Jennifer Hudson to Join Top Winemakers at Napa Festival for Good Cause

Jennifer Hudson is set to take the stage at a music festival fundraiser in Napa Valley. There will be a post-concert VIP dinner and plenty of cult wines, too.

Giving back always feels good. But donating to a great cause while listening to a two-time Grammy award winning-performer – world class wine in hand – that’s the kind of charitable giving that strikes a chord, at least in Wine Country.

Since it began nearly a quarter century ago, the Music Festival for Brain Health has raised almost $300 million (including grants from U.S. Government agencies and private organizations.) Every penny of the event’s expenses are underwritten by sponsors, so all proceeds go directly to brain disorder scientific research and treatment programs across the United States.

Last year, when Lyle Lovett performed at the festival, approximately $6 million was raised to support the research and treatment of physiological brain disorders. This year, Jennifer Hudson is set to take the stage in Rutherford on Saturday, September 15.

The daylong festival begins with a scientific symposium surrounding brain disorders followed by a wine tasting reception. Participating wineries include: Abreu Vineyards, Bryant Estate, Colgin Cellars, Dalla Valle Vineyards, Gargiulo Vineyards, Kosta Brown Winery, Scarecrow, Screaming Eagle, Vineyard 29, Williams Selyem, and many, many more. Hors d’oeuvres prepared by Chef Victor Scargle, Culinary Director of The Boisset Collection, will be served during the wine tasting.

In the afternoon, R&B artist Jennifer Hudson takes the stage for an intimate performance. (In addition to being a Grammy-winning recording artist, Hudson is also an Academy Award and Golden Globe-winning actress, and award winning author.)

A VIP post-concert dinner will be served as the sun sets. Staglin Family Vineyard wines will be paired with a menu created by 3-Star Michelin Chef Christopher Kostow of The Restaurant at Meadowood and The Charter Oak in St. Helena.

Former Congressman Patrick Kennedy is scheduled to attend, along with Congressman Mike Thompson, and Congressman John Garamendi.

The 24th Annual Music Festival for Brain Health, takes place Saturday, September 15, at Staglin Family Vineyard, 1570 Bella Oaks Lane, Rutherford. Tickets are sold out, but there is a waiting list for tickets.

There’s no shortage of local events where you can have fun while doing good:

The Santa Rosa High School Foundation 23rd Annual Golf Tournament takes place Friday, September 14, at Oakmont West Golf Course. Check-in at 11:15am, Shotgun start at 12:45pm, $150 per golfer.

The 26th Annual Hands Across the Valley will be held on Saturday, September 29, from 4pm to 10pm at the Charles Krug Winery in St. Helena. The event includes a walk-around-tasting of offerings prepared by popular Napa Valley chefs, restaurants and winemakers, silent and live auctions, and a VIP dinner. Hands Across the Valley has raised millions for programs including Meals on Wheels, The Table, and The Salvation Army. General admission tickets cost $125.

The Safeway Open Golf Tournament takes place October 4th through the 7th at the Silverado Resort & Spa. The Safeway Open Concert Series lineup includes performances by Sammy Hagar & the Circle, (Thursday, October 4th) Young the Giant, (Friday, October 5th) and Billy Idol (Saturday, October 6th). 100 percent of all ticket sales support fire relief in Napa Valley. Tickets start at $30.

Put November 4, 2018 on your calendar. The Heritage Turkey Sunday Supper will be held from 3pm to 7:30pm at Atwood Ranch in Glen Ellen. The event benefits local youth agriculture programs including: Sonoma County 4-H Heritage Turkey Project youth farmers, Slow Food Russian River, Sonoma County Farm Trails Agriculture Scholarships, and the Worth our Weight Culinary Internship program. Dinner will be prepared by a star-studded lineup of local chefs the likes of Daniel Kedan of Backyard, John Stewart and Duskie Estes of Zazu Kitchen + Farm, Bryan Jones, recently retired Executive Chef at St. Francis Winery, WOW Executive Chef Robb Ledesma, and Pastry Chef Condra Easley of Pâtisserie Angelica. There will also be a silent auction, and guests can purchase turkeys from the Sonoma County 4-H Heritage Turkey Project. Tickets are $100.