Three Questions: Unitus & Wine on the Willamette

As far as fundraisers go, Wine on the Willamette—organized by Unitus Community Credit Union and now entering its 9th year—is among the must-attend.

The evening begins with a champagne reception and heavy hors d’oeuvres before guests settle in for a two-hour river cruise aboard the Willamette Star.

As they float along the river with the Portland skyline fading off in the distance, guests sip wines from South Africa, New Zealand, and Chile while sampling delicious food pairings and listening to live music by Portland-based pianist, John Nilsen. Here’s more on what to expect at Wine on the Willamette, and why you need to be there.


This event, supporting Credit Unions for Kids, also sends direct support to Doernbecher Children’s’ Hospital, correct? Can you talk more about that?


Yes, all of the money raised will stay local and directly benefit OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital to help fund research and treatment of pediatric illnesses through Credit Unions for Kids.

This signature event takes place the evening of September 9, 2016 beginning with a champagne reception and heavy hors d’oeuvres at 5:15 p.m. before guests settle in for a two-hour scenic river cruise aboard the Willamette Star from 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Once again this year, featured wines will be available for purchase, with 25 percent of the profit benefiting the children’s hospital. Also, back by popular demand is a fun secret wine wall stocked with over 45 bottles that can be purchased for $20-$100 per pull.


Where do guests go when the boat docks at 9:00? Anything planned on-shore?


Absolutely. Guests that aren’t quite ready to call it a night are invited to join us for an after-hours reception with cocktails and delicious desserts in the Three Degrees restaurant at RiverPlace Hotel beginning at 9:15 p.m.


Historically, Wine on the Willamette has raised nearly $400,000, including nearly $50,000 last year, for Doernbecher. What is the target this year?


We hope to exceed last year’s goal and raise $50,000. Today is a crucial time for children’s healthcare in Portland and Southwest Washington as more families are turning to OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital to care for their children.

This year, proceeds from Wine on the Willamette will provide vital funding to support the Credit Unions for Kids Endowed Fund for Pediatric Cancer Clinical Trial Research.

The event’s continued success would not be possible without the incredible generosity of our sponsors and donors.

Tickets are still available and can be purchased at Admission is $250.

We understand that not everyone can make it to Wine on the Willamette. Those that are unable to attend but would still like to support the event and our kids, can make a flat charitable contribution or sponsor one of our amazing Credit Unions for Kids affiliated doctors through the “sponsor-a-doc” program. This program, with a donation of $500, honors our “celebrities of the room” allowing them and a guest to attend simply for pleasure by covering the cost of their tickets.

For more information on supporting Wine on the Willamette, contact Aimee Berg, Community Development Officer, at 503.423.8346 or  

Questions about this story? Contact Eric Horvath: 503.350.2222,

Posted in Events, NWCUA.