‘Napa in Newport’ Raises More Than $1M for CureDuchenne

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by Mary Chapman |

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Napa in Newport

The sixth annual Napa in Newport wine auction raised more than $1 million to support CureDuchenne’s mission to extend and enhance the lives of people with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and find a cure for the disorder, the nonprofit group said.

Held Feb. 29 at the Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point, California, the Porsche-sponsored event featured a two-hour “Grand Tasting” of more than 40 acclaimed Napa Valley wines from some 45 producers, a celebrity chef-designed dinner, and a live auction. The Napa Valle region, north of San Francisco, is known for its abundant hillside vineyards.

DMD is the most common of more than 30 types of muscular dystrophy, the genetic disorder occurs in about one of every 3,500 male births.

“Napa in Newport has long been one of the biggest nights of the year for us,” Debra Miller, CureDuchenne founder and CEO, said in a press release. “It is a chance to connect with long-time supporters, families, partners, and make new connections with attendees who want to take an active role [in] helping cure this terrible disease.”

“We have made monumental progress on the science and research in the past 10-plus years, and we are seeing the impact of those efforts coming to fruition now,” Mille said. “The incredible support from events like these helps us connect with the community, and drives this progress.”

Debra Miller is the mother of Hawken Miller, a 23-year-old with DMD and a Muscular Dystrophy News columnist, who told the hundreds at the event what a Duchenne cure would mean for him and his family. Hawken is a novice journalist who has traveled abroad and loves being outdoors.

This year’s Napa in Newport event included vintner chair and Cabernet Sauvignon producer Cardinale, which is nestled in the heart of the valley. It also featured popular chef Craig Strong, who’s had a 25-year career in luxury hotels and resorts. Now at Ocean at Main in Laguna Beach, Strong earned a coveted Michelin star while at the Langham Huntington hotel and spa in Pasadena.

The live auction included unique items, rarely available wines and once-in-a-lifetime Napa Valley experiences such as dinners at winemakers, trips abroad, and a private dinner and tasting with master sommelier Michael Jordan.

CureDuchenne has raised more than $50 million to date for research, education and care, and has funded 12 projects that have progressed to clinical trials. It also contributed early funding toward development of Exondys 51 (eteplirsen, by Sarepta Therapeutics), the first DMD therapy approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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