The 22nd Annual Autumn Wine Tasting in New York City raised more than $544,000 for St. Jude, a 30 percent increase over last year’s event. During the past 22 years, the event has raised $2.5 million for St. Jude.
Sponsored by the New York law firm of Block O’Toole & Murphy, the Autumn Wine Tasting was held October 16 at Guastavino’s in New York.
The firm has been the event sponsor since 2007. Event chair and firm partner Stephen Murphy said the Autumn Wine Tasting is of significant importance to him and other members of the firm. “We consider supporting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to be among the most noble of causes,” Murphy said. “You’re helping children who are battling cancer. We love to do our part.”
Colleagues Dan O’Toole, Jeff Block, David and Julie Scher, and Joseph Donahue served on the event committee.
Murphy said the event’s spirit and enthusiasm contributed to the large increase in funds raised this year. But the event has grown exponentially since Block O’Toole & Murphy became involved.“It is very easy to generate momentum when you are asking folks to help combat pediatric disease,” he said.
About 550 people attended the Autumn Wine Tasting and bid on such auction items as: tickets to the Masters Tournament in Augusta, Georgia; a getaway at The Beach House in Turks and Caicos; and a private dinner with Chef John Mooney of Bell Book & Candle restaurant in New York. Attendees also enjoyed hors d’oeuvres from Saul, Ben & Jack’s Steak House, Brother Jimmy’s, Dina’s Delights, Runner and Stone, and Master Purveyors. Trifecta Nyarady Family Vineyards and Fine Terroir provided the premium wine tasting selections.
Murphy said he and his law firm have definite plans to sponsor the event again next year. Sponsorship revenue has been “wildly successful,” he said. But the team has a strategy for next year to increase funds raised.
“The funny thing about this event is that it has become a year-round effort,” he said. “One week after the 2014 event, we are already discussing plans for next year.”