Annual Barrel Full of Money Campaign shifts amidst the pandemic to raise funds for local food bank
WALLA WALLA, WA – Walla Walla Valley wineries, along with other area businesses and nonprofit organizations, announced the annual launch of Barrel Full of Money, their fundraising campaign to benefit the Blue Mountain Action Council (BMAC) Food Bank. Historically, the Barrel Full of Money program raises funds that are used to purchase bulk food items and perishables for those in need through a kick-off event, donation barrels and canisters, a raffle and culminates with an auction and wine reception. This year, the campaign will shift fundraising methods due to the pandemic, and will feature an online auction, raffle tickets, winery promotions, restaurant promotions and multiple donation opportunities.
The Barrel Full of Money campaign has raised over $220,000 since inception in 2011, equating to 1,100,000 meals for local families. The BMAC Food Bank distributes over 870,000 pounds of food through pantries in Walla Walla County every year. In light of the outbreak of novel coronavirus, local residents are more in need of food assistance than ever. Currently, 5% of Walla Walla County residents and 10% of Columbia County residents are relying on meals from the BMAC Food Bank.
“The community’s collaboration and generosity are how the Food Bank is able to return $6 in food assistance for every dollar donated,” explains Jeff Mathias, Food Bank Director for Blue Mountain Action Council. “The money raised through Barrel Full of Money significantly contributes to our ability to purchase bulk food items and perishables which help balance out the non-perishables that are donated from a variety of other sources each year.”
Barrel Full of Money is a collaborative fundraising effort by Alaska Airlines, Baker Boyer Bank, Columbia REA, Dunham Cellars, Grocery Outlet, Hayden Homes, Seguin Moreau, Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, Blue Mountain Action Council and the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance and its members.
The 2020 campaign features involvement from many local businesses, including wineries, restaurants, grocery stores and more, throughout November and December. A few fundraising efforts include:
- Bacon & Eggs is offering “Bacon for BMAC” and in the month of November, $1 from each bacon order will be donated to the campaign.
- Brasserie Four will host “Bœuf for BMAC” beginning November 10 and continuing through December 10. $5 of every order of Bœuf Bourguignon will be donated to the fundraiser.
- Wineries are offering special wines benefitting the campaign and donating tasting fees. Each year, Gifford Hirlinger donates all their tasting fees for the year to the Barrel Full of Money campaign, and other wineries will provide their fees from special tasting weekends in the fall.
- Grocery Outlet is providing scan cards that allow customers to give to the campaign at check out.
Additional participating businesses will be added to the campaign over the next several weeks. Those looking to support the campaign can view all the participants and opportunities at www.wallawallawine.com/event/bfom-2020/ .
The culminating event of the campaign, the silent auction, will begin online on Sunday, December 6. The silent auction will last for five days and will close on Thursday, December 10 with a live wine auction and closing event presided over by auctioneer Dave Mitchell. Silent auction items include goods from local businesses, local art, dining experiences and exclusive getaways.
Additionally, Alaska Airlines is continuing their support of this fundraiser with two roundtrip airline tickets to anywhere Alaska flies. Tickets are valid for one year from date of issue, are unrestricted and do not have blackout dates. The tickets will be given away as the grand prize for the raffle. Only 500 raffle tickets are printed, they sell for $10 each and are available for purchase from Barrel Full of Money steering committee members or by calling the Blue Mountain Action Council (509) 529-4980. The raffle drawing will take place live during the December 10 live, online auction, and participants need not be present to win.
“While it may look very different from years past, there are still many ways to support the Barrel Full of Money fundraiser this year,” says Robert Hansen, Executive Director of the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance. “Whether you want to grab a bite to eat, stock up on wine for the holidays, attend an online auction or simply contribute by donating, there is a way to give for everyone. We look forward to coming together as a community to support our neighbors in need.”
Those wishing to support the campaign through cash donations can contribute online at bmacww.org. Checks can be mailed to Blue Mountain Action Council at 8 E. Cherry St., Walla Walla, WA 99362. Checks should be made out to BMAC with “Barrel Full of Money” in the memo line.
Barrel Full of Money Events
- November – December 10: Raffle tickets available for purchase by calling the Blue Mountain Action Council (509) 529-4980
- November 1-30: Bacon for BMAC at Bacon & Eggs
- November 10-December 10: Bœuf for BMAC at Brasserie Four
- December 6-10: Online silent auction
- December 10: Live auction and closing event online, 6:00-7:00 p.m.
Barrel Full of Money is made possible by:
About the Blue Mountain Action Council
The Blue Mountain Action Council is a community action partnership agency providing a wide array of services to help people meet their basic essential needs. The BMAC food bank is the regional distribution center for the five local food pantries in Walla Walla County as well as the pantries in Columbia, Asotin and Garfield Counties. More information about the BMAC and its programs is available at www.bmacww.org or by calling 509-529-4980.
About the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance
The Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance is a nonprofit wine industry membership organization whose primary mission is to build an internationally acclaimed Walla Walla Valley wine brand among consumers, media, and trade by providing marketing programs on behalf of member wineries, vineyards, and partners. The Wine Alliance functions as the leading informational resource for consumers, media and trade interested in learning more about the Valley’s wine industry.