Chateau Ste. Michelle Supports Youth in Foster Care During Back to School Season

By Dana Petrarca, Treehouse Community Engagement Officer

Back-to-school season always brings back a lot of memories. I remember daydreaming in the weeks leading up to that day and imagining how perfect it would be. I’d finally get to go shopping and pick out a new pair of pants.

My favorite school supplies in elementary school were the Lisa Frank brand, and I would always pick out the ones with the kittens and unicorns.

Today, I get to work in partnership with community members to give youth in foster care some of those same fun and fond memories of their first day of school.

I love getting to work with donation drive hosts whose generosity and commitment to youth in care never cease to amaze me. It’s also wonderful to see the creative and fun ways people come together to give back.

A drive host whose story I’m particular fond of is Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery. Their event is a great example of how a little bit of creativity and a whole lot of passion come together to give youth in foster care a successful start to the school year.

The net proceeds from their popular Summer Concert Series help to fund the winery’s charitable giving program, which supports some 400 nonprofit organizations annually, including Treehouse.

“Supporting youth in foster care is very important to the employees of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates,” Lynda Eller, Chateau Ste. Michelle Communications Director, told me. “The winery hosts an employee donation drive each year and raises funds as part of our annual summer employee picnic event.”

Since 2006, both Treehouse volunteers and Chateau Ste. Michelle employees have looked forward to the wine ring toss game at the employee picnic. To play, employees donate a minimum of $5 per game. Proceeds from the game go to youth in foster care, and the employees get to take home the wine bottle they win. The employees also donate clothing, backpacks and school supplies so youth have what they need to succeed on their first day of school.

The wine ring toss is a fun way to strengthen our partnership with Chateau Ste. Michelle and their employees every year. To date, this event has raised over $32,000 for youth in foster care.

“Our employees are proud to help play a role in supporting Treehouse’s mission to improve the lives of youth in foster care,” Lynda said.

I love their story because it shows how a classic carnival game at an employee event came together to be a wonderful tradition of supporting youth in foster care.

So what about you? What are some special events or traditions you have? I’d love to learn about them and explore how we can partner to positively impact the lives of youth in foster care. Reach out to me at 206.267.5109 or [email protected].

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About the Author

Dana Petrarca, Treehouse’s Community Engagement Officer, works closely with community members to encourage and support engagement opportunities with Treehouse. She is passionate about building relationships, philanthropy and storytelling. Contact Dana at [email protected] if you are interested in hosting a donation drive or event to benefit Treehouse.

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