CureDuchenne Raises $1.5 Million During Annual Napa in Newport Wine Auction and Dinner

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Paul, Hawken, and Debra Miller

The pandemic took a back seat to philanthropy – and wine – when Newport Beach-based CureDuchenne and Vintner Chair Bryant Estate hosted the Seventh Annual Napa in Newport Wine Auction on November 6, 2021, at the Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point.

The annual fundraiser raised over $1.5 million to help find a cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a fatal genetic disease. It is the most common and severe form of muscular dystrophy, mainly found in young boys. It affects 15,000 children in the United States and 300,000 worldwide with no known cure.

Bottle of As One Cru

Napa in Newport brought nearly 40 of the most acclaimed vintners from Napa Valley together under one roof to serve their finest vintages to more than 450 of Orange County’s top business leaders, influencers, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, and wine connoisseurs.

To date, the event has helped raise more than $7.5 million for CureDuchenne.

“We are so thrilled with the outcome of this year’s Napa in Newport gala, connecting passion and purpose to help improve the lives of everyone affected by Duchenne and accelerate a cure for my son and all the individuals living with Duchenne around the world,” said CureDuchenne CEO Debra Miller. “With the relentless support of our generous community, our organization is able to drive real change for those with Duchenne muscular dystrophy and their loved ones.”

Miller’s son, Hawkin, who is living with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, thanked the guests for their support.

Kate Gritsch, Brennan Greco, Tony McClung of Bryant Estate

The evening began with passed hors d’oeuvres and wine tastings from dozens of well-known wineries, including Darioush, Bryant Estate, Opus One, Hundred Acre, and Riverain. Newport Beach resident Dean Gray, co-owner of Riverain, was there to pour his highly-rated Cabernet and Syrah.

Once the doors to the ballroom opened, guests made their way to their tables, each of which were hosted by one of the attending wineries. The dinner was a celebrity chef-designed menu courtesy of Chef Chris Shepherd.

During dinner, a spirited live auction featured collectable wines, exotic getaways and once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

Ballroom ready to welcome guests

“Napa in Newport was such a wonderful opportunity for the Napa Valley community to come together and support an important cause,” said Bettina Bryant, Vintner Chair Bryant Estate. “It was an absolute privilege to serve as the Vintner Chair this year to raise awareness for this devastating disease and help impact the lives of individuals with Duchenne muscular dystrophy.”

Founded in Newport Beach, CureDuchenne employs an innovative venture philanthropy model to fund groundbreaking research for a cure and support programs for those living with the disease, while advocating for early diagnosis and better access to treatments. As the leading genetic killer of young boys, Duchenne affects more than 300,000 individuals living today. For more information on how to help raise awareness and funds needed for research, please visit

Rebecca Thompson, Jospeh Perulli, Master Sommelier Michael Jordan

Given the success of the Napa in Newport event, CureDuchenne established the Napa Wine Series in 2018 to enjoy the best of Napa Valley while telling the story of CureDuchenne in more cities. The Napa Wine Series includes numerous private dinners with supporters around the country who recognize the challenges Duchenne presents and the ability of CureDuchenne to effect real change.

For more information, and to reserve a spot at the 2022 event schedule for October 29 at the Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point, please visit

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