Circle of Hope, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting those fighting cancer in Santa Clarita, is hosting its annual Vine2Wine virtually amid the coronavirus pandemic.
While COVID-19 has halted many of the Santa Clarita Valley nonprofits’ fundraising events, it hasn’t stopped many of them from continuing their services.
“COVID-19 has stopped a lot of things from happening, and the one thing that it has not stopped is cancer,” Executive Director Laura Kirchhoff said, “and now more than ever, the help that Circle of Hope gives is really important.”
Not only does Circle of Hope provide therapy options for cancer patients and survivors, but also the organization provides financial assistance to those who are unable to afford their medical treatments, such as copays, deductibles and cancer-related medications.
“Now with COVID-19 and the amount of people being put on furlough or laid off, the financial need has increased, and we have seen an increase in the number of people needing help so that they can get their medical treatment,” Kirchhoff added.
With the organization’s spring fundraisers postponed and their next one not typically held until August, they decided they cannot wait, as the need for financial assistance continues to increase.
“This is literally a lifesaving fundraiser so that those that need to receive their cancer treatments can continue to have the financial assistance they need from Circle of Hope to be able to do so,” Kirchhoff said.
While fundraising events couldn’t continue in-person, organizers found a way to revamp the annual Vine2Wine into a virtual Vine2Wine To Go, giving participants as close to the same experience as they would’ve received if they were in the Grand Hall at CalArts.
The event is expected to include dinner options from Salt Creek Grille, The Old Town Junction and Wolf Creek Restaurant & Brewing Co., as well as drink options from various local wineries and breweries, as well as a silent auction, which has transitioned online.
In addition, a live-streamed event will allow guests to enjoy live entertainment, including a table-side cooking demonstration of the meals being prepared from the chosen restaurant, a virtual winery tour of the featured wineries, as well as live music.
“We’ve created a whole fine dining experience so that you can still enjoy everything you would have enjoyed in person, but in the safe environment of your own living room and dining room,” Kirchhoff said.
Tickets to Vine2Wine To Go are $50 for general admission, which includes dinner, while VIP is $75 and includes a bottle of wine in addition to dinner and an exclusive drawing ticket.
“The cost of one ticket has just paid the copay to a cancer treatment,” Kirchhoff added.
Curbside meal pickup on the night of the event is also expected to include a Vine2Wine kit, with a program of the evening’s activities with a link to join the event live, along with a wine glass, pre-selected wine samples from various wineries, beer, dessert and other assorted favors and giveaways.
The online silent auction with more than 75 items goes live Saturday, and those interested in bidding on an item do not have to purchase tickets to the event to participate.
Dinner pickup for Vine2Wine To Go is scheduled 5:30-6:30 p.m. on May 30 at participating restaurants, while the event is scheduled via livestream 6:30-11 p.m.