Exceeding expectations: Destin Charity Wine Auction raises over $3.8M for children's charities

The record-breaking auction benefits 15 local children’s charities

Special to The Destin Log/USA TODAY NETWORKK

MIRAMAR BEACH — The 17th annual Destin Charity Wine Auction presented by the Jumonville Family raised more than $3.8 million for children in need in Northwest Florida.

The record-breaking results are a staggering $1.8 million increase over the previous year.

Hosted April 22 and 23, it was the first in-person auction experience produced by the Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation (DCWAF) since 2019 following two years of virtual auctions.

The Destin Charity Wine Auction returned to an in-person event last month after two years of holding virtual events because of the pandemic.

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With a sold-out crowd of 600 guests, the proceeds will benefit DCWAF’s 15 partner children’s charities in Northwest Florida.

“The results of this year’s auction far exceeded anything we could have ever dreamed,” said John Russell, president of DCWAF. “We expected to show growth when compared to the past two virtual auctions, but we had no idea we would beat our best auction by over a million dollars! We are so grateful to our supporters from the wine and culinary fields, but also to our board of directors and the patrons that attended the auction and raised their paddles high and often.

“What cannot be overstated is the impact these funds will have on our supported charities," he added. "They have battled through the pandemic to continue to deliver their services, often at great risk to themselves, so that the children of our community would know they were not forgotten. We cannot wait to present the largest checks in our history to our charity partners.”

Guests bid on an auction package during the 17th Annual Destin Charity Wine Auction held April 22 and 23 in Miramar Beach. The event raised more than $3.8 million for children's organizations.

The auction weekend began Friday, April 22, with 10 patron dinners hosted along the Emerald Coast that collectively raised more than $720,000. The live auction kicked off on Saturday, April 23, with the Magnum Force lot (50 magnums from vintners past and present) that raised a record winning bid of $70,000.

The highest single-selling lot of the afternoon was a trip with private air passage to Middleburg, Virginia, which sold for $110,000. A luxurious seven-night stay in the British Virgin Islands aboard a four-bedroom Moorings 52.4 monohull captained by Chef Tim Creehan sold for $70,000, and an immersive trip to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail complete with private air passage, courtesy of NetJets, sold for $75,000.

The Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation's annual fundraiser included a wine tasting, as well as an auction featuring travel packages and more.

DCWAF broke from tradition to offer a very special 9-liter of Ellison Ingram Cuvée, named in honor of Doug and Merrisa Ingram’s 9-year-old son who tragically passed away last year. The Ingrams are longtime supporters of the event. The lot sold for $65,000 and then again for $75,000, raising a grand total of $140,000. Proceeds from this lot will benefit the Ellison Ingram Scholarship Fund, which awards scholarships to children in Northwest Florida who have previously benefited from one of DCWAF’s partner charities.

Other notable lots included a trip to Costa Rica, which sold five times for a total of $112,500; a trip to Napa with an intimate wine dinner hosted by Forman Vineyards that sold for $54,000; an immersive trip to Italy that sold four times for a total of $160,000; and a customizable trip to Bordeaux that sold four times for a total of $140,000. This year’s Paddle Raise also broke all previous records, raising more than $340,000.

Visitors take time for a photo during the Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation's annual fundraiser in Miramar Beach.

The funds raised at the 17th annual Destin Charity Wine Auction will be distributed to 15 local nonprofit organizations for specific projects and programs that benefit children.

DCWAF’s charity partners for 2022 include:

  • AMIkids Emerald Coast, Ascension Sacred Heart Emerald Coast, Boys and Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast, Children in Crisis, Children’s Volunteer Health Network, Emerald Coast Autism Center and the Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center.
  • Food for Thought, Habitat for Humanity of Walton County, Mental Health Association of Okaloosa and Walton Counties, Opportunity Inc., Shelter House of Northwest Florida, The Arc of the Emerald Coast, Westonwood Ranch and Youth Village.

This year’s auction was comprised of 46 Live Lots, eight Cellar Lots, 37 Super Silent Lots and 137 Silent Lots featuring rare wines, luxury travel experiences, and many other one-of-a-kind items.

More about the DCWAF

As the top charity fundraising event in Northwest Florida, the Destin Charity Wine Auction is currently ranked fifth among the nation’s top charity wine auctions by Wine Spectator Magazine. The money raised at this year’s auction will be presented to DCWAF’s charity partners during a ceremony in September.

The dates for next year’s Destin Charity Wine Auction weekend are April 28-29, 2023. For more information on the Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation, visit www.DCWAF.org.