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by Staff Writer / Carolina Hurricanes
Shafer Vineyards donates Syrah in honor of coach Laviolette’s neighbor, Julia Rowe


Emma Bennett, Community Relations Manager for the Eastern Conference Champion Carolina Hurricanes, announced today that the team will offer bottles of Shafer Vineyard’s “Relentless” Syrah during tonight’s Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals against the Edmonton Oilers to the first 20 fans who make a minimum $200 donation to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Eastern North Carolina chapter. Head Coach Peter Laviolette will personally autograph each bottle and a red “Relentless” wristband will be included with the limited edition wine. Shafer Vineyards donated the wine after hearing Laviolette describe his neighbor’s fight against Leukemia and his personal efforts to raise money to fight the disease during his post-game press conference after the Hurricanes clinched the Eastern Conference championship last Thursday.

“What coach Laviolette did at his press conference last week was to bring enormous attention to the families and individuals suffering with lymphoma and leukemia,” said Doug Shafer, president of Shafer Vineyards in Napa Valley. “It sure got our attention. Here at Shafer Vineyards, many of us are parents with young children and Julia's story and relentless spirit touched us deeply and made us want to do something to help."

Laviolette was inspired to raise money to wipe out blood cancers by his neighbor and family friend, Julia Rowe, who is fighting Leukemia. Julia Rowe’s parents, Mike and Kate, gave Laviolette a bottle of Shafer Vineyards’ “Relentless” Syrah earlier this year, with Julia signature on the side. Julia’s story, and the bottle that represents it, have been sources of inspiration for Laviolette and the Hurricanes players.

The bottles of Relentless that Shafer Vineyards donated to the cause are a pre-release of their 2003 vintage, which will not be available to the general public until September 1, 2006. The wine is a blend of Syrah and Petite Sirah. The bottles will be available at the Kids ‘N Community booth outside section 129 during tonight’s game while supplies last. Additional bottles may be available in the near future.

“It is an honor to participate with the Rowe family and with the Hurricanes to bring hope and support to families caught in the struggle of this disease,” said Shafer.

In April, the Hurricanes began handing out red wristbands with the word “Relentless” to fans who donated at least $2 to LLS’s Eastern North Carolina branch. Laviolette will personally match the first $10,000 in funds raised through the program. Bands and collection boxes are located at the Kids 'N Community Foundation booth and ticket sales and promotions kiosks on the main level of the arena at all home games. Out-of-town fans who wish to make a donation to LLS and acquire a wristband should mail a minimum donation of $5 to: Carolina Hurricanes Kids ‘N Community Foundation, 1400 Edwards Mill Road, Raleigh, NC 27607. Please indicate that the donation is for LLS.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is a national voluntary health agency dedicated to curing leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and melanoma, and to improving the quality of life of patients and their families. The Society was established in 1949 as The de Villiers Foundation. In 2000, the Society changed its name from The Leukemia Society of America to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to emphasize its commitment to fighting all blood cancers. For more information on The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Eastern North Carolina Chapter, click here or call Tiffany Armstrong at 919-875-8252, ext. 100.

For more information on Shafer Vineyards, please visit or contact Doug Shafer at (707) 944-2877.
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