“Like a fine wine, Uncorked gets better with age.”
That’s what the Uncorked website says, and there’s no argument about it.
Uncorked is the benefit event for the children served by Salem’s Family Building Blocks. When all the receipts are tallied and the bills paid, the 2011 Uncorked will net somewhere around $380,000, a tidy sum reflecting a 26 percent increase from 2010. Attendance also is up—now topping out at 420, up from about 300 four years ago.
To what does Uncorked owe its success?
“It’s all about our supporters and our mission,” said Brooke Gries, FBB event coordinator. “Our community is passionate about helping
children,” she said. “Our guests believe in what we do, and this prompts them to give.” Leading up to Uncorked, FBB spends the year cultivating guests by inviting them to luncheons and tours of their facilities.
Uncorked is so successful because of the 30-member planning committee, which helps to create the event. Committee members invite people to attend who want to help support the relief nursery. Volunteers help with administrative efforts. The Family Building Blocks’ board of directors and other donors dip into their personal wine cellars as well as arrange special vacation packages for the auction.
Due to the popularity of the event, it has outgrown the main dining hall at Zenith Vineyard, so the Uncorked staff and volunteers arrange
for a tent with its own floor, carpeting, lighting and audio-visual system. “We make a venue from scratch,” Brooke said.
Uncorked is a “remarkable success,” said Jim Bernau, president of Willamette Valley Vineyards. “The Salem area now has a charity wine auction that rivalsPortland.”
(Photos courtesy of Family Building Blocks)