Kenwood Press

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News: 01/15/2017

Celebrate community spirit at Big Heart awards Feb. 3

By Abigail Peterson

Plans are taking shape for the Big Heart community spirit awards celebration at Deerfield Ranch Winery on Friday, Feb. 3, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Kick off the new year with a sparkling evening of good cheer to toast the achievements of our three award winners, Peter Hockman, Lesley LemMon and Gary Nelson.

The awards, sponsored by the Kenwood Education Foundation (KEF), celebrate the generosity of locals who have made exceptional contributions of time, resources and energy to Kenwood’s children.

Peter Hockman is a mentor to dozens of local children as director of the Cougar Club after-school program at Kenwood School. He fills the after-school hours with outdoor play, music, crafts, reading programs and guest speakers. He is a friend to everyone he meets and provides gentle guidance and a helping hand to all.

Kenwood School parent Lesley LemMon has been one of the school’s most active volunteers for years. She is a former president of the Kenwood Education Foundation and spends many hours supporting classroom learning and events.

Gary Nelson is a philanthropist and business owner who supports programs making a difference throughout Sonoma Valley, including the Boys & Girls Club, Sonoma Valley Hospital, and Transcendence Theater. The Nelson family’s support of Kenwood School goes back to the establishment of the KEF in 1999.

For the first time, the Big Heart celebration at Deerfield will be an evening cocktail party. The culinary program at Maria Carrillo High School, home of many Kenwood School graduates, will provide appetizers and desserts for the gathering, and Robert and PJ Rex of Deerfield Ranch Winery are generously donating the location and a portion of the evening’s wine sales to the foundation.

Tickets are $30 per person and are available through the KEF website,, or during school hours at the Kenwood School office. The price includes appetizers, treats, and non-alcoholic drinks; wine will be available for purchase. Paper tickets are not necessary; attendees’ names will be held at the door.

Buy your tickets soon; this heartfelt celebration will sell out well before the end of the month.

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