Napa in Newport Raises $1.5M for CureDuchenne at 7th Annual Event

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by Mary Chapman |

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The seventh annual Napa in Newport wine auction, an event that brings together acclaimed Napa Valley vintners, raised more than $1.5 million for CureDuchenne.

The nonprofit will use those proceeds to support people with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), the most common form of MD, and to find a cure for the disease.

Held at the Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort & Club, in Dana Point, California, the recent affair was hosted by CureDuchenne and vintner chair the Bryant Estate. Since its first event in 2015, Napa in Newport has raised more than $7.5 million for CureDuchenne, a global leader in DMD research and patient care.

Some 450 of the region’s top business leaders, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, and wine connoisseurs were treated to a sampling of about 45 producers’ top wine vintages. The Napa Valley region is renowned for its hillside vineyards.

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“We’re so thrilled with the outcome of this year’s Napa in Newport gala, connecting passion and purpose to help improve the lives of everyone affected by Duchenne and accelerate a cure for my son and all the individuals living with Duchenne around the world,” Debra Miller, CureDuchenne CEO, said in a press release.

Miller is the mother of Muscular Dystrophy News features writer and columnist Hawken Miller, who has DMD.

As part of the event’s wine tasting, guests were treated to vintner-hosted dining tables, with a dinner menu crafted by celebrity chef Chris Shepherd, a James Beard Award winner. There also were chances to participate in a live auction that featured wines, trips, and what CureDuchenne called “once-in-a-lifetime experiences.”

Napa in Newport was such a wonderful opportunity for the Napa Valley community to come together and support an important cause,” added Bettina Bryant of Bryant Estate. “It was an absolute privilege to serve as the Vintner Chair this year to raise awareness for this devastating disease and help impact the lives of individuals with Duchenne muscular dystrophy.”

Tickets for this year’s gala ranged from $1,000 for individuals to $18,000 for a VIP vintner-hosted table.

The revenues topped last year’s event, which raised more than $1 million to support CureDuchenne.

To date, CureDuchenne has raised more than $50 million for DMD research, education, and care, funding a dozen projects that have advanced to clinical study. The organization was an early funder of the development of Exondys 51 (eteplirsen, by Sarepta Therapeutics), the first DMD treatment approved in the United States.