17 local high school students benefit from annual wine country virtual auction

PASO ROBLES — The Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance Foundation (PRWCAF) recently gifted $40,000 inscholarships to graduating seniors in San Luis Obispo County. The scholarships ranged from $1,500 to $4,000 per student and were awarded to 17 students during four scholarship presentations, including those from Atascadero High School, Mission College Preparatory Catholic High School, Paso Robles High School, and Templeton High School. 

Graduating seniors apply for the PRWCAF scholarships each spring. Categories for consideration include academics, activities, awards, a personal essay, as well as attention to extraordinary circumstances, and letters of recommendation. Some of the awarded students aspire to work in healthcare, the arts, in agricultural commodities, and as veterinarians. All the applicants achieved great marks and recognitions while in high school and expressed passion for their future academic careers.

“The annual wine country auction allows us to support local students as they pursue their academic and professional goals,” said Chloe Asseo-Fabre, general manager of L’Aventure Winery and board director of the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance. “It’s an honor to give back and invest in the future of our community in this way each year.” 

The PRWCAF also gifts funds to local nonprofit organizations in San Luis Obispo County throughout the year. These organizations support local causes and well-being through their focused efforts in building and supporting our community.

The scholarships were funded by proceeds from the annual Wine Country Virtual Auction, which ran online from March 11 to 16. The PRWCAF raised over $70,000 during the week-long auction this year, the most since 2021.

A total of 30 custom-curated packages were valued at $54,842 and raised $71,301, which included $3,900 in donations for the PRWCA Foundation. Top lots included the “Premium Paso Getaway for Six at Inn Paradiso with Dinner at The Hatch Rotisserie & Bar, and More”, as well as “The French Connection” lot, which paired Clos Solene, Benom, L’Aventure, and dinner at Les Petites Canailles, “An Unforgettable Three-Night Geneseo Getaway at Cass Winery” for eight, and the ever-popular Saxum library wines portfolio. 

Over the six-day auction, nearly 140 bids were placed for the auction packages. The PRWCAF worked with 60 member wineries and businesses to craft a collection of wines, unique experiences and overnight stays in wine country. The generous donations from wineries, hotels, transportation providers, restaurateurs, and more were one-of-a-kind and meant to inspire more trips to the Paso Robles wine region. 

The auction saw bidders and winners from across the United States, upholding the organization’s goal of promoting Paso Robles wine country to a wide audience. 

The results of the 2024 virtual auction confirm how the Paso Robles wine industry positively enhances the greater community. Auction funds augment not only the scholarship programs for high school seniors in San Luis Obispo County but also provide support to local nonprofit organizations, including MUST! Charities and other community-oriented initiatives. 

Feature Image: Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance Foundation Executive Director Joel Peterson (in back) poses with Paso Robles High School PRWCA scholarship winners. Photo courtesy of PRWCAF