go back to school in the Fall and are under the supervision of mandatory reporters of child abuse,” furthered Levy.

An additional way in which Cork & Barrel is pivoting its fundraising strategies this year is by way of virtual wine and food events, the first of which happens on Thursday, May 28, with JUSTIN Winery and 10below Restaurant of The Oxford Hotel. Previously planned as an in-person evening of wine, food and philanthropy, the winemaker dinner featuring iconic JUSTIN Winery, considered one of the founders of the premium production of wine from Paso Robles, California and 10below restaurant of The Oxford in downtown Bend, will execute a delicious evening of storytelling and dining via a virtual platform on May 28. JUSTIN Winery founder, Justin Baldwin, will be at the helm of wine storytelling, and a four course meal, thoughtfully-prepared by Chef Darrell Henrichs of 10below, will be picked up by ticketed guests prior to the virtual event. 

“The Cork & Barrel’s Winemaker Dinner series has expanded greatly over the last eight years of Cork & Barrel,” said Robin Antonson, director of development and marketing at KIDS Center, “and we are thankful to our wine and culinary partners for their flexibility – and excitement – in making this very special evening of wine, food and philanthropy happen in a different way due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The delicious, in-person essence of the annual Cork & Barrel wine and food event fundraising series will resume July 15-17, 2021 at Broken Top Club. Paso Robles, California wine country, the designated wine region of Cork & Barrel 2020, will be back for the 2021 event series for three days of winemaker dinners, A Sip of Cork & Barrel, and the zenith of the event, the Grand Cru evening featuring a dinner and a Live Auction. Those interested in participating in upcoming, virtual wine events offered by Cork & Barrel, in addition to the virtual fundraising event planned for July 18, are encouraged to visit CorkandBarrel.org for updates and information.

More information and tickets are available at: CorkandBarrel.org/winemaker-dinners.



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