Making The Rounds - Ken Brown


Rotary Club is making a difference

This past Saturday night I attended the Rotary Club of Sonoma Valley’s Applause Sonoma! with Harry Blum and Mahri Best, representing The Sun. It was a fabulous evening surrounded by the glittering stars of our community. Over the past six years Rotary Club of Sonoma Valley has awarded $100,000 in academic and vocational scholarships to area high school students. Members have also funded or plan to fund important student enrichment programs such as: Summer Youth Programs; Seeds of Learning; and Sonoma Valley High School Culinary Arts, Media Arts, and Agricultural Programs.

The club’s recent $100,000 challenge grant was the catalyst for launching the transformation of Andrews Hall into a community performance venue. That followed a $60,000 contribution to create the Community Center’s Rotary Kitchen. Other community organizations the club supports include the Boys and Girls Club of Sonoma Valley, Sonoma Mentoring Alliance, WillMar Center for Bereaved Children, Valley of the Moon Teen Services Center, Pets Lifeline, Sonoma Valley Education Foundation and more. What makes a donation to Rotary unique is that it helps fund specific projects, not general operations. Fundraising for general operations is left to the organizations themselves. Rotary has no overhead. After out-of-pocket expenses are paid, all money raised goes back to the community. The object of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise. That’s such a wonderful goal, and we here are truly blessed that Rotary Club of Sonoma Valley serves our community. Excellence in action.

From Dave Dobbins with the Friends of Sonoma Valley Library comes the following message. This group of stellar volunteers grossed $11,045 of sales during their recent Summer Book Sale, with $405 was in memberships. The Fall sale will be in November and we all hope to see you all there. Don’t wait until then to visit your library, check it out today.

The Sonoma Home Winemakers will host its 8th Annual Sonoma Home Winemakers Celebration on Saturday, September 7. This event normally features wines from Sonoma’s home winemakers, however, the State of California has started to enforce laws that prohibit members from pouring their wine for the public. Instead of canceling the event, they are changing the format slightly and will pour commercial wines. Stay tuned to this column for a list of featured wineries. This event is hosted by the Sonoma Home Winemakers and the Sonoma Valley High School Boosters. All proceeds for this event benefit Sonoma Valley High School extracurricular activities. The event is Saturday, September 7 from 2-6 p.m. at the Swiss Hotel, located at 18 West Spain Street on the historic Sonoma Plaza. Tickets can be purchased in advance by calling 235.4150 or by visiting sonomahomewine.eventbrite.com. Or come down to Sonoma Market on Saturday August 24 from noon to 4 p.m. I strongly suggest that you get your tickets early because this event is known to be a sell out. Find more info at: sonomahomewinemakers.org. 

SAVE THE DATE! The 2nd Annual Sonoma Chili Cook Off is set for Saturday October 26, so please get it on your calendars. This is a rain or shine event and is held at Sonoma Gourmet located at 21684 8th Street East, Sonoma. Check this column for more details.

There are just 10 more Tuesday Night Farmers Markets. I plan on going to all of them and just talking to my neighbors and the lucky tourists who find themselves here in Sonoma. I will no longer be having my mayoral office hours at the market, thus freeing me up to roam and enjoy. Beginning August 27 I will resume my office hours each Tuesday from 1-2 p.m. at Sonoma City Hall. Come visit.

This quote is from a great poet. Please take it to your heart.

“Beyond our ideas of right-doing and wrong-doing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there. 
When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase ‘each other’
doesn’t make sense anymore.”
– Rumi

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