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Credit Unions for Kids Wine Auction Breaks Record with $1.7 Million Raised for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals

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Annual Wine Gala Raises more than $1 Million for Ninth Consecutive Year Grossing $14 Million for CMN Hospitals in the last Eighteen Years.

Dana Point, CA, March 13, 2023 –The Credit Unions for Kids Wine Auction broke a fundraising record with $1.7 million raised for the eleven Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals in California and Nevada at their 18th annual event held on March 10, 2023.

The black-tie event, “Sapphire Sky, a Celestial Soiree,” rallied more than 500 attendees at the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel Resort in Dana Point, California, supported by 66 credit unions, business partners, and hospitals to support Children’s Miracle Network. Attendees gathered for a spectacular evening of exquisite cuisine, dancing, and silent and live auctions featuring over 500 donated packages of fine wine, spirits, and travel getaways. The California and Nevada Credit Unions for Kids Wine Auction is the largest single fundraising event for Credit Unions for Kids, grossing more than $14 million since 2006.

“We are thrilled to share that once again, the exceptional generosity of our sponsors, donors, and volunteers has made our annual Credit Unions for Kids auction a huge success by raising more than $1 million in donations for the ninth straight year,” said Diana Dykstra, event co-chairperson, and president of California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues. “It continues to be a night of encouragement as we come together and support such an important organization.”

“Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals do outstanding work caring for these special children and their families,” said Brett Martinez, event co-chairperson and president and CEO of Redwood Credit Union. “We are honored to support their efforts and show them the credit union way of people helping people.”

“Over the years, I have been so amazed by the generosity that credit unions and our friends and partners in the community have shown as we come together to help the children treated at CMN Hospitals and their families through their challenges,” said Tony Boutelle, president and CEO of Origence. “I can’t think of a more worthy cause.”

This year’s special guest was 5-year-old Miracle Child Jack Cheney, grandchild of president and CEO of Schools First Federal Credit Union, Bill Cheney, making this year’s event even more personal for credit union friends. Jack was born with type A esophageal atresia, a condition where the esophagus forms in two distinct segments, leaving him unable to swallow until the esophagus could be connected through the specialized procedure known as the Foker process.

Early ultrasounds detected the malformation and launched doctors into extensive monitoring and premature delivery at 37 weeks when Jack was found unresponsive. Doctors made the quick diagnosis after delivery and would continue to care for him and assist with complications for more than four months. Jack would require extensive surgery leading him to specialized care. After a successful procedure, Jack was closely monitored in ICU throughout the multi-stage process as the gap in his esophagus was narrowed and finally connected. Approximately 112 days after delivery, Jack swallowed his first drink of milk by mouth, and 25 days later, he would finally be home. Jack is now an active preschooler eating snacks along with everyone else.

“We like to say that on the day Jack was born, Dr. Bealer said he would never be normal, and he was right,” said William Cheney, Jack’s father. “Jack is extraordinary. He is a remarkable success story of medical science, attentive care, and a large number of people going out of their way to make sure he had the absolute best. We are so grateful for the care and support of the children’s hospitals and Children’s Miracle Network,” said William. “We are so happy to have this chance to support CMN in the great work they do for the children and their families.”

WineAuction for Kids


An executive committee directs the Credit Unions for Kids Wine Auction, with the committee’s CEOs representing the benefitting hospital(s) in their area:

  • Brett Martinez, Redwood CU (UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland)
  • Diana Dykstra, California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues
  • Carrie Birkhofer, Bay FCU (Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System)
  • Erick Estes, Boulder Dam CU (St. Rose Dominican Hospital/Renown Children’s Hospital)
  • Steve O’Connel, California CU (Rady Children’s Hospital)
  • Todd Clark, Co-op Solutions
  • Tony Boutelle, Origence
  • Robert Trunzo, CUNA Mutual Group
  • Elizabeth Dooley, Educational Employees CU (Valley Children’s Healthcare System)
  • Nader Moghaddam, Financial Partners CU (Children’s Hospital of Orange County; Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Rady Children’s Hospital)
  • Teresa Freeborn, Kinecta FCU (retired) (Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles)
  • Keith Sultemeier, Kinecta FCU (Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles Children’s Hospital of Orange County; Cottage Children’s Medical Center)
  • Ana Fonseca, Logix FCU (Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles)
  • Debra Schwartz, Mission FCU (Rady Children’s Hospital)
  • Lucy Ito, Orange County’s CU (Children’s Hospital of Orange County)
  • Erin Mendez, Patelco CU (UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland)
  • Chuck Fagan, PSCU
  • Bill Cheney, SchoolsFirst FCU (Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, Children’s Hospital of Orange County, UC Davis Children’s Hospital, Rady Children’s Hospital)
  • Geri LaChance, SESLOC FCU (Cottage Children’s Medical Center)
  • John Cassidy, Sierra Central CU (retired) (UC Davis Children’s Hospital)
  • Joan Opp, Stanford FCU (UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland)
  • Nicholas Ambrosini, Valley Strong CU (Lauren Small Children’s Center at Memorial Hospital)
  • Darren Williams, Wescom CU (Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, CHOC Children’s)

The title sponsor for this year’s event was Origence, the presenting sponsor was Co-op Solutions, and the premier sponsors were the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues, CUNA Mutual Group, PSCU, Allied Solutions, and Visa. As a result of the efforts and contributions of each of these organizations, as well as the event’s other sponsors, 100% of donations received directly benefit the 11 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals in California and Nevada.

The 2024 California and Nevada Credit Unions for Kids Wine Auction will take place on Friday, March 15, 2024, at the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel, Dana Point, California.

About Origence

Established in 1996 as a credit union service organization (CUSO), California-based Origence provides financial technology elevating the origination experience to increase loan volume, create efficiencies, and grow accounts. Financial institutions can originate consumer loans with greater levels of productivity and increased scale while also delivering a convenient and personalized borrower experience. Solutions also include marketing automation, auto shopping, lending operations, and more. Origence is headquartered in Irvine, California. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About Credit Unions for Kids and Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals

Credit Unions for Kids is the brand under which America’s credit unions fundraise for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. The collaborative effort, driven by a “people helping people” philosophy, includes individual credit unions, local chapters, state leagues/associations, two national trade organizations, business partners, and several trade publications. Founded in 1996, Credit Unions for Kids has raised more than $150 million for affiliated children’s hospitals. Annually, credit unions are the fifth largest corporate contributor to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. The credit union community established a wonderful legacy at hospitals across the country, funding breakthrough research, numerous programs and services, and construction of new facilities. Fundraising activities run the gamut from major events to online giving campaigns to paper balloon icon sales. For more information on Credit Unions for Kids and Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, please contact Nick Coleman at 515-339-1723 or [email protected].