The Cincinnati International Wine Festival — which drew more than 6,000 attendees this year to its grand tastings and winemaker dinners — had its best fund-raising year in its 23-year history this year, generating $330,000 that was divvied up among 32 charitable organizations, according to the festival’s executive director, Laura Ginn.
The beneficiaries include health, education and social-service agencies and arts organizations ranging from the Miami University Foundation to Cancer Family Care to the Cincinnati Ballet to the Sudden Infant Death Network of Ohio.
The wine festival, held every year in early March, is itself a charitable, non-profit organization founded in 1991 to promote the wine industry and raise funds for local charities. It has evolved into one of the Midwest’s largest annual wine events.
The $330,000 raised from this year’s events represents a 15 percent increase from the $286,500 raised in 2012.
Ginn said having the large number of charity beneficiaries spread across a wide geographic area helps attendees understand the charitable intent of the event. And it allows those attendees to support a range of agencies that have very different missions, she said.
“Most patrons probably can’t write a $75 check to every one of our beneficiaries,” but they can support all of those non-profits by attending a single event, Ginn said. Those agencies are also a rich source of volunteer help for the festival’s multiple events, which include grand tastings, a charity auction, winemaker dinners at local restaurants and a golf tournament.
Next year’s festival’s grand tastings and charity auction will be held March 7-8, 2014.
2013 Cincinnati International Wine Festival Beneficiaries
ALS Association Central & So. Ohio Chapter
Boys & Girls Club of Clermont County
Cancer Family Care
Carnegie Art Center
Catholic Inner-City Schools Education
Children’s Home of Northern Kentucky
Cincinnati Union Bethel
Conductive Learning Center
Crayons to Computers
Dan Beard Council, Boy Scouts of America
Dress for Success
Easter Seals Work Resource Center
Hamilton County Special Olympics
Kentucky Symphony Orchestra
Linton Chamber Music Series
Little Brothers-Friends of the Elderly
Miami University Foundation
Midwest Culinary Institute at Cincinnati State
Ronald McDonald House
Stepping Stones Center
Sudden Infant Death Network of Ohio
Women Helping Women