Hometown News: 10-18-13

Sonoma Valley Veteran Marian Apice with Dr. Kimberly Hubenette on Freedom Day USA.

Sonoma Valley Veteran Marian Apice with Dr. Kimberly Hubenette on Freedom Day USA.


When 89-year-old Marian Apice of Sonoma found out she had an opportunity to receive complimentary dental care, she cried with happiness.

On Sept. 12, businesses across the United States – including 20 in Sonoma – participated in Freedom Day USA, a national “thank you” movement for U.S. military personnel, veterans and their families. Each business participant provided a thank you gift, in the form of free services and goods.

“I think it’s just absolutely wonderful,” said Apice about Freedom Day as she received care from Dr. Kimberly Hubenette at Synergy Dental Group (SDG) in Sonoma. Apice joined the U.S. Navy in 1945 and served as a Seaman 1st Class, along with her husband who was in the U.S. Army. She also had four brothers who served in the military, and during her appointment, showed off a photograph of her with her and three of them in uniform in 1945.

Hear Apice’s story in her own words on the SDG YouTube Channel: youtube.com/watch?v=LWA7e-_8C5k.

SDG participated in Freedom Day by providing more than $6,000 in free dental exams, cleanings and fillings. The whole SDG team got into the spirit, donating their time to volunteer in the office. Two additional dental hygienists – one a veteran – also volunteered. “The services provided to our country by these ladies and gentlemen are so appreciated, and we wanted to show that appreciation on this special day in our small way,” said Hubenette, who is also the local Freedom Day USA city director for Sonoma and the co-director for California. Hubenette noted that this is the inaugural year of Freedom Day USA and that it will be an annual event.

SDG took the lead in encouraging other businesses in the area to participate, calling and visiting businesses in person to tell them about Freedom Day and helping them sign up. Sonoma businesses participating in Freedom Day included Flag Emporium, Adams Chiropractic Offices, Arroyo Veterinary Hospital, Clutterbug Professional Organizers, Walter and Pistole Law Offices, Charles Creek Vineyard, the Red Grape, Avon Representative Renea Magnani, Terri’s Hot Shots, Janelle’s Java, Sonoma Valley Visitors Bureau, Café Scooteria, Field of Greens, Large Leather, Rabobank, Spring Flowers and Gifts, Tiddle E. Winks, Kid Scoop News and Sonoma Wine Shop.

“If other businesses would like to join us in this national movement to thank the men and women of our armed forces next year, they can contact me or visit the Freedom Day website at freedomdayusa.org to sign up,” said Hubenette.

To learn more about this national movement or to sign up as a participant for future events, visit FreedomDayUSA.org or the event’s Facebook page at facebook.com/FreedomDayUSA. For more information about Synergy Dental Group, visit synergydentalgroup.net.


Sonoma natives Garrett Rowland and Jillian Buckley were married Aug. 24, in Lake Tahoe, California. Both graduates of SVHS, Rowland and Buckley now live in Brooklyn, N.Y., where they work in photography and documentary film.


PICTURED HERE, FROM LEFT, are Sonoma Valley Hospital Auxiliary volunteers Mary Smith, Jon Derby and Marie Martini.

PICTURED HERE, FROM LEFT, are Sonoma Valley Hospital Auxiliary volunteers Mary Smith, Jon Derby and Marie Martini.

Mary Smith has been an elected officer on the Sonoma Valley Hospital Auxiliary board of directors for the past six years, serving as treasurer for four years and president for two years. Mary manages the hospital gift shop and works as an escort in the hospital.

Jon Derby was voted volunteer of the year for 2012-13. Jon is in charge of the fund-raising for the auxiliary. He has spearheaded the seasonal sale of See’s candy, bake sales and the arts and craft fair, as well as regular weekly volunteering at the hospital.

Marie Martini is the lady “with the mostest” volunteer service hours served in the Auxiliary – more than 17,000 hours. Marie has served as recording secretary, works weekly as an escort in the hospital and has been in charge of the quarterly blood drive for years.

The hospital auxiliary is always looking for people who would like to share their time. Those interested in joining can contact Cathy Sowa at 935-5292.