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Kathleen Hill: Reopenings, fundraisings and more


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As the ashes of our homes, hills and vineyards slowly fade from dark black through the gray spectrum, and hoped-for rains bring up a thin velvet-like fuzz of green, we must not forget our friends and neighbors who have lost everything and still need our help. Help in many ways, with supplies, food, comfort and hugs, to say nothing of financial assistance.

In that last vein, Kathleen Weber’s Della Fattoria bakery and restaurant in Petaluma held an all-day taco fundraiser, specifically to benefit undocumented worker members of the community.

Many of us have been surprised to see metal buildings such as the barn at Flatbed Farm and turkey sheds at both Gordenker Ranch off Highway 12 in Glen Ellen and the former Nicholas Turkey Farms on Napa Road melted, bent irretrievably, and leaning against each other in new twisted configurations.

No Pay Café new location

The Facebook/Bon Appétit Management Co.’s thousands of meals will now be distributed from Vintage House and will then be redistributed by Sonoma Plaza Kiwanis volunteers.

Lilla Weinberger will be collecting information on meals needed by the following schools and nonprofits: Dunbar, Kenwood and Flowery elementary schools, Vintage House, Meals on Wheels, Brown Baggers, SOS (Sonoma Overnight Support), Teen Services Sonoma, 4Cs Child Care Council Sonoma and the Boys and Girls Club. Food will be delivered once a week on Wednesdays.

Weinberger says, “We encourage other nonprofits who can use food for young people, families, seniors and others affected by the fires, to get in touch.” Reach her at 480-4611.

Adds Weinberger: “Kathy Witkowicki of Sonoma Plaza Kiwanis and Lilla Weinberger of the No Pay Cafe are honored to continue the initial work of Sheana Davis, who organized food providers and laid the groundwork for this continuing effort to make sure that Sonomans receive the food they need to move forward with their lives.”

Mary’s Pizza Shack donates

As the North Bay wildfires left a path of destruction in Sonoma, Napa and Solano counties, Mary’s Pizza Shack announced its fundraiser to benefit the fire victims and relief efforts.

On Tuesdays Nov. 7, 14 and 21, 15 percent of sales at all Mary’s Pizza Shack locations will be donated to the North Bay Fire Relief Fund at Redwood Credit Union.

Vince Albano, Mary’s grandson and CEO of Mary’s Pizza Shack, said, “Our guests are an extension of our family. I watched from a young age as my nonny Mary always did what she could to give back. She established this philosophy from the beginning. We will continue to be there for our guests and the community during these unprecedented times.”

Beginning Wednesday, Nov. 15, Mary’s will donate $5 of every $50 gift card purchased to the North Bay Fire Relief Fund, an offer that will run until Dec 31.

To assist in the local food pantry needs, Mary’s will also have canned-food barrels in each of its 11 Sonoma County stores supplied by Redwood Empire Food Bank throughout the rest of the year.

Williams-Sonoma offers fire discount

Williams-Sonoma’s Sonoma store is offering a 20 percent discount on everything in the store for those who have lost their homes, and will set up a registry, similar to a bridal registry where other people can purchase things you have listed that you need.

To sign up for the registry, contact the store’s assistant manager Kathryn Cereghini at 939-8974. 605 Broadway, Sonoma.

Black Bear Diner pledges relief

Black Bear Diner has pledged $10,000 in fire relief and 100 percent of sales of every pie, cake or cobbler or cookie sold in their Sonoma and Napa diners.

St. Leo’s fruit and veggies

Every Tuesday morning year-round St. Leo’s staff and volunteers provide a bag of fresh fruit and vegetables to local families in need. The produce comes from the Redwood Empire Food Bank. They usually receive about 4,000 pounds per week and pack and distribute that to 160 families in about two hours. After the fires, their line was through the St. Leo’s parking lot out to Agua Caliente Road, and they received 7,000 pounds of fresh produce. Great need will remain in our Valley long after our immediate relief efforts end.

St. Leo’s team is distributing pantry boxes daily, in addition to the weekly produce distribution. Families can receive a box containing butter, milk, eggs, tuna, chicken, soup, fruit, vegetables, pasta, rice, beans, peanut butter, jelly and cereal. St. Francis also has a daily pantry and will help a bit with rent and utilities. FISH, as you know, also has a pantry. On Fridays there is another produce distribution at the Baptist Church on Craig Avenue.

Valo-Espina ballet moved to Vintage House

Andi Valo-Espina’s annual fundraiser luncheon and dance to benefit SFDanceworks has been moved from under the Valo-Espina magnolia tree to Vintage House’s Stone Hall, due to predicted rain on Sunday, Nov. 5, in an effort to keep the 85 people who have bought tickets coming to Sonoma to revitalize our economy.

Chef Matt Roberts, formerly of Jardinière, will prepare lunch. Valo-Espina says, “The magnolia tree will miss the attention but guests will be dry.” 1 to 4 p.m. $150. Tickets at sfdwsonoma2017/brownpapertickets.com.

Pairing for the Senses at SVMA Saturday

Sonoma Valley Museum of Art will pair poetry, food and wine with the current exhibition, “David Lagare: Magna Fide” and “Forge and Stone: Contemporary California Women Sculptors.” Petaluma sommelier Christopher Sawyer will emcee Saturday, Nov. 4. Hollie Hardy will introduce poets Tess Taylor, Bruce Snider and Tomás Moniz; tastes will be provided by David Bush of Oso, Ed Metcalfe of Shiso Modern Asian Kitchen, Matthew Nagan of Schellville Grill, and Sheana Davis of the Epicurean Connection.

Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards, Anaba Wines and Jeff Cohn Cellars will pour wine. $35 museum members, $40 public. 5:30 to 7 p.m. 551 Broadway, Sonoma. 939-7862.

Extra virgins to be celebrated at B.R. Cohn

B.R. Cohn Winery & Olive Oil Company will go ahead with its second annual Extra Virgin Festival for Saturday, Nov. 4 to showcase olive oil producers, olive educators and food vendors. The festival, originally set to take place throughout the weekend, has canceled its Sunday, Nov. 5 date. Profits from ticket sales will go to the Heart of the Vine Fire Relief Fund.

According to B.R. Cohn’s press release, “In an effort to aid recovery for the Napa and Sonoma areas, profits from ticket sales will go to the Heart of the Vine Fire Relief Fund, providing gift cards for basic necessities to winery staff, first responders and employees of our winery friends, neighbors and vendors who have lost their homes.”

Olive oil vendors include B.R. Cohn, CaliVirgin, Figone’s Olive Oil, Grumpy Goats Farm Olive Oil, Lucchetti Family Olive Oil, The Olive Press, River Road Olive Oil, Petroni, McEvoy and Wild Groves. Confirmed food vendors include the Girl and the Fig, Belon Oysters from Michael Watchorn, Drums and Crumbs and Sweet Scoops Ice Cream.

The festival will feature olive educators Orietta Gianjorio and Don Landis, pastry chef and cookbook author Maria Capdevielle, chefs and cookbook authors Sally James and John Toulze, all of whom will explain the marvels of the olive.

The Butterdishes and Rhyme & Reason will play their hearts out, while Sonoma Syrup, Bob Bowman Photography, North of South Olivewoods, Table Chez Nous, Crisp Bakeshop, House of Gar and ODE will also offer their finest. $20 ticket includes admission to the festival and a glass of wine from B.R. Cohn’s premium wines. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, visit eventbrite.com/e/sonoma-extra-virgin-festival-tickets-35157962412.

Glen Ellen Inn update

Karen and Chris Bertrand want everyone to know that their restaurant and inn in downtown Glen Ellen survived the fire, but they had to throw away all food and their walk-in refrigerator and walk-in freezer after two weeks without electricity – even the refrigeration was damaged. While they replace those they will go ahead with their planned winter remodel to update the bar, floor and kitchen while they are at it. Waiting for county permits, of course. While we wait for all of this to get done and go back to this local favorite, the generous Bertrands are asking “all of our guests to visit our friends in our Glen Ellen neighborhood restaurants. Glen Ellen is a beautiful place filled with beautiful people and we will all come back strong!”

Aventine Glen Ellen to reopen soon

Toni and Adolfo Veronese hope to reopen Aventine in Jack London Village next weekend. They and their crew hope to have the whole place sparkling in a few days. They, too, had to dump all food and opened alcohol bottles and beer, and are reordering everything. Toni Veronese thanks everyone for their support and “can’t wait to see everyone soon.”

Spann Vineyards donations

Spann Vineyards in Kenwood will donate 50 percent of its tasting fees collected from Oct. 21 through Nov. 31 to fire-relief efforts through the Redwood Credit Union’s RCU Community Fund. The winery will also donate 10 percent of the initial release sales of its 2014 MOJO, a red blend of cabernet sauvignon, malbec, syrah and petit verdot to relief efforts. The winery also offers free tasting to all first responders.

Nibs & Sips

Community Café is closed and gone forever, apparently in a dispute over the seven years remaining on Margie Brooke’s lease. Coincidentally, she obtained her Panama residency papers this week. Brooke’s last email advertised her sale of everything inside and included a sign that said: “Shut Happens.”

B&V Whiskey Bar & Grille and Maya restaurants have reopened, meaning all Sonoma Plaza businesses are now open. B&V will serve complimentary lunch or dinner to first responders.

Santa Rosa Junior College Culinary Café & Bakery reopened on Thursday, Nov. 2, where students and graduates prepare and serve all food and baked goods.

Unfortunately we lost both Willi’s Wine Bar and Cricklewood restaurants in Santa Rosa to the fire, both favorites among people attending events at Luther Burbank Center for the Arts.

Sam Coturri of Sixteen 600 winery, pledged to shave his beard if he raised $2,000 for fire relief, and by golly, he did, and he did!