The Collins College of Hospitality Management raised more than $500,000 at its annual gala, Hospitality Uncorked.
Each year at the event, which is hosted by the college’s Board of Advisors, The Collins College recognizes a prominent figure in the industry with the Robert Mondavi Wine and Food Award. This year, Gina Gallo, a senior winemaker for Ernest and Julio Gallo Winery, and her husband Jean-Charles Boisset, a proprietor for the Boisset Collection, received the award.
Individually they have held vital roles in each of their family’s wineries and have flourished in the industry. Together, the couple has created a wine dynasty and have blended French and American flavors and culture, bringing people together through the love of wine and hospitality.
More than 600 distinguished supporters and friends of The Collins College attended the March 4 gala to toast and indulge in the “Magic of Dreams,” which was the theme for the night. It was an evening of masked mystery and whimsical imagery featuring guest chefs, vintner tastings, surreal entertainment, live and silent auctions and a dance and dessert after party to keep the evening going. From beginning to end, guests experienced bizarre and fantastic sights including mystical creatures, stilt walkers, Taiko drummers, an aerialist, a contortionist and a balancing act.
The night culminated with the presentation of the Mondavi award to the honorees who addressed the theme of dreams. Gallo expressed the importance of having a mentor to help her reach her dreams and reminisced about her mother who always believed in her. Boisset spoke about coming to America and the motivation from his family to build upon something great.
“What is so exciting in this world is to be inspired and to be constantly tantalized by a light that attracts you, that makes you want to do je ne sais quoi (something indescribable) that goes beyond the norm,” said Boisset. “The person who does not dream cannot achieve anything.”
Students can use the funds raised at Hospitality Uncorked to pay for books and tuition, travel to industry trade shows and conferences, participate in study abroad programs and gain opportunities that will help them excel in both their collegiate and professional careers. A small portion of the evening, kicked off by a $5,000 donation by The Collins College’s Dean Lea Dopson, was dedicated to raising money for student scholarships. More than $52,000 was raised in 10 minutes.
“I am so proud of The Collins College and the abundance of industry support it gets from people who believe in our program and our students, the future leaders of hospitality,” said Dopson.