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NAPA VALLEY, CA, July 22, 2019 – The V Foundation Wine Celebration will honor Pat and Joe Harbison as the 2019 Vintner Grant Honorees at a special luncheon during the V Wine Celebration August 1-4 in the Napa Valley.

Over the past 40 years, Pat and Joe Harbison have spent all their non-professional time giving back by founding, chairing, and participating through donations and bidding at charities that benefit children with life threatening diseases, particularly cancer. They founded the Harbison Family Foundation that has produced the Winter Wine and Food Fest, benefiting Make-A-Wish of Sacramento, Northern and Central California, and Western Nevada for 25 years. This event alone has raised one-third of the money for the annual budget for wish costs. Utilizing two capital campaigns, the Harbison’s additionally helped build the “Wishing Place” which houses all of the staff rent free and initiated an annuity fund guaranteeing that no wish requested of this chapter would ever be denied for economic reasons.

Cancer has affected both Pat and Joe’s families. Pat’s mother Ruth DeWees Ashway died of pancreatic cancer and Joe’s father passed away from lung cancer. Recently, Joe’s 92-year-old mother underwent a mastectomy for breast cancer. It was only natural that they joined the V Foundation at its inception – to fulfill Jimmy V’s wish to fund examiners, pioneers, and cutting edge researchers to combat and cure the hundreds of forms of cancer. They continue to support the V Foundation and its incredibly generous partner, ESPN, in hopes that one day a cure for cancer will render Make-A-Wish obsolete.

Each year the V Wine Celebration acknowledges the efforts and support of a participating vintner by awarding a Vintner’s Grant in their honor. This year, Pat and Joe are being recognized for their continued support of The V Foundation. Through the Vintner’s Grant, the honorees are able to designate an area of focus and will have a grant for esophageal cancer research in their name. The V Foundation is fortunate to have a Scientific Advisory Committee whose members are leaders in the cancer research field, and who are responsible for evaluating and selecting research projects to receive funding. 

The V Foundation is committed to ensuring that a significant portion of the funds raised at the Wine Celebration benefits cancer research and awareness locally in the Bay Area and the Napa Valley. Grants from past events have benefited research at Queen of the Valley Hospital in Napa, St. Helena Hospital, Ole Health of Napa, UCSF Medical Center, UC Davis School of Medicine and Stanford Medical Center.

The V Wine Celebration, one of the top-rated charitable events in the country, has helped to fund more than 600 research programs at medical research facilities across the country. Each year it attracts attendees to the Napa Valley from all over to the country for a gala weekend of events and activities with a serious underlying purpose – benefiting the foundation’s efforts to support significant cancer research.

For more information on the 2019 V Wine Celebration, please visit www.winecelebration.org

About the V Foundation Wine Celebration

Since 1999, the V Foundation Wine Celebration, benefitting the V Foundation for Cancer Research, has raised over $108 million for cancer research and related programs. This three-day signature series of events in the stunning Napa Valley demonstrates that commitment, passion and giving become the catalyst for positive change.

About the V Foundation for Cancer Research

The V Foundation for Cancer Research was founded in 1993 by ESPN and the late Jim Valvano, legendary North Carolina State University basketball coach and ESPN commentator. Since 1993, the Foundation has funded more than $225 million in cancer research grants nationwide. The V Foundation awards 100% of direct donations to cancer research and programs. The V Foundation’s endowment covers administrative expenses. The Foundation awards peer-reviewed grants through a competitive award process strictly supervised by a Scientific Advisory Committee. For more information on the V Foundation or to make a donation, please visit www.v.org.

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