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News: 12/15/2017

Glen Ellen Community Dinner a big hit

a chef in front of bbqs with turkeys
Sam Badolato, chef at Valley of the Moon Winery, was the grillmeister for the Community Holiday Dinner in Glen Ellen. Photo by Alec Peters

It was a beautiful, clear day on Sunday, Dec. 3, when 300 Glen Ellenites gathered to enjoy the Free Community Holiday Dinner for all those who were affected by the wildfires and especially those who had substantial loss. The dinner, hosted by the Glen Ellen Forum at the Valley of the Moon Winery, had two seatings, one at 1 p.m. and a second at 3 p.m.

Many volunteers pulled together to make the event happen, and many businesses were extremely generous.

Costco of Northeast San Jose donated 117 frozen Butterball turkeys, each weighing roughly 15 pounds, which was triple the amount anticipated. The Glen Ellen Village Market volunteered to store the turkeys until the dinner.

Weber donated 30 of their top-of-the-line Premium 26-inch charcoal grills. The Weber kettles were assembled by Dave MacDonald, Debbie Timm, Chris Field, Mark Devincenzi, Kevin Vaughn, Jean-Francois Ducarroz, Nick Brown, Mark and Mary Stupich, Mike Witkowski, and Michael Furlong.

Clover Sonoma donated all the dairy products, and Trader Joes donated dozens of delicious cookies. Chef Sam Badolato of Valley of the Moon Winery at Madrone Estates, reached out to his supplier and received a large donation of other food from BiRite Food Service, and Herc Rentals donated parking lights and other equipment.

Entertainment was provided by the Rich Little Band and Dan Martin, with the special addition of Misty Browning’s beautiful vocals.

There were two raffles, for attendees and write-ins, at the dinner. The first had 30 winners each receiving one of the 30 Weber kettle grills, a turkey, and charcoal; and the second raffle of 40 winners for the extra turkeys will be announced when all have been contacted.

Stacey Vilas, chair of the Glen Ellen Forum’s Traffic and Safety Committee, was on hand, along with Larry Davis, to encourage attendees to sign up for the community action plan, a map to help local residents “know your neighbors” so that each street can assist its residents in helping each other develop an evacuation plan tailored to their needs. “We see where the system failed [in October] and we know where we can do better,” said Vilas.

The Glen Ellen Forum sends a huge thank you to all the volunteers who came out and made the dinner a complete success!

“We couldn’t have done it without the community coming together,” said Leslie Vaughn.

The Glen Ellen Forum’s Social and Promotion Committee (Carrie Castro, Leslie Vaughn, Angela Nardo-Morgan and Michael Furlong) aims to have a gathering like this at least quarterly for Glen Ellen. Find out more at

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