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April 8, 2016

Since its inception, the annual event hosted by the Avera McKennan Foundation continues to grow, raising thousands of dollars to support programs and services such as the Child Life Program, advanced technology, patient-friendly rooms and much more.

The foundation is grateful to the local community for making this event a success and furthering the mission of Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center.

Because of you, the unique wine, beer and food tasting event raised over $130,000 to benefit patients and families at Avera Children’s Hospital.


Text to Bid

Mobile bidding allows you to bid on auction items using your mobile phone, desktop computer, laptop or tablet to access our mobile bidding site. Simply register your name, phone number, and email and let the bidding begin! Once you are registered you will receive two text messages confirming your registration. Throughout the evening, you will receive text alerts when you are the highest bidder, if you have been outbid, etc.


Mobile Bidding

To Place a Bid with your mobile phone

To place a bid on any auction item, simply reply to any Qtego text message with the three digit item number and the whole dollar amount that you want to bid.

Example: To bid $75 on item number 123, reply to any Qtego text with 123 75 and SEND. You’ll receive a text message confirming your bid. You’ll also receive a text if someone outbids you.

To Check the Current Bid on an Item

To check the current bid on any auction package or item, you may reply to any Qtego text message with the three digit item number of that item.

Example: To check the current bid on item number 123, reply to any Qtego text with 123 and SEND.

To Set Up Automated Bidding (set a maximum bid)

Enter the item number, your maximum bid amount, and the letter M to indicate the maximum you are willing to bid. The system will automatically bid for you until you win or your max is met. Example: To enter a maximum bid of $500 for item number 123, you would reply to any QTEGO text with 123 500M and SEND.

To Check the Bidding Status on ALL your Items

To check the bidding status on any of the items you are currently bidding on, simply reply to any Qtego text with the word STATUS and press SEND.

You’ll receive a text listing all the items on which you are currently the high bidder.

Winning Bidders

At the conclusion of the auction, you will receive a text message for each package or item that you have won. Each message will indicate the item number, item or package name and you winning bid amount.

To Place a Bid with your desktop computer, laptop or tablet

  1. To place a bid on an item or package, you must register your phone number on the mobile bidding site which is found under the Auction Items tab on website.
  2. Watch for two text messages from Qtego confirming your registration.
  3. Look for the link in the confirmation text message. The last four characters are your personal PIN. Enter your PIN when you sign in to the mobile bidding site using the link found on website.
  4. Find the item that you would like to bid on. Select the photo or description of that item.
  5. You will then be taken to a screen that lists the item number, item name, photos and a description of the item. You will also see an area where you can place your bid. Some items have bidding increments. Enter the amount that you would like to bid in the text box and press submit bid.

You can also set a maximum bid. This is the highest amount that you are willing to pay for that particular item. Qtego will bid for you in the increments listed with the item until you either win the item or you are outbid. You will be notified via text message if you are outbid.

Frequently Asked Questions About Text to Bid

Q: Do I have to be registered to bid on the silent auction items?

A: Yes, the mobile bidding site will be live approximately 2 weeks prior to the event date. Through, you will be able to access a link prompting you to type your name, mobile number, and email address. Simply enter that information and you will be registered to start your bidding. We highly encourage everyone to pre-register on prior to coming to the event. This will ensure a quick and easy check in upon your arrival at The Big Grape.

Q: When can I start bidding on the silent auction items?
A: The mobile bidding site will be live approximately 2 weeks prior to the event date.

Q: Do I have to be at the event to bid the on silent auction items?

A: No! Pre-register your phone number and information on, and you will be ready to bid.

Q: How do I bid for items on the silent auction?

A: To place a bid on an item or package, you must register your phone number on the mobile bidding site either at the event, or prior to the event through website. Please refer to the above instruction section for information on how to bid.

Q: What if I don’t have a smartphone?

A: There are multiple ways to bid on silent auction items. Use your mobile phone, desktop computer, laptop or tablet to access our mobile bidding site. You do not need a smartphone to participate. The only requirement to bid is that your phone has texting capabilities.

Q: How will I know if I won any items?
A: At the conclusion of the auction, you will receive text messages for each item that you hold the winning bid on.

Q: Am I able to register to bid at the event?

A: Yes. The Big Grape will have staff available throughout the evening to help you register for the auction and assist with other questions and issues as needed.


East River

  • Beef and Asparagus Negimaki
  • Stuffed Mushroom Caps with Crab and Feta
  • Imported Cheese and Fruit Display with Brie en Croute
  • Grilled Marinated Vegetable Display
  • Carved Roast Baron of Beef with Creamy Horseradish
  • Pizza Station
  • Assorted Cupcakes: Strawberry, Lemon, Chocolate, Banana and Pink Lemonade

Main Hall

  • Cedar Seared Smoked Salmon Blini
  • Gourmet Waffles Accompanied by Duck Sausage
  • Gouda Hash-Brown Stuffed Peppers
  • Deviled Benedict Display
  • Grilled Fruit Kabob and Bloody Mary Tart
  • Assorted Cupcakes: Mimosa, Maple Bacon and Peanut Butter Cap’n Crunch

West River

  • Fried Vegetable Lo Mein and Sesame Rice Cakes Drizzled with a Sweet Red Pepper Aioli
  • Grilled Beef Short Rib, Smoked Pork Belly and Shrimp Sate, all Served with Various Fresh Vegetables and Wrapped with Leaf Lettuce
  • Assorted Cupcakes: Sweet Rice Popsicles, Chocolate Fruit Tulips, Candy Sushi

Wine & Brew


  • Accolade Wines
  • Banfi Vintners, Excelsior Wine and Spirits
  • Cabernet Corporation
  • Calico Skies Vineyard and Winery
  • Constellation Brands
  • Copper Cane Wines & Provisions
  • Deutsch Family Wine
  • Distinguished Vineyards & Wine Partners
  • Dreyfus, Ashby & Co.
  • Don & Sons Wines
  • Duckhorn Vineyards
  • Duriguitti Winery
  • Esprit du Vin Fine Merchants
  • Francis Ford Coppola Winery
  • Guarachi Wine Partners
  • Jackson Family Wines
  • J. Lohr Vineyards
  • Marietta Cellars
  • Palm Bay International
  • Paul Hobbs Imports
  • Peterson Winery
  • Riedel USA
  • Rodney Strong Estates
  • Silver Oak Cellars
  • The Wine Group
  • Treasure Wine Estates
  • Trinchero Family Estates
  • TY KU Premium Sake & Spirits
  • Wagner Family of Wines
  • Winebow


  • August Schell Brewing Company
  • Bank Brewing Company
  • Big Sky Brewing Company
  • Blue Moon Brewing Company
  • Boston Beer Company
  • Boulevard Brewing Company
  • Deschutes Brewing Company
  • Fargo Brewing Company
  • Fernson Brewing Company
  • Fulton Brewing Company
  • Lagunitas Brewing Company
  • Leinenkugels Brewing Company
  • New Belgium Brewing Company
  • Odell Brewing Company
  • Sierra Nevada Brewing Company
  • Summit Brewing Company

Little Grapes

It Takes a Lot of "Little Grapes" to Make the Big Grape!

Known for their courageous spirit, positive attitude and strong will to persevere, these young children are true examples of how your gifts from The Big Grape affect lives. Called "Little Grapes," four children are selected each year to share their personal stories of determination. Because of you, these children, and countless others at Avera Children's Hospital, have directly benefited from your gifts and are living testaments of what you can do for the community by supporting The Big Grape. We are proud to introduce the 2015 "Little Grapes" so you can get to know them better!

Eve Baart

With a story of sheer determination, it’s the power of care and compassion that continues to shine bright on spirited Eve. The three-year-old toddler accidentally swallowed acid while living in an orphanage in Liberia. Despite limited resources and access to advanced health care, Eve survived only to rebound with deadly esophageal issues years later. But with the love and concern of one young couple from Iowa who had started a non-profit organization in Liberia, Eve was taken to the United States where she received state-of-the-art care. Although her condition was far more bleak than initially expected, she continues to undergo surgeries to dilate her esophagus and the family remains optimistic for her future. Today, Eve is consistently growing and even looks forward to “surgery days” because of the special attention they receive from everyone at Avera Children’s Hospital. Because of funds from events like The Big Grape, patients like Eve can receive specialized care which defines the mission of Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center.

Lauryn Claggett

Young Lauryn is a true miracle. After surviving a deadly motor vehicle collision in 2013, three-year-old Lauryn suffered severe injuries which included multiple contusions to the head and numerous broken bones. The caregivers at Avera quickly went into action and were able to save her young life even though the fate of the others, including her mother Sara, were not as fortunate. With the loving help of her grandparents, Lauryn is making the long journey to recovery. They credit the amazing staff at Avera for her positive outcome and felt like they were part of the family. Today, Lauryn is a true little gem and still holds a special place in the hearts of those who cared for her.


Tegan Lange

When little Tegan was welcomed into the world, she may have had little footprints, but she definitely had a big heart! Despite efforts to stop premature labor, she was born weighing only 3 pounds, 15 ounces and was quickly taken to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Avera. For the next month, her parents stayed by her side as she learned how to eat, breathe and regulate body temperature. The caring staff at Avera provided comfort and reassurance during the emotional time. Today, Tegan is living a full and healthy life and the family still feels blessed to have had the support of the awesome NICU team during their stay. Despite being one of the most frightening times in their lives, they made several life-long friends with their caregivers and are forever grateful to those who support the NICU.


Wyatt VandenHoek

Before Wyatt could even celebrate his first birthday, he had already displayed strength and courage during a month-long battle with an infection. Initially diagnosed with meningitis, Wyatt received a blood transfusion and was discharged. Shortly after, he was back in the hospital and diagnosed with Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) which began a month long stint of hospital stays and discharges. During this time, he experienced swelling of the brain and blood infections but remained a happy-go-lucky little boy and would even flash an occasional smile at the nurses! Despite concerns about loss of hearing and impaired learning, Wyatt has gone on to make a full recovery thanks to the great care he received at Avera Children’s Hospital. His parents are grateful for the open communication during their visit and appreciate events like The Big Grape which supports patients and families like themselves.


Big Grape 2015 Sponsors

The Big Grape offers opportunities for everyone to help the patients and families at the Avera Children’s Hospital. From cash to in-kind sponsorships, The Big Grape provides a variety of levels to match your company or organization’s marketing goals and budget.

Title Sponsors

Bordeaux Sponsors

Media Sponsors

Tuscany Sponsors

Napa Valley Sponsors

  • DJ Jer Events and Lighting Design
  • Ideal Wedding & Events
  • Sioux Falls Construction

Sonoma Sponsors

  • Cutler and Donahoe, LLP
  • Eide Bailly, LLP
  • First Bank & Trust
  • Great Western Bank
  • Novak Sanitary Service
  • Wholesome Magazine
  • Woods, Fuller, Shultz & Smith, P.C.
  • Sisson Printing

Learn More!

Become a sponsor today! Click here to learn more or email

Avera McKennan Foundation
1325 S. Cliff Avenue
Sioux Falls, SD 57105
Attn: Missy Vande Kieft
Fax: 605-322-8905


The Big Grape continues the tradition of improving the lives of children and families through partnerships with friends and sponsors who share in our vision of outstanding health ministry. Thanks to your generous support, 100% of the proceeds raised continue to be used to enhance pediatric care at Avera Children’s Hospital.

What Your Gifts Support:

  • Pediatric Social Workers to offer convenient coordination during your stay
  • Child Life Specialists help make a child’s hospital stay less intimidating through play and education
  • Children's Champion recognition program supports positive reinforcement and necessary encouragement to aid in the healing and recovery process
  • Advanced technology to provide world-class care

Creating a family-friendly facility for our patients and families is a priority. Funds from The Big Grape are also used to provide a colorful, kid-friendly and family-centered environment. There's a play room with lots of toys and games, and each child gets to visit our "Treasure Chest" to take home a special prize after their stay.

Children also have access to free family-friendly movies on demand and games. We have special programs like developmental play and pet therapy to comfort and engage children during their stay.

A Toast to You!

Thank you to all those who have supported The Big Grape. Through your generous gifts, children and families in the community continue to benefit from the mission-based care provided at Avera Children's Hospital.