It was hard to tell who was having the better time at the event: guests or volunteers. The 11th annual Wine Event attracted more than 40 people ready to serve, celebrate and help raise money for Children’s Hospital Colorado and the Colorado Fetal Care Center.

Event chairs Kevin and Melissa Hopkins – who met while volunteering at Children’s – beamed like proud parents when talking about the commitment and compassion the volunteers give to make the evening happen. “They are the essence of tonight,” explained Melissa. She further shared they don’t rest on a job well done for long. “We will take a few days break and the come together to start planning for 2015.”

Chair of the Volunteer Subcommittee Annie Gray had a permanent smile when she shared about her affinity for all those who stepped up to help. “From the first meeting I was amazed at how much people wanted to be a part of this. It’s my first year and I will definitely be back,” said Gray just before hugging and smiling with others from her team.

Volunteer Sandy Lehto has been helping since the event launched eleven years ago. “Oh, how it’s grown,” she reported. “And it’s so well organized. Guest credit cards get recorded right as they come in so there isn’t a wait to check out. It’s all done before they are ready to leave. It’s great.” Lehto is a member of the Boulder Chapter of Volunteers for Children’s Hospital and she confirmed she will travel year after year to help at The Wine Event.

Special Projects Philanthropy Director for the Children’s Hospital Foundation Martine Hyland echoed the sentiment of the evening. “It’s so inspiring to see how people come together and give to the hospital. They spend time with patients and give time at events. It’s incredible to witness.”

Normally working in finance, Nathanael Shue stepped away from numbers and toward regions as he helped design how the wines would be categorized. The event showcased wines from Colorado, the West Coast, South America and Europe, along with Chilled Summer Wines and, for those who prefer hops over grapes, two “Refreshing Brews” tables displayed tasty beer options.

The event itself was as beautiful as the generosity of those who made it happen. As guests entered the reception they were greeted with lovely strums by Classical Spanish guitarist René Heredia. Overhead, guests marveled at the grace and beauty of aerial artistry performed by a member of Frequent Flyers Productions. Intermittently, happy cheers from the “Ring Toss Table” punctuated the mass of good conversation. With Rockies-like precision, guests flung wide colorful rings toward the empty necks of rows and rows of wine bottles.

“We have four full pages of people who have tossed,” said smiling volunteer Cindy talking about the popularity of the table. “Many people get one ring on, but one gentleman hit four out of five throws. That was fun to cheer on.”

Along with table after table of enticing wines to bid on in the silent auction, the event offered an array of live auction items including a package for the Grammys, an America’s Cup Yacht Experience, and trips to Napa, San Francisco, Italy and Indonesia.

The Children’s Hospital Association of Volunteers puts the entire event together and can proudly report that their efforts have raised more $1 million to date. The volunteers at Children’s Hospital Colorado are part of a group called Children’s Hospital Colorado Association of Volunteers (AoV). The AoV coordinates placements for volunteers and ensures that complete orientation and training is provided to all volunteers.