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News: 11/01/2013

Gazebo fundraiser tops $15,000





Sonoma County Regional Parks Ranger Jonathan Umholtz, with Don and Amy MacNair, organizers of the BBQ fundraiser. Photo by Melissa Kelly .
For a while there, the organizers of the Plaza Park Gazebo fundraiser were afraid the event might not come off, as ticket sales were very slow off the mark. Come party day, however, every single ticket – all 273 of them – was sold and the event turned out to be a huge success. Great food, wine, music and weather all convened to make a perfect afternoon in the park.

Thanks to everybody who bought a ticket and participated in the Silent Auction, over $15,000 will be sent to the Sonoma County Regional Parks Foundation to be spent on the gazebo, a memorial for Bobby Musser-Kirby, and a memorial garden for Candy Heim Serrano and Glory Whitehead, with any leftover funds applied to Plaza Park.

While there won’t be a final accounting for the gazebo and garden costs until they are finished next year, Melissa Kelley, the foundation’s director, said that about $20,000 of the $52,000 on hand (before the fundraiser) has been spent. The money in the fund came from the Musser-Kirby family (the bulk of it) and funds raised by the Kenwood Fire Department.

“At this point in time, I don’t know if any funds will remain after the construction is completed,” Kelley said. “I do know that all of the funds are in an account earmarked for Kenwood Plaza. If any money remains after the gazebo and adjacent garden are completed, those funds will be applied to future needs at the Kenwood Plaza.”

The ad hoc committee that came together to put on the event consisted of Don and Amy MacNair, Colleen and Steve Rose, Helena Duffy Eljumaily, Laura Benward, Paul Kruzic and Jay Gamel, with great input from many others in the community.

For her first time running a silent auction, Amy MacNair outdid herself, reaching out to Kenwood’s generous and beneficent wineries, vineyards and artists who donated the many items that provided more than half the funds raised.

To answer the many people who said, “We must do this next year,” plans are underway. Keep your eye on the park as the gazebo and garden get into high gear to finish up this year.



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