In Arizona alone, more than 20,000 children are in foster care, group homes or crisis shelters. That’s a startling number, especially when the majority of these children were placed in foster care due to neglect.
But recently, an intimate group of more than 60 people gathered on a Saturday night at Scottsdale-based J. Levine Auction & Appraisal for a cocktail chic charity wine auction in support of these kids.
The event, “Fostering Hope: A Fine Wine Auction,” netted $10,000 for
OCJ Kids (Opportunity, Community & Justice for Kids), a Phoenix-based non-profit OCJ Kids, based just south of Deer Valley Airport, is dedicated to helping this “faceless generation.”
“We’re thrilled to be able to help such a deserving charity,” said Josh Levine, owner and auctioneer of J. Levine Auction & Appraisal. “While OCJ Kids is a small charity, their impact is statewide, and we hope our event inspires others to support them.”
The auction included wine tastings, gourmet chocolates, hors d’oeuvres and live music preceding the start of the auction. J. Levine donated its commission from the more than 100 lots of individual and grouped wine bottles from one consignor’s collection, including reds, whites, desserts and mixed blends as well as several noteworthy vertical collections.
The top-selling wines and spirits that created a bidding frenzy included:
• A 1982 Chateau Lafite Rothschild Pauillac
Hammer price: $1,400
• A vertical collection of 1986-1989 Chateau Mouton Rothschild Pauillac
Hammer price: $1,400
• A rare bottling of 25-year-old Glenlivet Royal Wedding Reserve Single Malt Whisky, bottled for the Royal Wedding of Charles and Diana in 1981
Hammer price: $1,300
OCJ Kids works closely with group home staff, Department of Child Services (DCS) office staff, case workers and officials who remove children from unsafe situations to ensure each child ends up with the items they need for their own hygiene, dignity and comfort.
The organization hosts five annual events throughout the year, including a Career Fair, Cowboy Camp, Back-to-School Supply Drive, Clothing Drive, and One Bright Star Christmas event. In addition, the organization also provides one-on-one mentoring for teens in the foster care system all year long. With just four full-time employees, OCJ Kids has trained 550 volunteers to be mentors for foster children throughout the state since 2010. In addition to funding, volunteers willing to act as a caring adult and mentor for foster children are the non-profit’s most urgent need.
For more information about OCJ Kids or to find out how to get involved, visit OCJKids.org.