Patricks Coonawarra donation recognised

AWARD ACCEPTED: NeuroSurgical Research Foundation president Nick Vrodos with Matt and Jenny Tocaciu accepting the award alongside the Governor of South Australia Her Excellency the Honourable Frances Adamson. Picture: SUPPLIED

Charlotte Varcoe

THE founder of Patricks of Coonawarra will have a research foundation named after him in an effort to find a cure for brain cancer.

Patrick Tocaciu passed away in 2013 following brain cancer nine years after opening the cellar door.

Since his passing, Patrick’s son, Luke Tocaciu has continued to work hard in the cellar door with the company donating more than $50,000 to the NeuroSurgical Research Foundation (NRF).

Recently, the Tocaciu family accepted a Major Benefactor Award for the research foundation from the NRF to recognise its continued contribution.

The family also accepted a CAR-T cell therapy for glioblastoma research project to be named in memory of Patrick.

Mr Tocaciu said after his father’s death, the business found the NRF which was doing a lot of work on neurosurgical conditions.

“We thought it was quite appropriate that we start to give some money back to them,” Mr Tocaciu said.

“We have built quite a good relationship over the past 12 years and recently sponsored their 60th year celebration dinner with some wine.”

He said the cellar door had also participated in the Bay Fun Run with the NRF and other cellar door tastings to try and raise funds.

“Dad was one of those people who was larger than life and he definitely made lots of good friends throughout the wine industry,” Mr Tocaciu said.

“Everyone that met him bounced off his energy and was very caring and giving in his own spirit.”

He said Patrick would have appreciated and wanted funds to go towards the NRF in an effort to help others in the future.

“One of the other awards was that a research project was named after him,” Mr Tocaciu siad.

“It is great to see the money that we have been able to raise has been specifically used to fund further research in brain cancer.

“It is a devastating area of cancer so anything we can do to help the future families and people that have had that sort of condition or know of someone with that condition, to help that research and hopefully one day find a cure would be great.”

Patrick’s of Coonawarra will continue to raise funds for the NRF with money from its tastings of its 50-year-old port wine going to the foundation.