Skip to main content


Wine Auction Raises $1.1 Million

Jun 14, 2016 05:55PM ● By Jeanne Fratello

Photo credit: Scott Varley

Wine flowed and glasses clinked on Saturday night at the Manhattan Beach Education Foundation's 22nd annual wine auction, as more than 2,000 guests joined together to raise money for Manhattan Beach public schools. This year's even raised over $1.1 million, or roughly 20 percent of MBEF's total funding in just one night.

The sold-out event, held at the Manhattan Country Club, featured samplings from more than 80 wineries, breweries, and distilleries; as well as food tastings from 40 local restaurants and specialty food vendors. A live auction featured collectible wines and spirits, exotic trips, one-of-a-kind dinners, unique experiences, sports and golf opportunities. Following the auction, guests enjoyed music and dancing under the stars. 

“Thanks to an array of spectacular donations from the community and the tireless efforts of our incredible volunteers, the 22nd annual Wine Auction was once again one of the largest fundraisers in the country that enhances public schools by raising over $1.1 million,” said Ken Bush, Wine Auction Co-Chair.

The funds raised through the Wine Auction are critical for the seven public schools of the Manhattan Beach Unified School District (MBUSD). MBEF funding currently represents 9% of MBUSD’s overall budget, and supports 70 educators who bring music, hands-on science, physical education,smaller classes, reading and writing fundamentals, libraries, technology, electives, STEM classes, and counseling.

“These opportunities for our students take more than money; they take dedication and partnership from all community stakeholders. As a district that receives less funding than almost any other in the state, we rely on our community to fill the gap," said Farnaz Flechner, MBEF Executive Director. "On Saturday, our community came out in full support of our schools. There is no question that Manhattan Beach schools are excellent because of the investment that our donors, volunteers, and educators make every day,”

Highlights from the live auction included a trip to the Masters hammering $24,000, a collection of 100-point wines that sold for $16,000, diamond earrings donated by 23rd St. Jewelers bringing in $19,000, and a trip to London that went for $20,000. The Silent Auction set a new all-time record of $184,000 including a new single-lot record of $13,000 for tickets to the heralded play "Hamilton" at the Pantages Theater.

True community spirit was exemplified with the fund-a-need Paddle Raise to expand MBEF’s new "Teachers Driving Innovation" (TDI) grants. MBEF first launched the TDI grants in 2015 in an effort to increase innovation in the classroom, while also engaging and empowering teachers.

“Guests at the Wine Auction donated $183,000, including a generous $50,000 matching gift from Chevron, to empower our teachers," said Roger Spencer, Wine Auction Co-Chair. "MBEF believes that the inclusion of innovative learning techniques throughout K-12 curriculum is critical to developing today’s students into tomorrow's leaders. Supportive and generous parents empowering great teachers leads to great schools."

This year's event was backed by more than 75 sponsors, including founding sponsor Chevron, Manhattan Country Club, Belkin, Moss Adams, Wells Fargo, and Delta Air Lines.

The Manhattan Beach Education Foundation is a community-driven fund raising organization that supplements state funding for programs to inspire learning, enrich teaching, and promote innovation and academic excellence in the public schools of Manhattan Beach. In the 2015/16 school year, MBEF funded over $6 million to MBUSD, increasing school district spending by 9%.

Subscribe to DigMB Emails * Don't Miss a Thing, Sign Up Today!

* indicates required
Email Format
Upcoming Events Near You

Subscribe to DigMB Emails * Don't Miss a Thing, Sign Up Today!

* indicates required
Email Format