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Supporters pack sold-out Hospice of the Valleys' Wine & Chocolate fundraiser


Last updated 9/28/2018 at 8:29pm

Guests enjoy entertainment, wine, beer and food tastings during the Wine & Chocolate fundraising event for Hospice of the Valleys at Fazeli Cellars Winery, Sept. 22.

Hospice of the Valleys hosted its biggest fundraiser of the year Saturday, Sept. 22, at Fazeli Cellars Winery in Temecula – drawing more than 300 supporters and donors to the sold-out Wine & Chocolate event.

The evening started on the elevated lawn area at Fazeli Cellars, featuring wine, food and chocolate tasting as well as vendor offerings and silent auction items for guests to bid.

The event is held annually to help raise funds for Hospice of the Valleys’ unreimbursed services and programs to the community which includes weekly grief support groups, Alzheimer’s disease support groups, educational workshops and hospice care for the uninsured.

Hospice of the Valleys is also a partner of the We Honor Veterans program, which means they implement ongoing veteran-centered education for their staff and volunteers to help improve the care provided to the veterans they serve.

Because these programs and services are free of charge, they rely on donations, grants, fundraising and community support to fund them.

“It’s amazing to see so many people come out and support Hospice of the Valleys,” Dr. Leslee Cochrane, executive medical director for Hospice of the Valleys, said. “As one of the people that truly benefits from all of these donations that enables us to go out and provide that care to the people and the families, to see the community come out and support such an important cause is great.”

Hospice of the Valleys serves southwest Riverside County and Fallbrook, and care is provided wherever their patients call home – a residence, board and care or other facility.

“Someone’s parent who may need hospice tonight, who may or may not have insurance, may call and they need someone who is going to come out and take care of them right away,” Cochrane said. “It is the donors that make it possible for us to be able to do that and certainly that is what tonight is all about.”

As Cochrane surveyed the crowd, he marveled at the scenery surrounding the event.

“This is our first year here and what a beautiful venue and beautiful location, and I love the layout because it gives people a chance to move around and visit and there’s lots of beautiful people, lots of beautiful scenery,” Cochrane said. “We always appreciate the support of wine country, and it’s the perfect place for people to get together for events like these.”

Robert Krauss was with a group gathered around a table, tasting the offerings.

“I think it’s important that even the littlest things that people do in the community makes a big difference,” he said. “Just being here and supporting Hospice of the Valley, every little bit helps, so that’s why we’re here.”

Krauss said he was impressed by the event.

“It’s fantastic,” he said. “The venue’s beautiful, the food’s great, the company’s wonderful. Look at the view, the weather, I mean, it’s perfect.”

People view and place bids on silent auction items during the Wine & Chocolate fundraising event for Hospice of the Valleys at Fazeli Cellars Winery.

Later on in the evening, the event featured a seated dinner, live and silent auctions and free food and drink tastings. The event’s Title and Gold sponsors were The John & Mary Rainsford Charitable Foundation and Gosch Ford Temecula.

“We’ve had a wonderful evening,” Gina O’Bryant, director of development for Hospice of the Valleys. “We have incredible supporters, we have 35 sponsors this year and hundreds of people that have donated their time, their treasures and their talents, so we’re very grateful.

“This is our signature fundraiser for the year. O’Bryant said. “We’re just hopeful that people have a great time and learn a little bit more about what we do and provide for the community and spend to help our patients and families in the community.”

To learn more about Hospice of the Valleys, visit or call (951) 200-7800.


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