Parties: V For Victory

Written by Catherine Bigelow | Photography by Drew Altizer

V Foundation Wine Celebration

Attendees: 450
Result: $12 million for cancer research

At the 23rd V Foundation Wine Celebration, hosted by Duke University men’s basketball coach Mike “Coach K” Krzyzewski, the V Foundation for Cancer Research joined forces with the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy — founded by Silicon Valley whiz kid turned billionaire philanthropist Sean Parker — in a new partnership to fund cutting-edge immunotherapy researchers.

This year, Frank Family Vineyards proprietors Rich and Leslie Frank were designated Vintner Honorees, with a foundation grant in their name to support lymphoma research.

Amid this four-day fete over August 5 to 8, science mixed with gourmet repasts and five-star sips at exquisite Napa Valley wineries. Festivities included a “Dinner with the Docs” at Far Niente; singer Andy Grammer headlining an Alpha Omega Winery concert; and Estate Yountville hosting the “Answer for Cancer Symposium.” Previous Vintner Honorees (Robin Baggett, Cyril Chappellet, Jeff Gargiulo, Chuck McMinn) also battled it out at the grill during the BBQ Showdown.

The grand finale? A gala and live auction of luxe goods, unfurled at Nickel & Nickel Estate Winery, where award-winning chef Michael Mina served up a four-star feast paired with Beth Nickel’s primo vino. Guests raised a record-breaking $12 million, and that total was goosed by a single $1 million pledge from Celesta Capital founding managing partner Michael Marks, who won a courtside seat this season to watch Coach K lead his final home game at Duke.

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