Tag Archives: Central Coast

This award-winning actor discovered why our volunteers have been VIPs during the CZU Fire

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Preparing to assemble re-entry kits for fire evacuees, Casey Affleck is briefed by Michele Averill, CEO for the Central Coast Chapter (right), and Kerrin Welsh, Regional Preparedness Manager, in a warehouse in the community of Aromas. (Photo by Brian Nichols)
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As a long-time Red Cross volunteer and disaster responder, I have seen first-hand the impact disasters have on individuals, families, first responders, and entire communities. Although the resulting devastation and loss are unbearable, natural disasters can also bring out the very best in people who step forward to help in any way possible.

Academy Award-winning actor Casey Affleck and his friend Brian Nichols were two such people, wanting to provide assistance during the devastating CZU Lightning Complex Fire in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Read more

Helping others, even during her own time of need

Evacuated and waiting to learn the fate of her own home in the Santa Cruz Mountains, Red Cross volunteer Linnea Dunn — heroically — provided assistance to others

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Waiting to learn the fate of her own home, Linnea Dunn did what brings great satisfaction to her: She helped others as a Red Cross volunteer.
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Like the 74,000 other people who were evacuated last week in response to the fast-moving CZU August Complex Fire in the Santa Cruz Mountains, Linnea Dunn quickly grabbed what possessions she could and prepared to flee to safety.

As she started her car in the early-morning hours on Tuesday morning, August 18, Linnea glanced back at the home she has owned on 2 1/2 acres in the rural neighborhood of Bonny Doon, wondering if it would still be standing when she returned. Two days later, Linnea got the news she dreaded: Her home, which she had lived in for more than 25 years — and a second one occupied by two other co-owners of the property — were both gone. Read more

Red Cross teams continue to support counties, residents affected by lightning-caused fires

Most recent update: Friday, September 18, at 11:30 a.m. 

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Red Cross volunteer Ken Everson helps unload a truck full of emergency supplies in Napa. We continue to add other photos to our regional Flickr album related to this disaster response. (Thanks to our volunteer photographers!)

The severe lightning storms that swept through our Northern California Coastal Region and other parts of the state earlier this month caused a number of large and destructive fires in our chapter areas, prompting quick responses by our region’s Red Cross teams.

Working alongside government and community partners, we have helped provide shelter, food, and comfort for people forced to leave their homes with little notice to flee these wildfires.

As of Tuesday night, we were supporting or operating 1 congregate (traditional) shelter and 10 non-congregate sites (in hotels or similar facilities) throughout our region. That was in response to fires that had burned more than 965,000 acres, destroyed or damaged almost 3,600 structures, and forced the evacuation of more than 1,800 people. Read more

Volunteers distribute PPE to healthcare providers supporting agricultural workers

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These Central Coast Chapter volunteers worked at the one-day event in Salinas in support of the healthcare providers who treat our agricultural workers. Full-size photos of this event can be viewed here. (All photos: Virginia and Albert Becker)
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During this lethal pandemic, the shortage of PPE — personal protective equipment — has been an ongoing challenge for physicians, other healthcare workers, and medical groups in communities, counties, and states in our country.

In the Central Coast area of California, one of the most fertile areas in our agriculture-rich state, that need has been acutely felt by the often-small medical teams that care for the people whose fieldwork is the epitome of an essential service: our agricultural workers.

That’s why the support that more than two dozen volunteers from the Central Coast Chapter of the American Red Cross provided last week at a one-day PPE giveaway was also so essential.

At the event, which took place on July 27 at the Salinas Municipal Airport, 25 volunteers from the Red Cross chapter distributed close to $300,000 worth of medical-grade personal protective equipment — including N95 and surgical masks, gowns, gloves and face shields — to Monterey County practitioners who provide healthcare to local fieldworkers. Read more

Central Coastal Chapter board member ‘leads by example’

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Rayvon Williams is pictured at the Watsonville Municipal Airport, where he serves as manager.
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When Rayvon Williams’ two-year term as chair of the Board of Directors of the Central Coast Chapter concluded at the end of June, it would have been understandable if he had stepped back a bit from his many American Red Cross commitments. He had, after all, already filled multiple leadership roles during eight devoted years on the board.

But that’s not Rayvon’s style. Instead of retreating, even for a short while, the energetic manager of the Watsonville Municipal Airport re-upped for another two-year term as a board officer … this time as its secretary.

“That’s so typical of Rayvon,” says Michele Averill, CEO of the Central Coast Chapter. “He saw a need, so he volunteered to fill it.” Read more

Our Farm to Table Dinner, cancelled because of the pandemic, would have taken place this Sunday

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We’re still very grateful for our partners, sponsors, and other supporters who make this dinner possible — and look forward to next year’s event

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Danny Lucas, a longtime captain with the Watsonville Fire Department, was to be honored at this Sunday’s Farm to Table Dinner.

The Farm to Table Dinner is a spectacular event, hosted annually by our American Red Cross chapter here in the Central Coast. Held in a beautiful outdoor setting, this family-style dinner is prepared by some of Northern California’s most preeminent chefs. This signature event provides guests with a special opportunity to celebrate our organization’s local impact and raise critical dollars for those programs, all while enjoying some of the finest offerings from local farms and wineries.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many weeks ago we made the decision to cancel our 6th annual dinner. It was to have occurred this Sunday, June 7, at the stunning Carmel Valley Ranch. Proceeds from the event this year were to have supported the lifesaving work we do in Blood Services.

As part of our event, the American Red Cross had selected longtime Watsonville Fire Department Captain Danny Lucas as the dinner’s special honoree. Danny, whose miraculous recovery following a near-fatal hunting accident last fall was made possible in part by the 24 units of blood he received during his lengthy hospitalization, returned home determined to help our chapter call attention to the constant need for blood donations. To read more about Danny’s story, please view this blog post. And, as this second post make clear, we owe Danny a big Thank You for his efforts.

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Clockwise from upper left: Chef Tim Wood of Carmel Valley Ranch, Chef Tony Baker of Montrio Bistro, Chef Fabrice Roux of ROUX and Chophouse, Farm to Table Event Chair Jennifer Roux, Chef Justin Robarge of Montrio Bistro, and Chef Tanya Matta of Carmel Valley Ranch.

Even though we were unable to hold this year’s dinner, I can’t help but publicly thank some of the people who had already done so much in an effort to make this year’s event successful. Thank you to Chef Tim Wood and Chef Tanya Matta of Carmel Valley Ranch, Chef Fabrice Roux of ROUX and Chophouse, and Chef Tony Baker and Chef Justin Robarge of Montrio Bistro for their generous donation of time and talents.

Our Farm to Table Dinner is also supported each year by a dedicated group of committee members, including our Farm to Table Committee Chair, Jennifer Roux, and committee members Anita Clerisse, Bill Cox, Brent Sepulvado, Joan Harlem, Dane Lobb, Lori Mazza, Tim Nylen, and Rayvon Williams. We also want to give special thanks to our sponsors for this year’s dinner (see below).

While this year’s Farm to Table Dinner had to be cancelled because of COVID-19, we have continued to support our communities during this pandemic. To learn more about that work, please click here.

In the meantime, please know that we are hopeful that we will be able to host our amazing dinner again next year. We will keep our community updated as soon as we have a better sense of what it will take to move forward.

Thanks again to all whose support makes it possible for our chapter, region, and the entire American Red Cross family to help so many!

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  • Michele Averill is the CEO for the American Red Cross of the Central Coast.
  • For more information about the Farm to Table Dinner, please email our Regional Special Events Manager, Pooja Klebig.

Thank you to our 2020 Sponsors and Supporters!

Presenting Sponsor
third-millennium

Gold Sponsors

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Silver Sponsor

chomp

Bronze Sponsors

lakeside-organic

fenton-keller

granite

nsi

mahoney

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In-Kind Supporters:

Alaska Airlines
Albert & Virginia Becker
Beam Suntory
Bernardus Vineyards & Winery
Blake McCall
Bonterra Organic Vineyards
Bricoleur Vineyards
Driscoll’s
Eric Carmichael
Fetzer Vineyards
Fire on Wheels
Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles
Harris Ranch
Elizabeth Portraiture
KB Farms
Laurel Glen Vineyard
Luli Wines
Mark Butler
Michael and Janis Klebig
One Hope Winery
Opus One
Pisoni Vineyards
Pebble Beach Community Foundation
Ridge Vineyards
San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco Giants
Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association

 

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