Mayacamas Fire Foundation plans Starlight Ball
By Melissa Dowling
The Mayacamas Volunteer Fire Foundation (MVFF) is thrilled to bring back the Starlight Dinner & Auction. It’s time to gather together and raise funds for the beloved and everso- crucial Mayacamas firefighting foundation.
The 26th Annual Starlight Dinner & Auction fundraiser will be held Saturday, Aug. 6. This unique event takes place outdoors in a beautiful heritage oak grove on the Gordenker Ranch. The event will include a sparkling wine reception, live auction, raffle, live music by Joe Craven & the Sometimers, and a family-style dinner catered by Sonoma County Catering, accompanied by local beer and wine.
The Starlight Auction is a critical fundraiser for the MVFF, which serves homes east of Highway 12 in the Mayacamas Mountains. This annual event helps to keep the department equipped and prepared to meet the emergency needs of the area.
Ticket prices are $150 for a limited quantity of early bird tickets, available through June 12, and $175 for regular tickets, which go on sale June 13. Premium tables for 10 are available for $1,500. To purchase tickets, visit www.mayacamasvff.org. To donate items for the auction, send an email to [email protected]
The MVFF was founded in 1980 as the Mayacamas Volunteer Fire Department. The volunteer firefighters are the first responders for emergencies in an especially challenging area just to the east of the Sonoma Valley floor. The terrain is vast — over 7,200 acres — and steep, rising from 300 feet in elevation on the valley floor to over 2,300 feet. With just five miles of roadway, access to homes is difficult and time-consuming.
The area is also prone to extremes in weather: drought in the summer and fall, with the heightened risk of fire; and storms in the winter. In the Nuns Fire in October 2017, 46 homes were lost in the Mayacamas, but two in three were saved by the heroic efforts of the entire countywide fire team. Five MVFD firefighters lost their homes while they were saving other people’s property.
The MVFF is focused on fundraising and community engagement. Its name evolved in 2021 to represent the role they play in partnership with the Sonoma Valley Fire District. The organization currently has 12 volunteer firefighters who are fully trained to California’s state firefighting standards and can staff the territory’s four fire engines.
The MVFF is always looking for people interested in becoming volunteer firefighters. For information visit www.mayacamasvff.org.