WillMar feels Sonoma’s caring tradition
Recently some unique examples of local fundraising have emphasized why charitable giving is such a Sonoma hallmark.
Vineyard workers at Gloria Ferrer Winery spend their rainy winter days building bluebird houses which are then painted by children at the WillMar Family Grief & Healing Center. The winery then sells the birdhouses and gives the profits to WillMar.
Gloria Ferrer hosted a fantastic gala event for WillMar Center this spring and announced WillMar Artists’ Series 001 and 002 (two, 100-case bottlings of 2011 and 2012 vintage pinot noir), with profits going to the Center.
Recently, Sondra Bernstein surveyed her employees to see how they wanted to spend $15,000 to celebrate the girl & the fig’s 15th anniversary. They voted to donate the entire amount to WillMar.
Since 2000, the free peer-group support services provided by WillMar for children and teens, between 3-1/2 and 19 years of age, have proved invaluable for families grieving the loss of a loved one. Virtually all children who have attended WillMar’s sessions, led by Executive Director Barbara Cullen and other grief professionals, cannot extol enough the vital healing they received there. Many have returned, years later, to become volunteers and program mentors. Each year, WillMar serves more than 200 children in the Center’s in-house programming and more than 1,000 youth through on-site emergency services, classroom workshops and counseling sessions.
WillMar, subject to strict privacy requirements, heals children from within, over the long term.
That is why it may seem difficult, at times, to appreciate fully the impact of the therapy it offers. But public recognition is slowly increasing, thanks in part to the incredible gestures of the Gloria Ferrer Winery and
the Sondra Bernstein organization.
Thank you, employees of Gloria and Sondra, for being such wonderful examples of Sonoma’s caring tradition.
WillMar Board President