The Season of Giving
- John Brodey
Well, it’s almost upon us as the Christmas Holiday sales’ push, gala events and marketing plans appear to start earlier and earlier every year. This year, however, it all seemed to kick in just after Labor Day. Forget waiting to launch the retail campaigns until the turkey has gotten cold; now, Halloween is just a minor speed bump on the way to Yo-Ho-Ho. But while the ‘giving’ part is what it should be all about, we can’t have a season for giving without a season for fundraising. Here at the VOM Rotary, fundraising is what makes all charitable work we do possible.
To that end, it so happens that it is not too early to start talking about our biggest and most important event of the year; the legendary Valley of the Moon Crab Feed extravaganza. The ‘FEED’ is always a sell out and tickets are gone well in advance. The festivities, this time around, will take place on February 16th, 2019 (wow, we are almost a fifth of the way into the new century). As usual, we will light up the Berger Center and regale those in attendance with feats of endurance (most crab consumed), generosity (Fund a Need), and excitement (live auction).
Once again, our Crab Feed chairperson is the impeccable Susan Boak. Her good breeding, stylish flair and distinctive British accent offer a classy counterpoint to an event that involves people eating an entire meal with their hands.
But wait, there’s more. The silent auction is packed with goodies, the bar scene is always happening and how about those crazy lobster bibs? We have a great time and raise money for a real cross section of great organizations and service providers. We had a recent breakfast meeting visit from one of our longstanding affiliates the Council on Aging. Sonoma County has a growing 65+ demographic as we all know. By 2020, it will represent over a fifth of the county’s total population. This is a result of two key factors; a shrinking younger demographic and an increase in the average life span (Boomers for example will have an average life expectancy of 84). Director Marianne McBride recapped how the Council on
Aging administers to many of the 130,000 senior residents of Sonoma County. The program also includes the Meals on Wheels program which often provides not only much needed sustenance but the only human contact some elderly experience on a regular basis. The need is great and we are proud to help those who serve many we don’t often see but who are still an important part of our community. This column often highlights these charitable partners to share their stories and missions with you. Together we have waged through the set backs and struggles. Last year’s fundraiser, coming as it did just 3 months after the fires, was one of the most uplifting and powerful experiences you could imagine. We sincerely hope that this time around you will experience it for yourself.