Encinitas Rotary Wine & Food Festival raises $125,000 for children’s and community charities

The 16th Annual Encinitas Rotary Wine & Food Festival benefactors at the July 31 Encinitas Rotary Club check presentation.
The 16th Annual Encinitas Rotary Wine & Food Festival benefactors at the July 31 Encinitas Rotary Club check presentation.
(Daphne Fletcher)

The 16th Annual Encinitas Rotary Wine & Food Festival charity event raised $125,000 for 17 participating charities on June 1. The festival supports charities with a local or international focus on children or the community.

The festival was held in the lush green setting of the second hole of the Encinitas Ranch Golf Course. Guest Lisa Lewis exclaimed: “What a fun evening of food, wine, and music, in a beautiful setting, and all to help charities.”

Wine Festival Co-Chairs Merv and Susie Miller explained “Thirty-two wineries and breweries, and 28 local restaurants, provided all food and drink at no charge. Our Wine Festival has grown from 300 guests to over 1,000 guests. Over our 16 years, we’ve raised $1.4 million for our charities.” The Millers also thanked this year’s major sponsor Surfing Madonna Oceans Project, as well as the Encinitas Ranch Golf Course, sponsors, volunteers and guests for their support.

Festival Director Sherry Yardley described the Wine & Food Festival’s concept: “Our beneficiaries sell the tickets; Rotary provides the event, and all of us work together as a team of volunteer staff for a successful festival. This concept allows some of the smaller charities to offer a large event to their supporters and raise more funds than on their own. In some cases, this is their primary fundraiser.”

Encinitas Rotary Club President Deb Vaughan-Cleff stated: “Rotary is an international service organization based on the concept of Service Above Self. We serve the community in many ways. Our club members volunteer hundreds of hours to make the Wine Festival a success for our beneficiaries.”

Wine & Food Festival Charity beneficiaries were awarded their checks at a special Encinitas Rotary Club presentation on July 31. This year’s beneficiaries include:

101 Artists’ Colony, Amanda Post Foundation, American Cancer Society Relay for Life, Assistance League of Rancho San Dieguito, DLH Foundation, Encinitas Educational Foundation, Encinitas Rotary Foundation, Magdalena Ecke Family YMCA, Mexican American Educational Guidance Association, Ovation Theater, North County Lifeline, Pacific Southwest Community Development, Rancho Coastal Humane Society, San Diego North Coast Singers, Heritage Ranch, Solana Beach ECO Rotary Club and Surfing Madonna Oceans Project

For more information about the Rotary Club of Encinitas, visit