Chesapeake Bay Wine Classic Foundation Charitable Giving

First organized in 1991, the Chesapeake Bay Wine Classic Foundation has donated more than $12 million for designated charities, especially those that support educational programs benefiting young people in Hampton Roads.

The Foundation’s primary beneficiary is the Access College Foundation, which helps students attain higher education through counseling, assisting with SAT preparation and securing or providing scholarships.

Many other charitable endeavors are supported through grants from the Chesapeake Bay Wine Classic Foundation, including the Eastern Virginia Medical School’s breast cancer research, which receives all distributable funds from our Wine Women Fishing event.

Access College Foundation

Founded in 1988 by Frank Batten and Joshua P. Darden, Jr., the Access College Foundation helps high school students in South Hampton Roads and Northampton County fulfill their dreams of going to college. Access Advisors work in each of the region’s public high schools to inspire the hope in low-income, underrepresented students that a college education is attainable, support them in achieving the requirements for college acceptance, guide them through the college application process, assist them in gaining the funds to attend college, and provide advising and scholarship support while enrolled in college to ensure that they remain in school and complete their degree programs.

The Access College Foundation is committed to the betterment of our students and to providing them with the tools necessary to be successful in their educational endeavors.

The Access Early College Awareness Program gives 7th and 8th graders a head start in understanding the necessary steps involved in attaining a post-secondary degree/certificate by providing workshops and advising sessions on topics that include but are not limited to future goals, career choices, educational opportunities after high school, financial aid literacy, and how to connect education to career.

The Access High School Program increases the number of students who enroll in post-secondary institutions by providing on-site Advisors in each of the 30 South Hampton Roads and Northampton County public high schools to help guide students through the complicated college application/admission and financial aid processes.

The Access College Success Program extends the Access program’s advisory services to Access Scholars attending the colleges/universities where there are the most concentrated number of Access students, including: Christopher Newport University, George Mason University, Hampton University, Longwood University, Norfolk State University, Old Dominion University, Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia State University, Virginia Wesleyan College, and the four campuses of Tidewater Community College.

Since its inception, Access has assisted 59,000 students and their families in taking college entrance examinations, submitting applications for admission, applying for financial aid and scholarship opportunities, and enrolling in college.  In the process, $565 million in financial aid and scholarships from federal, state, college and private sources has been amassed for these students and $9 million has been distributed to students through Access “Last-Dollar” Scholarships. These scholarships are awarded to help bridge the gap between the amount of financial aid received and the actual cost of attending college.

For every dollar spent on advisory services, Access leverages $20 in financial aid and scholarships for our students.

For more information about the Access College Foundation, please call (757) 962-6113 or visit