SAN JOSE, Calif. – Chris Wondolowski showed attendees of the inaugural “Wine and Dine with the Earthquakes” event on Sunday that his feet are good for more than goals. The league’s leading scorer reigned victorious in a grape stomp to cap a memorable evening at Guglielmo Winery in Morgan Hill as the San Jose Earthquakes raised over $30,000 for the club’s community fund in classy fashion.
The event drew 223 fans as well as Earthquakes players, technical staff and front office members. Club President Dave Kaval presided over the ceremonies in tandem with head coach Frank Yallop and general manager John Doyle.
“As a club that prides itself on community involvement, we were thrilled by the outpouring of support in our first-ever Wine and Dine with the Earthquakes event,” Kaval said. “The night was a great success both for our charitable endeavors and for the fans who joined us. From the grape stomp to the guest bartending by our players to Alan Gordon reenacting his LA Galaxy goal celebration, I think everybody who attended this event took home a special memory.”
The event kicked off at 4 p.m. with passed d’oeuvres and wine tasting with celebrity bartenders from the Earthquakes’ roster. Fans mingled and took time to watch a video highlighting the club’s community works before enjoying a gourmet buffet dinner provided by Cosmopolitan Catering.
Midway through the evening, Kaval kicked off a series of speeches by calling players, coaches and general manager John Doyle to the stage to recognize their involvement in the Bay Area community. Following Kaval was Christian Black, a representative from the non-profit Community United, which receives tickets from the Earthquakes’ Kicks for Kids program.
Next up was a live auction and raffle, which combined to raise more than $24,000. The most attention-grabbing auction was a canvas of a photograph referencing the Earthquakes’ “Goonies Never Say Die” motto. The shot shows Alan Gordon running shirtless down the sideline after scoring a stoppage-time winner in a 3-2 comeback win against the LA Galaxy on May 23. Players from the canvas shot reenacted the moment–complete with Gordon’s shirtless celebration–and then signed and posed for a picture with the auction winner after the item sold for $1,500.
The evening concluded with a grape stomp in the bed of a 1940 flatbed vintage Chevy truck. The three winning bidders chose Yallop, Wondolowski and Steven Beitashour to join in the winemaking process. The trio took off their socks and shoes, rolled up their pants and jumped in barrels to stomp grapes. Wondolowski won and his bidder took home a team-signed jersey as a result.
All proceeds from the event benefited the Earthquakes Community Fund. A certified 501(c)3 charity, the San Jose Earthquakes Community Fund facilitates and supports programs that produce positive change for children and families in our community with an emphasis on health and fitness.