St Supéry #GivingTuesday Chats: The deLeuze Family Charitable Foundation

St Supéry #GivingTuesday Chats: The deLeuze Family Charitable Foundation

The philanthropic family behind ZD Wines goes all in for medical research and the Boys & Girls Clubs

When Norman deLeuze, founder of ZD Wines in the Napa Valley, received a lymphoma diagnosis in 2004, he wanted to avoid going down the chemotherapy path, preferring to seek out alternatives that would build up his immune system instead of breaking it down.

A former engineer, deLeuze was a big believer in research and became frustrated with the lack of studies on alternative approaches to lymphoma treatment. After reaching out to numerous doctors he found Dr. Joseph Tuscano, a research oncologist at the UC Davis Cancer Center. This was the like-minded doctor deLeuze had been searching for. To support efforts to find a non-toxic cure for lymphoma and other cancers, deLeuze created a research endowment and professorship for Dr. Tuscano, which led to the formation of the deLeuze Family Charitable Foundation.

Funded by two annual events hosted by ZD Wines—the Crush Challenge and Harvest Wine Celebration—as well as donations, the foundation raises money for local charities that help with medical research, comfort living for those suffering from potentially terminal illnesses, and community youth development.

Norman’s son Brett deLeuze, president of ZD and representative for the deLeuze Family Charitable Foundation, joined St. Supéry CEO Emma Swain for an episode of the podcast series #GivingTuesday Chats to discuss his family’s charitable efforts in the community and beyond.

St Supéry #GivingTuesday Chats: The deLeuze Family Charitable Foundation

In addition to raising money for medical research and related causes, the deLeuze Family Charitable Foundation supports The Club teen center at Boys & Girls Clubs of Napa Valley. The center runs after-school programs around Napa County, providing help with homework as well as opportunities to learn community building, athletics, arts and leadership skills.

“We found a need there because of my niece, who in a prior life was a team coordinator at the Napa teen center,” said deLeuze. “While she was there we recognized that the teens at Boys & Girls Clubs weren’t getting the needed tools from multiple perspectives,” including access to computer equipment and healthy snacks.

ZD Wines donated $100,000 to revamp The Club in 2012 and began delivering a healthy snack to the center every Monday.  In an ongoing way the deleuze family foundation raises money for the teens through the annual Crush Challenge which will be hosted on Saturday August 26, 2023. The event features a morning cycling ride followed by a barrel tasting at ZD winery and a food and wine festival at Yountville Park. Each year, 10 local restaurants and 10 Napa Valley wineries, including St. Supéry, participate in the post-ride festival.

“It’s quite a fun event and we get great participation from the community,” deLeuze said. “Last year it raised $182,000 for our charity.

People need not participate in the ride to fundraise for the event or attend the festival. Groups are welcome to form their own cycling teams to raise money for the foundation—as individuals from UC Davis and the Boys and Girls Clubs have done for past events.

As much as the foundation provides to the teens of the Boys & Girls Clubs, deLeuze believes the support is mutual.

“We receive as much as we give to them, to be perfectly honest,” he said. “They come out and support the Crush Challenge as volunteers and many of the parents come out and help with the ride.”

The deLeuze Family Charitable Foundation also raises money through its annual Harvest Wine Celebration in November. Hosted by ZD Wines, the event includes barrel tastings, samples of current releases, and food pairings. The celebration culminates in a speech presented by the Teen Center’s Youth of the Year winner about how the club has helped them thrive in the community. In 2022 the event raised $13,800 for the center.

Along with participating in events, people can support the foundation through direct donations. Those who contribute $500 to the deLeuze Family Charitable Foundation and note St. Supéry in their donation will be invited to join Swain, deLeuze and up to 20 guests at the winery on June 23 for an intimate lunch paired with St. Supéry Estate and ZD wines, prepared by both of their estate Chefs.

“It’s going to be a really special lunch,” said Swain. “It’s always extra special when we have our friends from ZD with us.

December 16, 2022

Categories: In the PressThe Chronicles

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