Credit Unions for Kids Wine Auction raises $710K for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals

DANA POINT, CA (March 26, 2014) — Organizers of the ninth annual California and Nevada Credit Unions for Kids Wine Auction have announced that a record $710,000 was raised for the eleven Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals in California and Nevada.

The sold out event, which took place Friday, March 14th, at the Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa in Dana Point, California, drew over 415 attendees and was supported by more than 150 credit unions, business partners and hospitals. The annual wine auction continues to be one of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals’ premier events, as more than $2.6 million has now been raised by the Credit Unions for Kids Wine Auction since 2006.

“Through the efforts and generosity of our amazing sponsors, donors, and volunteers, we have once again surpassed all expectations by raising a record amount of money for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (or “CMN Hospitals”) and the eleven Children’s Hospitals in California and Nevada,” said Jeff York, event chairman and president and CEO of CoastHills Federal Credit Union.  “The remarkable success of the auction reflects credit unions’ close relationship with and commitment to their local communities.”

With a Great Gatsby/Roaring Twenties theme, the evening included fine food, dancing, and both silent and live auctions.  Attendees had the opportunity to bid on more than 350 gift packages that included bottles of fine wine, vacations (to California’s Wine Country; Vancouver, British Columbia; Kona, Hawaii, and other destinations), sporting events, and a collection of premium whiskeys.  Well-known charity auctioneer and comedian Sean Kelly, entertained attendees and was the event’s wine auctioneer.

The evening’s very special guest, Melinda Marchiano, a sophomore at Pepperdine University and CMN Hospital patient since 2007, shared how Cottage Children’s Health in Santa Barbara and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles have changed her life.

Marchiano, who was diagnosed with Hodgkin disease when she was thirteen years old, is just one of the many stories of hope as a result of the tireless efforts of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals throughout the country.

As a childhood cancer survivor, Melinda gives thanks for her life by dedicating time and resources to help numerous organizations, including CMN Hospitals.

A special auction item consisting of fine wines was in honor of seven year old Mason Morash, who has a very rare condition, Aplastic Anemia.  Little Mason, otherwise known as SuperMase, because of his positive attitude, is a patient at Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, waiting for a compatible donor for a bone marrow transplant.

“Our credit union partners have demonstrated remarkable generosity and unwavering commitment to our California and Nevada children’s hospitals with their support of this year’s Wine Auction,” said Joe Dearborn, senior director, Credit Unions for Kids.  “It’s a true testament to the credit union philosophy of people helping people.  The Credit Unions for Kids Wine Auction is the largest single national fundraising event for Credit Unions for Kids.”

Corporate Sponsors of this year’s event were CU Direct, the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues, CO-OP Financial Services, and CUNA Mutual Group.  As Corporate Sponsors, these organizations paid all overhead costs associated with the auction. As a result of the efforts and contributions of each of these organizations, all of the money raised will directly benefit the eleven Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals in California and Nevada.

The Credit Unions for Kids Wine Auction is directed by an Executive Committee, with a credit union CEO representing each of the benefitting hospitals:

  • Chairman Jeff York, CoastHills Federal Credit Union – Cottage Children’s Health in Santa Barbara and Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital
  • Geri LaChance, SESLOC Federal Credit Union – Cottage Children’s Health in Santa Barbara
  • Teresa Freeborn, Xceed Financial Federal Credit Union – Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
  • Darren Williams, Wescom Credit Union – Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
  • Shruti Miyashiro, Orange County’s Credit Union – Children’s Hospital Orange County
  • Brett Martinez, Redwood Credit Union – Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland
  • Marla Shepard, California Coast Credit Union – Rady Children’s Hospital of San Diego
  • John Cassidy, Sierra Central Credit Union – UC Davis Children’s Hospital
  • Hank Barrett, Valley First Credit Union – Children’s Hospital Central California
  • Steve Renock, Kern Schools Credit Union – Lauren Small Children’s Medical Center, Bakersfield
  • Eric Estes, Boulder Dam Credit Union – St. Rose Dominican Hospital, Las Vegas and Renown Children’s Hospital in Reno

About Credit Unions for Kids and Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals
Credit Unions for Kids is the brand under which America’s credit unions fundraise for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. The collaborative effort, which is driven by a “people helping people” philosophy, includes individual credit unions; local chapters; state leagues/associations; two national trade organizations; business partners and several trade publications.

The program was introduced nationally in 1996 and since that time the credit union movement has raised almost $130 million for affiliated children’s hospitals. Annually, credit unions are the third largest “corporate” contributor to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals behind only Wal-Mart and Costco.

The credit union community has established a wonderful legacy at hospitals across the country, funding breakthrough research, numerous programs and services and construction of new facilities. Fundraising activities run the gamut from major events to online giving campaigns to paper balloon icon sales.

For more information on Credit Unions for Kids and Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, please contact Joe Dearborn at (480) 614-9673 or  

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