Tickets Available for Wine on the Willamette to Benefit Doernbecher Children’s Hospital

There are fundraisers, and then there are highly anticipated traditional fundraisers. This year’s seventh annual Wine on the Willamette, hosted by Unitus Community Credit Union to raise money for Credit Unions for Kids and Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, is the latter.

The event — which takes place on the evening of Friday, September 26 — will begin with a champagne reception at RiverPlace Hotel’s elegant Three Degrees restaurant on the waterfront in downtown Portland.

“The RiverPlace Hotel is an exceptional and convenient venue for our reception and overnight guests,” said Patricia E. Smith, Unitus’ president and CEO. “RiverPlace is centrally located within walking distance from the RiverPlace Marina, where we will board and return from our cruise.”

After the champagne reception, guests will stroll to the RiverPlace Marina, where they will board a 98-foot yacht, the Willamette Star, for a two-and-a-half hour cruise. During the cruise guests will enjoy live music by pianist John Nilsen while sampling boutique wines from around the globe and heavy hors d’oeuvres.

A silent auction will feature six pieces of artwork, each one a masterpiece created by a young patient at Doernbecher, and each accompanied with a carefully selected, hard-to-find, bottle of wine.

This year, three honorary guest wine makers will be on board: Andrew Rich Cellars, Ken Wright Cellars and Newsome Harlow Wines who is making a special trip from Calaveras County, California.

All the wines sampled will be available for purchase, with a portion of each purchase supporting Doernbecher.

When they return from the cruise, guests can walk right up the dock for an evening reception at Three Degrees Restaurant, which will include cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Guests will also receive a gift bag that includes a specially designed wine glass made by Portland artist Leslie Egenberger.

Overnight guests are encouraged to make it a weekend stay and explore the diverse shopping, dining and cultural offerings that make downtown Portland so special. A few local favorites within walking distance from RiverPlace Hotel include: Mother’s Bistro & Bar, Pioneer Place Mall and Portland Saturday Market. Wheel Fun Rentals at Waterfront Park offer bike rentals for a pedal along Portland’s beautiful waterfront.

Unitus won a national Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Award this year for its community involvement, including Wine on the Willamette. Last year’s event raised over $57,000 and since its inception in 2009 the event has raised nearly $300,000.

“Come join us for a very fun event, meet some of the doctors and show your support for the kids and the difference CU for Kids makes in our communities,” said Smith.

Tickets to the event are $250 and can be purchased online. Those not able to attend who still wish to support the kids can make a tax deductible donation. For more information about Wine on the Willamette, contact Aimee Berg at 503.423.8346 or

Questions about this story? Contact James Pearson: 206.340.4790,

Posted in Events.