Napa in Newport Celebrates a Decade of Impact and Raises More Than $1.35M for CureDuchenne

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Paul Miller, Debra Miller, founder and CEO of CureDuchenne, Hawken Miller, Michelle Baggett and Robin Baggett, Proprietors of Alpha Omega

Newport Beach-based CureDuchenne and Vintner Chair Alpha Omega hosted the 10th Annual Napa in Newport on Saturday, April 20, at Pendry Newport Beach.

The event raised more than $1.35 million to find and fund a cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a progressive neuromuscular disease. CureDuchenne is a global leader in research, patient care and innovation for improving and extending the lives of those living with Duchenne.

To date, Napa in Newport has raised more than $12 million for CureDuchenne.

Napa in Newport has become Southern California’s quintessential charity wine event, blending the prestige of Napa Valley with the passionate pursuit of a cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, one of the most common and severe forms of muscular dystrophy. This year’s gala commemorated a decade-long journey of philanthropy, community, and exquisite wine, and featured limited-production wines from dedicated Napa Valley vintners.

Napa in Newport wine tasting

Guests began the evening with a Grand Tasting, with 29 vintners showcasing their finest vintages. After the tasting came a gourmet dinner at vintner-hosted tables, featuring a meal curated by Chef Charles Phan, Executive Chef and Founder of Slanted Door. Nashville radio personality and Orange County native Shawn Parr emceed the evening, leading a lively live auction featuring spectacular auction lots that included rare and collectible wines and once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

Event sponsors include Porsche Newport Beach, Porsche Irvine, South Coast Plaza, and MWA Luxury.

At the event, CureDuchenne honored Douglas S. Ingram, President and Chief Executive Officer of Sarepta Therapeutics, for his dedication to advancing treatments and support for individuals with Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Doug Ingram, President and CEO of Sarepta Therapeutics, Hawken Miller, Debra Miller, founder and CEO of CureDuchenne and Paul Miller

Susan Finazzo, mother of two boys with Duchenne who participated in Sarepta’s gene therapy clinical trial, shared her family’s journey with Duchenne and the urgent need to bring treatments to more individuals with this devastating disease.

“I just want my boys to be able to live long enough to enjoy what life is. I want them to have enough time to fall in love, maybe get married, or maybe experience the joy of becoming parents themselves,” said Susan.

Debra Miller, founder and CEO of CureDuchenne, shared her reflections on Napa in Newport: “We are so grateful for the generosity of our vintners, sponsors and guests. Over the last decade, Napa in Newport has become not just an event, but a movement that has had tremendous impact. With the significant funds raised at Napa in Newport, we’ve made strategic investments in promising research that has significantly driven scientific progress. There is more hope and progress toward a cure than ever before, but we’re not done until everyone with Duchenne has a transformative treatment. This milestone year, we celebrated hope, progress, and the unwavering dedication of our community toward finding a cure for all.”

Kristin Snowden, Mike Snowden, Shelley White and Rick White at Napa in Newport

This year’s Vintner Chair, Alpha Omega, is a certified sustainable winery that farms prized grapes from its estate and many of Napa Valley’s most historic vineyards, producing world class wines utilizing a combination of traditional handcrafted techniques and modern technology.

“Celebrating 10 years of Napa in Newport is a testament to the collective spirit of the Napa Valley vintners and our shared commitment to CureDuchenne’s important cause. It’s an honor to contribute to a future where Duchenne muscular dystrophy is not only treatable but curable,” shared Robin and Michelle Baggett of Alpha Omega.

Debra Miller, founder and CEO of CureDuchenne, Chef Charles Phan and Paul Miller

Guests enjoyed a multi-course meal including roasted wild mushroom and yuba salad with a ginger-shallot dressing and A5 Hokkaido wagyu shaking beef with watercress and green garlic fried rice, curated by renowned Chef Charles Phan.

Chef Phan has been a leader in modern Vietnamese cuisine in America and is Executive Chef and Owner of the Slanted Door family of restaurants. Phan is known for combining Western and Vietnamese ingredients in breakthrough ways and was recognized as “Best Chef: California” by the prestigious James Beard Foundation. His ambitious spirit continues to drive him with the recent opening of two new locations, Slanted Door Napa and his first international venture, Slanted Door Beaune, France.

Chef Phan commented, “I’m honored to have been part of Napa in Newport’s 10th anniversary, a milestone event that combines the art of fine dining with the spirit of giving. Crafting the evening’s menu, I was inspired by the unity of community and cuisine, aiming to create dishes that not only delight the palate but also resonate with the cause we’re all gathered here to support. It’s a celebration of how food and wine can bring us together to make a meaningful difference in the fight against Duchenne muscular dystrophy.”

Marin Blom and Newport Beach City Councilmember Noah Blom

The event concluded with the announcement of the 11th Annual Napa in Newport, which will be held on March 1, 2025, at Pendry Newport Beach. The 2025 Vintner Chair will be Morlet. Tickets are available at www.napainnewport.org.

Based in Newport Beach, CureDuchenne is recognized as a global leader in research, patient care, and innovation for improving and extending the lives of those with Duchenne. CureDuchenne’s innovative venture philanthropy model has advanced transformative treatments for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, including 18 projects that advanced to human clinical trials and multiple projects to overcome the limitations of exon-skipping and gene therapy.

In addition, CureDuchenne contributed early funding to the first FDA-approved Duchenne drug, pioneered the first and only Duchenne physical and occupational therapist certification program and created an innovative biobank and data registry, accelerating research toward a cure.

For more information on how to help raise awareness and funds needed for research, please visit www.cureduchenne.org.

Vintner Chair Alpha Omega wines
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