More than 400 people gathered at the Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, on Saturday, March 4 to enjoy the nectar of top Napa Valley wineries and help find a cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
The third annual Napa In Newport wine auction raised $1 million to support Cure Duchenne’s mission to extend and improve the lives of those affected by Duchenne, a fatal genetic disease that causes muscle degeneration in children, typically boys. Those with Duchenne often lose their ability to walk by their mid-teens and the disease claims their lives by their mid-20s.
The deLeuze Family of ZD Wines served as honorary chair for this year’s sold-out Napa in Newport event. Other participating wineries included wines from Anomaly Vineyards, Continuum, Freemark Abbey, Joseph Phelps, PATEL, Quintessa Truchard Vineyards and many more.
Laguna’s Own Creates a Memorable Dinner
Laguna’s Chef Amar Santana presided as the evening’s chef with takes on his best sellers from both Broadway by Amar Santana and Vaca plated and presented for every guest. His dinner began with a trio of baby Heirloom beets, and wandered through a crisp pear salad, crusted filet mignon and, finally, bourbon vanilla bean panna cotta.
A private dinner with Chef Amar Santana with wine pairings at was also auctioned off at the event.
The live auction also featured luxury travel experiences, rarely available wines and custom, once-in-a-lifetime Napa Valley experiences.
Celebrating an Eventual Cure
As great wine and good company surrounded guests, they were reminded of the true reason behind the event when Hawken Miller, a 20-year-old affected by Duchenne, took the stage. Hawken shared with the audience his experience battling Duchenne and how the disease has progressively made life more difficult.
Debra Miller, Hawken’s mother and CureDuchenne founder and CEO, explained that every day the Duchenne community loses two people to this ravaging disease. As the search for a cure continues, CureDuchenne provided early funding for first FDA approved drug to treat Duchenne.
“Our successes over the past year remind us how much we can accomplish together. With the first treatments available, we are one step closer to our mission of finding a cure for Duchenne, but we have a long way to go,” said Miller.
Proceeds from the event funds gene editing research that could be transformational for Duchenne patients.