Murphy-Goode Selects Gay Eisenhauer As Grand-Prize Campaign 'Hero'

Hometown hero advocates for Federal change of how soldiers killed in action are brought home; will receive Fourth of July BBQ in her honor

Jul 02, 2013, 08:06 ET from Murphy-Goode Winery

HEALDSBURG, Calif., July 2, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Murphy-Goode Winery has selected Gay Eisenhauer, 58, of Pinckneyville, Ill., as the grand-prize winner of its "A Few Goode Heroes" contest.  Eisenhauer was chosen for her advocacy efforts in changing Federal policy for fallen US soldiers.  As the grand-prize winner, Eisenhauer will be the guest of honor at a Fourth of July BBQ with fellow friends and family, hosted by Murphy-Goode Winery.

Eisenhauer's son, Wyatt, was killed in 2005 by an improvised explosive device in Iraq.  As she watched her son's body "being unloaded by a forklift, the casket with no flag, teetering like a piece of luggage," Eisenhauer's personal journey to create change in memory of her son began.

Horrified by this treatment, Eisenhauer set out to improve the way the remains of US servicemen and women killed in action are brought home to their loved ones.  She was a key advocate for several changes beginning with the establishment of the Family First call line in 2006 (the precursor to today's Survival Outreach Services) as well as a broader Federal mandate, effective in 2007, requiring the remains of all soldiers killed in action to be draped with a flag, accompanied by an honor guard and transported home by military or a military-contracted aircraft.  In addition, she founded the Wyatt D. Eisenhauer Memorial Fund, which gives scholarships to students in need. 

"We are honored to name Gay our "A Few Goode Heroes" grand-prize recipient," said Dave Ready, Jr., winemaker for Healdsburg-based Murphy-Goode.  "She exemplifies a true hero, taking her personal loss to ensure others are treated with respect and care.  Her selflessness and tenacity are an inspiration to us all."

As Murphy-Goode's grand-prize winner, Eisenhauer will receive a Fourth of July BBQ hosted by Murphy-Goode in St. Louis, Missouri, surrounded by friends, family and those who have been helped by the great work she has done.  The winery will also make an additional $1,000 donation to the Wyatt D. Eisenhauer Memorial Fund, in addition to the donation made when Eisenhauer was named February's monthly winner.  Murphy-Goode is also providing another matching grant to its nonprofit partner, Operation Homefront, the national organization that provides emergency financial assistance to military families and wounded warriors, of which Murphy-Goode as been an avid supporter for the past two years.

"I'm so honored Murphy-Goode chose me as their grand-prize hero – it brings me to tears," Eisenhauer said.  "Now Wyatt and the story of his life will be known by even more people, and with the winery's donation, we'll be able to help additional students in need.  Wyatt was a giver, and we will continue his spirit of giving, thanks to Murphy-Goode."

Murphy-Goode's "A Few Goode Heroes" contest concluded with Eisenhauer as the grand-prize winner.  Participants were invited to Murphy-Goode's Facebook page to nominate community leaders that best exemplified altruism, leadership, self-sacrifice or positive influence.  Each month, Murphy-Goode and its Facebook fans chose a winner to receive a $1,000 donation to his or her favorite nonprofit, and Murphy-Goode also made a matching gift to Operation Homefront.

Murphy-Goode has long sought to recognize heroes.  Since Fall 2011, the winery has partnered with Operation Homefront to support military families in need.  Murphy-Goode has donated more than $100,000 to the cause on behalf of the winery and its fans.  To learn more, visit or  Must be 21 or older to participate.

Located in the beautiful and acclaimed Alexander Valley region of Sonoma County, Murphy-Goode is a family-owned winery known for award-winning California wines from Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay to Pinot Noir, Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon. Founded by Tim Murphy, Dale Goode and David Ready, Sr. in 1985 and now part of Jackson Family Wines, Murphy-Goode believes in great wines and good times with family and friends. The winery is proud to support Operation Homefront and its work with wounded warriors and the families of service members.

A national nonprofit, Operation Homefront leads more than 4,500 volunteers with nationwide presence who provide emergency and other financial assistance to the families of service members and wounded warriors. Operation Homefront  has met more than 741,000 needs of military families since its inception in 2002.  A four-star rated charity by watchdog Charity Navigator, nationally, 94 percent of total revenue donated to Operation Homefront goes directly to programs that provide support to our military families. For more information, go to

©2013 Murphy-Goode Winery, Healdsburg, CA.  All rights reserved.

SOURCE Murphy-Goode Winery