Scholarship News

Creative Scholarships

After enjoying serving on the Scholarship Committee for the past two years, I would like to thank the Board for allowing me to continue into 2022, and I welcome those ideas from our generous members who are becoming creative with expanding the Scholarship Committee.

The CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act) from 2020 has been extended to 2021 and allows for an additional “above the line” tax deduction for 501(c)(3) charitable gifts made in cash up to $300 for those filing single/separately and up to $600 for those filing jointly.

To the member who was at the Fall BBQ while in the food serving line who told me she worked on another scholarship committee, please get ahold of me. I would like to talk to you. I was wearing gloves and couldn’t write down any information. We have another member who has also volunteered to get involved on the scholarship committee. I can be reached at Les@ocws.org.

$12.50 of each membership goes into the scholarship fund, however dual memberships remain at only $12.50. For those members with dual memberships, you may consider donating your dual $12.50 to the OCWS scholarship fund.

Long-time OCWS members have donated wine. We picked up a collector series of Marilyn Merlot wines, and Roadrunner Ridge Winery donated 150+ cases of wine for our Auction, where the funds raised go specifically toward the scholarship account. We are grateful to those who purchased the lots.

Mira Laguna Winery made a contribution from the Willy and Eileen Ma Foundation to the OCWS scholarship foundations, thank you!

Endeared member, Marjorie Trout, who is an established artist and exhibitor also helped raise scholarship funds at our Auction.

Two months until 2022 and we’re wrapping up the OCWS scholarship year. You can see how many ways there are to creatively contribute!  Go to ocws.org/scholarship program, choose your own personal scholarship donation amount and print a receipt for your records (please contact your tax professional for advice).

Enjoy and Happy Holidays everyone!

– Leslie Hodowanec,
Scholarship Chair

A Taste of Appreciation

Our members can further support “our” colleges and universities by tasting the bounty of their wines and culinary talents too!  Each of the college personalities are as individual as the varietals they produce. Here is a “taste” of what you can find on the OCWS scholarship menu: 

calpolywine.com The recently constructed Justin and J. Lohr Center for Wine and Viticulture is producing student and commercial wines sponsored by established industry professionals and incorporates a student-run organization “Vines to Wines.” Their new Wine Club offers eight varietals, a case value pack, gifts and will ship. When you order, they will include a newsletter detailing the production, alumni stories and food pairing suggestions with each varietal.

wineserver.ucdavis.edu The LEED Platinum Teaching & Research Winery at UC Davis has set goals in Viticulture & Enology (V&E), production, design and conservation research to build the most advanced winery and the most sustainable winery in the world. Review the paper on “Wildfire Impact on CA Grapes and Wine” that examines smoke exposure and smoke tainting from recent CA wildfires.

orangecoastcollege.edu Another fine way to enjoy tastings are with Advanced Culinary Arts Degrees in Baking and Pastry. OCC is our next door neighbor, so when they reopen make a reservation at The Captain’s Table on Thursdays for lunch, or specialty dinners for $14. The students apply their skills including preparation, waiting on guests, dining room service and 4-course gourmet banquet-style plates in American and Old World styles of culinary arts. 

nvcwinery.com The Viticulture and Winery Tech Foundation at Napa Valley College was the first commercial community college campus winery, and they produce and will ship five varietals. Take a taste of their website research papers on Categories of Wine, Best Wine Regions, Tips for Choosing Wines, Rarely Known Facts, and Histories of European, and Chinese and Western Asian wines. 

hancockcollege.edu/winery The Santa Maria Campus celebrated their 5th year as a commercial winery. The OCWS just received eight student thank you letters and they are truly “grapeful.”  Allan Hancock Winery has wine tasting on campus, will ship several varietals, and offers a Sparkling Blanc de Noir. You can join the AHC Wine Club and they ship your selection options. Take their fun survey to help you decide “What Wine Matches Your Personality?”  (Mine was Pinot Noir.) 

store.fresnostatewinery.com Fresno State is celebrating their 20th year of V&E in wine production and marketing. Visit the Gibson Farm Market to purchase “all things grown on campus,” including produce, nuts, wines and other products produced by students at The Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences & Technology. They offer gift boxes that can be custom arranged from farm to you, and their FSU Wine Club will ship selected varietals and combinations that will “bring something new in every bottle.”

sonoma.edu Sonoma State also accepts V&E transfer students from Allan Hancock College and now from Napa Valley College. The students take V&E research and production to the next level in the field of Business and Marketing, both locally and globally. You can view a beautiful virtual campus tour. SSU recipients will always remember the Chris Cunningham endowment which is now helping to take the OCWS to the next level of appreciation worldwide.

This past year we have introduced our members to scholarship opportunities and maybe holiday ideas. Take a taste of the inspiring recipient thank you letters on our OCWS website. We hope this menu may help you select which one college, or all, to help support dedicated students in our final month of 2020 fundraising.

You can do it all at ocws.org. It’s as easy as a few clicks, and you can print a receipt for tax purposes. The CARES Act provides tax incentives for this year only. Thank you to our generous members for the donations received already. 

While we look forward to 2021, Wine Up, fill the scholarship glass and appreciate these unique “tastes” of OCWS colleges and universities. When you order, tell them thanks from all of us at the OCWS. Happy Holidays everyone!

     – Leslie Hodowanec, Director & Scholarship Chair

2020-2021 OCWS Scholarship Drive—Time to Wine-Up

Scholarships are important to the core of the OCWS, especially to the dedicated students we support. Due to COVID-19 and the cancellation of scholarship fundraising sources, the scholarship account has only 10% of what we funded last year at this time. We have lost the top three and more of five sources that account for Undesignated (shared) and Designated (specific) Scholarship funds. We need the help of our generous OCWS members to Wine-Up Scholarships this fall. 

Every new OCWS membership and renewal provides $12.50 into our Scholarship Fund. This past year, the BOD twice suspended expiring memberships, for a total of 8 months of no incoming undesignated funds.

Judges’ donations from our Commercial Wine Competition are combined and rotated in an annual order to one of our seven colleges and universities. There was no designated 2020 Judges’ donation. The Courtyard at the OC Fair generates funds in two areas. Donations awarded from the onsite Featured Winery Program and winemakers serving at the Express Bar are divided between colleges that officially enter our competition. There was no 2020 designation.

The largest incoming annual source of almost half of the total OCWS scholarship funds every year are the tips/gratuity donations our fabulous volunteers generate over The Courtyard counter during the OC Fair. There are no undesignated sources this year from The Courtyard either.

Ways to Wine-Up. For this 2020 tax year, the CARES Act allows tax benefits in the form of a universal deduction up to $300 toward 501(c)(3) organizations for those that do not itemize their deductions. As an alternative, you can make contributions directly from your IRA or 401(K) and avoid additional income on your individual return. Always check with your tax professional as how it applies to you.

On our OCWS website, click on Scholarship Program and Donations. You may designate your contribution toward a specific college. An undesignated option is to divide your contribution to be equally distributed between seven colleges. After you make your donation, you will be able to print your receipt for your tax records. The Cunningham Endowment is specifically designated to Sonoma State University and you must contribute separately to that account. With unprecedented disappointments this year, let’s show that the OCWS can Wine-Up as a scholarship organization with benefits toward grateful recipients for 2021. 

– Leslie Hodowanec, Director & Scholarship Chair

News from OCWS Scholarship Universities and Colleges

We were delighted to hear about the inspiration and many accomplishments from the scholarship colleges and universities the OCWS supports. Students are studying in virtual classes and labs. Following is a bit of news so worthy of sharing.

Allan Hancock College Winery, Santa Maria Campus, is celebrating their fifth anniversary as a commercially bonded winery. Students carry over to a four-year university by participating in harvesting, production, bottling, marketing, and sales of award-winning wines. They produce their own bottles, and their labels are designed by the Campus Graphics Dept. AHC Winery has an on-campus wine club that provides Friday afternoon tastings to those over 21, and their wines are available for purchase. Allan Hancock 2018 and 2019 OCWS medal winners are Chardonnay, Malbec, Torrontes, Albarino and Rose of Pinot Noir.

Many students at the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Justin and J. Lohr Center for Wine and Viticulture are employed by local wineries while they study. A new learning lab building was recently completed by donated funds and equipment where students conduct experiments and analysis of specific varietals.

Cal State Fresno Jordan College of Agricultural Science and Technology vineyards are still growing grapes and are continuing to cultivate and care for all the agricultural crops on a daily basis. While practicing safe distancing guidelines, a local winemaker and students have been volunteering to bottle Fresno State wines. Fresno State 2018 and 2019 OCWS medal winners are Zinfandel, Muscat, Pinot Noir, Proprietary White and Rose of Grenache.

Several students from the Sonoma and Napa Valley areas are returning from losing their homes and family businesses, wine cellars, and wineries in recent wildfires. With the 2020 OC Fair cancelled, the OCWS will miss out on donations garnered during the Fair and allocated to the OCWS scholarship fund.

Many thanks to our members for continuing to support our eight scholarship colleges and universities.

The OCWS congratulates the graduating Class of 2020 Enology and Viticulture students. We wish you the best in your future wine-related endeavors. Keep in touch with us.

– Leslie Hodowanec, Scholarship Chair