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Light, community and hope

Posted on November 10, 2017 by Sonoma Valley Sun


The Lighting of the Historic Sonoma Plaza –100,000+ sparkling lights spread over the eight-acre Square – has special meaning this year, as the November 18 event includes a tribute to emergency responders, community volunteers, and fire victims. The festivities begin at 4 p.m., and include a performance by the Transcendence Theatre Company and presentations by community leaders. Hot cider, hot chocolate, and cookies are complimentary; guests are invited to bring their own beverages, including beer and wine. The lights will be lit every evening through December 31.

FISH continues to do outstanding work on behalf of fire victims. One goal, says Sandy Piotter, “is to get names and contact information from people who have lost everything so we can continue to support them over time.” The crisis brought out poignant moments of kindness and generosity. The organization received a random donation from Germany (“it arrived in dollars, not Euros) and several from emptied piggy banks. A donation of $361 came in from a San Francisco family – they baked cookies and went to Golden Gate Park to raise the money.

In Glen Ellen, an area particularly hard hit, one fundraiser took the form of a porch party thrown by Brian Hughes. Dan Martin, Phil Herrschaft and Ellen Toscano provided the music, and Pat Carlin says people donated food, drinks, clothes and even port-a-potties. “It was a loving cordial party,” and it raised $5,980 to be shared by nine locals who lost everything in the fire.

If you or someone you know was affected by the fires and are in need of food, the Redwood Empire Food Bank’s Station 39-90 disaster-response food distributions are still underway. Offering fresh produce and staple groceries at locations throughout Sonoma County, Station 39-90 is completely free and open to anyone impacted by the fires. Call 707.523.7903 or visit for current times and locations. Got a stocked fridge? Donate.

Got milk? Then you’ll need some pie. Order a Lovin’ Oven Holiday Pie (Apple cranberry crumble or Pumpkin) fresh from the Teen Services Sonoma ovens. Just $20 each, at 707-939-1452.

Who needs a drink? Who doesn’t? Ronda Ross-Leen, the force behind the recent Sonoma Bar Battle event, notes the “Sonoma’s Best Bartender” title now belongs to the team of Kenny DeAlba and Caroline Storrs from El Dorado Kitchen. Second place went to Carlo Cavalo of B&V Whiskey Bar & Grille, and third place to Nathaly Duffy and Paul Spadaro, Jr. of Steiner’s Tavern. In the bubbly category, Dax Marchus, repping Hop Monk Tavern, won the Glorious Gloria Sparkling contest. In a public vote, the Fan Favorite Cocktail was awarded to Town Square. All proceeds from the event will go to fire relief, supporting First Responders, service industry workers and other community efforts.

Asked “how are you,” one reply: “I’m OK. But these days, OK is the new ‘good.’

 — Val Robichaud


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