LAKE COUNTY–Five senior centers, five high schools, three high school programs, and eight nonprofit organizations have been selected as beneficiaries of this year’s Lake County Wine Auction, announced Kaj Ahlmann, president of the sponsoring Lake County Wine Alliance.

The Wine Alliance, a nonprofit organization of wineries, wine grape growers, vineyard owners, related businesses and community supporters founded in 2000, has contributed over $896,700 to foster the arts, benefit health services, and support the community while promoting Lake County as a premier growing region for fine wine grapes.  An all-volunteer board of directors and auction committee plan and direct the annual charity event.

This year’s Wine Auction, the thirteenth annual, will take place at Brassfield Estate Winery in High Valley on Saturday, Sept. 15, 5-11 p.m.  This special venue is an ideal setting to showcase the fine foods and wine from Lake County restaurants, caterers, and over 30 wineries.  The event is open to guests 21 years and older.  Tickets, at $150 per person, will be available in April.  Attire is black tie-encouraged.

The gala benefit features wine and food tastings, silent and live auctions, and dancing to the music of the LC Diamonds.  Auctioneers will be Shaun Hornby and Stephanie Green.

All proceeds from the Wine Auction activities will benefit the selected beneficiaries.  Over 40 organizations, agencies, and programs submitted their funding requests to the Wine Alliance, demonstrating the number of worthy programs in Lake County seeking financial assistance.  The recipient organizations will use their grants for these projects:

The Arts:  The fine arts education programs at the five Lake County high schools (Clear Lake High, Kelseyville High, Lower Lake High, Middletown High, and Upper Lake High) will share the funds in this category.

Health:  the Safe House for Homeless Youths serves youth 15-18 years of age from throughout Lake County; Hospice Services of Lake County provides physical, emotional and spiritual end-of-life support; and the five senior centers (Highlands, Live Oak, Lucerne Alpine, Lakeport, and Middletown) will support their nutrition programs for delivered meals to homebound seniors.

Community:  Funds in this category will be shared by the Clear Lake Performing Arts to expand its Youth Music Education program; the Friends of the Lake County Museum to present its docent outreach program to all schools; Team DUI to purchase outreach and educational materials; Konocti Junior Tennis League to continue its operation of the annual Lake County open junior tournament; Operation Tango Mike for shipping fees and package contents for troops deployed to combat zones; and Habitat for Humanity of Lake County for its home repair program for low income residents.  An additional award will go to the three high schools with Future Farmers of America (FFA) programs (Upper Lake, Kelseyville, and Middletown) that develop leadership through agricultural education.

Tickets for the Wine Auction will be available through the Wine Alliance website,, or by calling 1-866-279-WINE to make reservations.

Information about sponsorship opportunities is available from Marie Beery, 707-278-0129.  Major sponsors confirmed to date are Mendo Lake Credit Union, Calpine, Sutter Lakeside Hospital, and Shannon Ridge Vineyards & Winery.

Honorary chair for the 2012 Wine Auction is Jerry Brassfield, proprietor of Brassfield Estate Winery.  He will be assisted by committee co-chairs Judy Luchsinger, Lakeport, and Sharron Zoller, Kelseyville.

Members of the Wine Alliance board are Kaj Ahlmann, president; Dr. Judy Luchsinger, vice president; Sharron Zoller, secretary; Rob Roumiguiere, treasurer; and Marie Beery, Bill Groody, and Wilda Shock, directors.  Luchsinger chaired the beneficiaries committee and assisted the board members in reviewing the record number of applications.