Grapes for Grads is an annual wine tasting event and scholarship fundraiser hosted by Rotary Club of Laguna Beach. The event raises money for scholarships to assist students who attend Laguna College of Art + Design (LCAD) and graduates of Laguna Beach High School (LBHS) who are headed to college. The focus is on students who show excellence in academics or art and a strong commitment to community and who may otherwise lack the resources to achieve their educational goals.
In the beginning: The concept of Grapes for Grads® originated in 2005 when a small group of Rotary Club of Laguna Beach members were discussing how to increase the Club’s support of scholarships for students in Laguna Beach. In a moment of genius, the title of Grapes for Grads was created.
What is Grapes for Grads: Since 2006, we have continued to be guided by the original intent of Grapes for Grads: to produce an enjoyable afternoon of wine-tasting, light food, music, art exhibits and painting demonstrations by LCAD students, and an assortment of attractive silent auction items that will generate scholarship funds for college bound graduating seniors of Laguna Beach High School and for students enrolled in Laguna College of Art + Design.
Who attends Grapes for Grads: Our audience is people who enjoy wine and want to sample a variety of high quality wines that are affordable and readily available, and to do that tasting in a relaxed atmosphere where current friends can meet and new friends can be made. It also remains an event where wines are showcased for tasting only (there are no sales of wine on the premises) and there is a single admission price for wine tasting and live musical entertainment. Exquisite cuisine is available from an exclusive selection of Laguna Beach restaurants.
Why support Grapes for Grads: Each year, Grapes for Grads has not only grown in the number of participating wineries, but also increased in the net profit generated. What remains unchanged is the promise that all the net profit is immediately converted to scholarship awards, before the end of the school year in June. Grapes for Grads has grown over the past 15 years to feature an extensive selection of wine and over 900 paid attendees plus VIP invitees.
From the first fundraising event in 2006, where we awarded $6,000 in scholarships, to the 2019 event which raised $46,000, we have awarded a total of over $456,000 to deserving students. The past two years from generous donors we netted and additional $53,500 for a total of $509,500 of awards.
Grapes for Grads 2022: After a two year break due to the COVID-19 health crisis, we will hold our belated fifteenth annual Grapes for Grads. The event will be held at the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts venue (650 Laguna Canyon Road) on Sunday, May 1, from 1:00 to 5:00 PM. We are anticipating participation from 65-80 wine labels, a paid attendance of 1,000 -1,200 guests, and an enhanced experience for both our winery participants and our paying guests.
Formal Host of Grapes for Grads and Tax Information: The Laguna Beach Rotary Club Foundation is a 501(C)(3) organization. The Internal Revenue Service ID # is 08098802.
The Rotary Club of Laguna Beach was founded in 1931 by a group of 12 local businessmen. It is a California Nonprofit Mutual Benefit Corporation. From its beginning, the club has grown in membership and purpose. Today, the club has a membership of 65 men and women actively committed to supporting Rotary International and its goals. The Rotary Club meets every Friday at noon at La Casa del Camino 1289 S. Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, 92651.
Event Alcohol License / Sponsorship
Event Liability Insurance / Sponsorship
Venue / Marketing / Kerri Assistant
Venue / Wine Liaison
Wineries / Distribution Liaison
Design, Printing and Website Support
Dr. Veronica Nice
Silent Auction / Raffle Committee
Silent Auction / Raffle Committee / Venue / LCAD Liaison – Scholarship
Marketing / Food / Treasurer
Marketing / Food