Wednesday, August 16, 2017

California Wine Fair and The James Fund

California Wine Fair - James fund auction signed guitar from 3 Days Grace

This year, Three Days Grace, Tom Hanks, Nickelback, Dolly Parton and the Kratt Brothers all donated items (in some cases much more) that helped The James Fund raise money to help kids fight neuroblastoma, one of the deadliest childhood cancers.

Every year, the California Wine Fair sweeps across Canada. This year, in Toronto alone, it brought 400 premium wines from 125 of California’s top producers, the largest tasting tour of California wines in the great white north. As it was last year, The James Fund was selected by The California Wine Fair as the charity to run and benefit from the silent auction. And what a silent auction it was.

Spirited bidding broke out on several items, including this beautiful guitar autographed by every member of Three Days Grace. Even better, the band came to the event and had their picture taken with the winner. Band member Brad Walst and his wife Rhonda, who is on the board of The James Fund, secured a number of other wonderful items for the cause, including a Tiffany Silver Limited edition Kings of Leon flask, a guitar signed by every member of Nickelback and other exclusive one of a kind items.

Kings of Leon Tiffany Silver flask with autographed sleeve and poster and big bottle of Jack Daniels for James Fund auction

And as they do at all of these events, everyone wanted to talk to Syd Birrell, the father of James Birrell, for whom The James Fund is named. Although it is too late for his own child, Syd works tirelessly for a day that other children will not die from neuroblastoma. Syd and Brad spent a fair bit of time talking about the cause and some of the important break-throughs coming as a result of the research The James Fund supports.

Brad Walst and Syd Birrell at California Wine Fair

Tens of thousands of dollars were raised – but more importantly, neuroblastoma families had the chance to connect with new people and tell them about the important research being done at The James Birrell Lab at SickKids to help fight this most deadly of childhood cancers.

Thank you to our host, Rick Slomka.

Rick Slomka of the California Wine Institute with glass of red wine in hand

Let’s do it again next year, shall we?

Photo credit: all photos by Susan McLennan

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