My family and I moved to Napa nearly a year ago today after living here part time since 2004. We decided that this is the place we want to call home, to raise our children and begin the next chapter in our very blessed lives.
Joining this great community in my current capacity as president/CEO of the Napa Chamber of Commerce is more than I could have ever imagined, and has quickly given me a much stronger sense of pride to be a part of all things Napa. And yes that includes the recent earthquake. I could not be more proud to be a Napa resident.
Our civic leaders led, while first responders extinguished fires, transported the injured, searched for anyone trapped and handled calls about gas leaks, water main breaks and downed power lines. Even though Queen of the Valley Medical Center suffered damage, it set up a triage area outside the hospital and its doctors and nurses cared for more than 200 people needing emergency care.
In the spirit of neighbors helping neighbors, the Napa Valley Vintners established the Napa Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund with a lead gift of $10 million. Wineries followed suit, with large companies like Constellation Brands and E&J Gallo each donating $100,000 and smaller brands, online wine sites and apps donating percentages of sales.
The Oakland Raiders, who train in Napa every summer and consider it a second home, donated $50,000 for earthquake relief. PG&E did a tremendous job getting power turned on and also made financial contributions to the American Red Cross and Napa Valley Rocks!; co-sponsoring the event with Rabobank.
The Napa Valley Rocks! weekend included numerous events to raise money for downtown businesses and residents most affected by the quake. More than 10 chefs and a handful of wineries hosted Nourish Napa to raise money for earthquake relief.
Dozens of local bands donated time; venues including Billco’s, City Winery, Cadet Wine & Beer, Downtown Joe’s, Gott’s Roadside, Napkins Bar & Grill, Silo’s, Uncorked at Oxbow, Uva Trattoria Italiana and Vermeil Wines donated a percentage of sales. The Napa Farmers Market hosted a community meet-up and collected donations for earthquake relief, and the Napa Half Marathon donated 100 percent of the race’s net proceeds to the effort.
The Napa Valley Expo hosted the NapaValley Rocks! extravaganza, a family-friendly afternoon concert featuring acclaimed musicians Michael Franti and Spearhead, plus Afrolicious and Napa’s own Grass Child. In addition to support from presenting sponsors Rabobank and PG&E, the concert received generous contributions of time and resources from BottleRock Napa Valley, Napa Valley Expo, Downtown Napa Association and many others.
In spite of the damage caused by the quake, Napa Valley continues to press on and recover. This is a remarkably resilient community, and the Napa Chamber of Commerce is proud to be part of it.