Passionate About Wine Country
and the Moms Who Live Here

These Wildfire Stories Will Make You Feel Wine Country Proud

these stories will make you feel wine country proud

We know there are many many dark days ahead

And we also know, that sometimes, to survive the dark days, you need to be reminded of the good things happening in our community. Here is our list of feel good stories that remind you why we love our community here.

The Helpers

Wine Country is known for it’s hospitality, and that doesn’t stop during a crisis. So whether it’s a tourist coming for a tasting, or the national guard for disaster relief, we are going to make sure they all feel welcome.

It’s hard to get food to the front line of an aggressive fire. Many firefighters are working day and night with no rest to stop this from encroaching on our neighborhoods. Good samaritan neighbors are bringing food out of their homes, making sure our heroes have the fuel to keep going.

Big thanks go Ghilotti Construction for leading by example:

The Stark family, having lost the iconic Willi’s Wine Bar, is out making food for their community.

Roughly 72 hours after her Santa Rosa restaurant, Willi’s Wine Bar, was reduced to smoldering rubble in the first night of Wine Country fires, Terri Stark was back in a kitchen coordinating meals for emergency responders and displaced residents…“We have people who have lost everything, and we’re trying to do what we can for them.” Read More Here

Chefs of every variety are pouring their passion for food into helping our community. Like Guy Fieri, at the fairgrounds, providing food and cooking meals for displaced families and first responders.

Everyone is coming together:

“The first day of the fires my husband, Andrew Somawang, immediately wanted to help. He drove to the Bennett Valley Fire station and spent the day bbqing hamburgers for all first responders. He made over 100 hamburgers to feed the tired people coming in and out. He’s been looking for ways to help out each day. He also raised enough money to buy a water tank and is helping transport water to firefighters.”- Posted Here

When you have lost everything, sometimes a helper shows up in the most unexpected way.

Shari’s makes their way down from Portland to make sure food continues to be available.

“A shout out to United Way, Brandy, and Shari’s restaurant in Rohnert Park. My husband and I were evacuated early Monday morning and found ourselves “camping” in the United Way parking lot off Sebastopol Road. United Way had coffee, bathrooms AND a shower. They even let me bring my cat inside so he would calm down and drink some water. As for Shari’s, we were in need of a hot breakfast and cleaner air. We decided to try Rohnert Park and while the air was worse than Santa Rosa, after trying several restaurants that were closed due to lack of employees, we found Shari’s open and serving. First, a wonderful lady named Brandy (also evacuated from Santa Rosa) saved us from a 45 minute wait by offering to share her table. And Brandy told us that the manager drove down from Oregon over night to allow the restaurant to open! We thanked him and he told us he was heading home that evening but another manager was already on the road from Portland to take over. Thank you United Way! Thank you Brandy! and thank you, thank you Shari’s restaurant! All this generosity and kindness really improved our state of mind and body. It won’t be forgotten!”- Shared by Linda Franzman on Sonoma Sheriff

The Heroes

 

The Safari West owner stayed behind in the dark and fiery recesses of an evacuation zone to fight the fire on his animal preserve by himself through the night with nothing but garden hoses.

Sometimes our heroes need help too, and Wine Country residents never hesitate to step up:

“Several Deputies were conducting evacuations at the top of Calistoga Rd at the beginning of the disaster. High winds blew a tree down, completly blocking Calistoga Rd, which is a major route out of that Fire Zone. Several residents immedaitely retrieved chainsaws from their Pick-Up Trucks and began cutting up the downed tree while the Deputies pulled the branches out of the roadway. The obstruction was cleared in a matter of mintues and the evacuation route was re-opened. Thank you so much, chainsaw bearing citizens, for swift action to open a key route out of the Fire Zone.” –Sonoma Sheriff

Puppy’s are heroes too! Just look at this sweet face.

This is Senga, a 3-year-old boxer from the Alameda County Search and Rescue team. She is doing her part in helping us find victims from Sunday’s fire. We thank all these searchers for helping with this grim task. We hope it can bring peace and closure to loved ones.- More here

A tourist’s perspective on our sense of community:

Glenn Ellen, CA off Warm Springs Road, 2:00 am Monday. It was the last day of our five day visit to the wine country. We were awakened by someone banging on our window warning us to evacuate due to a fire on top of the ridge above our rental. We later learned this was an off duty firefighter who lived down the way. He alerted all the residents on the lane. As we were getting into our car, a Sonoma County Sheriff Deputy drove up and calmly and professionally told us which route to take to safety. His demeanor greatly heled us to remain calm as well. We wound up at Safeway in Sonoma. The staff of this store were gracious and very helpful to all the evacuees in the parking lot. They made sure everyone had food and water, even the pets. About daybreak the landlords who owned the rental took us into their home, fed us, let us freshen up and later guided us in their car across Sonoma county to Hwy 101 so we could safely get to San Francisco. I’m in tears as I write this as I marvel at the complete unselfishness, sincerity and compassion of these outstanding people who assisted us during this ordeal. We are so thankful for them.- CW McCarty on Sonoma Sheriff

We are headed out to volunteer now, but plan to add more stories as we see them. If you have a story you want to share, send it our way, or drop it in the comments below.

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