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Ed Foundation Wine Auction Raises Record $400,000

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By Lookout Staff

May 27, 2022 -- The Santa Monica Education Foundation's first in-person wine auction in three years raised a record $400,000 for local schools this month, Foundation officials announced Friday.

The seventh annual auction -- held May 15 under the Miramar Hotel’s iconic Moreton Bay Fig tree -- featured food and wine tastings from top local restaurants and renowned wineries, along with live and silent auctions.

“After three long years, it was magical being back in person again," said Alison Havel, president of the Foundation’s Board. "The excitement was palpable!"

The money raised will be used to support arts programs, elementary classroom aides and STEM programs, "as well as important social-emotional programs, like mindfulness," Foundation officials said.

"Social-emotional programs have been critical during the pandemic, as students have continued to adjust to the ever-changing landscape of COVID," officials said.

A record $187,880 was collectively raised during that Paddle Raise, including donations made to commemorate Linda Greenberg’s retirement after 28 years heading the Foundation, according to officials.

For the first time, the Wine Auction also featured the Library Reserve Room, "where the most exclusive wines were poured for only 40 people."

Last year's wine auction, the second held online, raised $250,000, while the 2020 auction raised $148,000.

The last in-person wine auction in 2019 raised $333,000.

Fundraising for 2022-2023 school-year programs will continue through June 30, 2022. For more information or to make a gift, or a special gift in honor of Linda Greenberg’s retirement, go to

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