Salud! Celebrates 25 Years and a Record Breaking Fundraiser

12/05/2016 06:16 pm ET Updated Jun 20, 2017

This article first appeared on TheWineSiren.com

Salud! Oregon 25th Anniversary Gala and Auction
Salud! Oregon 25th Anniversary Gala and Auction

For the last 25 years, Oregon winemakers have been raising funds for the Salud! Program. Established in 1991, the program (a partnership of the winemakers and the physicians of Tuality Healthcare ) has been 100% funded from the proceeds of the annual Oregon Pinot Noir Auction. The goal? To raise money for the seasonal vineyard workers and their families. These workers are some of the most vital and critical to the care of the vineyards. Because of their seasonal status they are unable to qualify for healthcare coverage.

The two night event closed by raising $911,300 to benefit the healthcare of seasonal vineyard workers.

Recently I journeyed to Portland from Napa Valley to learn more about the event, the people involved and the beneficiaries. This two-day event focuses on the tasting debuts of the 2015 vintage of Pinot Noir for Willamette Valley vintners. Night one we journeyed above the fog line to Ponzi Estates on the slopes of the Chehalem Mountains. The winemakers & vintners poured, and the rooms were abuzz about the 2015 Cuvées presented. The Cuvées are truly unique. They are not available in a store, a tasting room or anywhere else. It's a great opportunity to stock your cellar with rare wine while helping this beneficial fundraiser.

The scene at Ponzi Vineyards
The scene at Ponzi Vineyards
The Salud! 25th Anniversary Gala
The Salud! 25th Anniversary Gala

On the night of the Gala we ventured to downtown Portland at the Sentinel Hotel. This black tie optional event features prominent players of the Willamette Valley wine industry. A few notable participants, Annie & Scott Shull of Raptor Ridge, Bill Sweat and Donna Morris of Winderlea, Eugenia Keegan at Gran Moraine & Oregon’s Jackson Family of Wines and David Adelsheim. Adelsheim is the President of Adelsheim Vineyards and arguably one of the most selfless and modest individuals in the championing of Willamette Valley’s wine industry. The two night event closed by raising $911,300 to benefit the healthcare of seasonal vineyard workers.

To see a complete list of participating wineries click here.

Through the alliance of Tuality Health Care and the Salud! Program, Tuality creates access of affordable healthcare to seasonal workers. Providing a mobile healthcare unit with multi-lingual staff enables both medical and dental evaluations on site. The program encourages the workers who are on tight budgets and have limited access to healthcare to get the help they need without concern about lost work time, childcare or transportation.

The Salud! Programs mobile unit heads regularly to vineyards to work with seasonal workers.
The Salud! Programs mobile unit heads regularly to vineyards to work with seasonal workers.

VIDEO: Learn more about the program listen to Services Manager, Leda Garside RN:

The Bottom Line. The mobile unit promotes wellness through regular screening of vitals and cholesterol, vision, vaccinations and more. When problems are identified referrals are made to clinics for additional care. By providing access, and early detection the workers can alleviate multiple challenges and get the care when and where they need it. It’s good for the industry and most importantly the people who play such an important role in the success of the industry. Ellen Brittan, ¡Salud! Steering Committee Co-Chair and owner of Brittan Vineyards, states, “This year’s event was especially impactful because we achieved a milestone of 25 years of service through collaboration for this truly unique program. The funds raised will allow our dedicated ¡Salud! Services team to continue providing approximately 5,000 annual medical and dental encounters to workers at 150 vineyards in the northern Willamette Valley.”

Mark Your Calendars! Next year’s do not miss event is Friday November 10 and Saturday November 11, 2017.

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