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Pick of the Vine fundraiser to benefit elder-advocacy group

The agency that monitors how senior citizens are treated in more than 100 residential care facilities in Sonoma County is throwing a party.

The 27th annual Pick of the Vine fundraiser benefits Senior Advocacy Services, a nonprofit that advocates for and assists elderly North Bay residents.

The event Saturday in Santa Rosa is the chief source of financial support for the agency's Long-Term Care Ombudsman program. The program — with one full-time staff member, three part-time staffers and about 25 certified volunteers — monitors nearly 190 facilities, responding to and resolving complaints about care.

"The funding we receive from Pick of the Vine is essential to the work of our highly trained and certified corps of caring individuals who protect and provide a voice for longterm care residents," Crista Chelemedos, the nonprofit's executive director, said.

Senior Advocacy Services also operates a health insurance counseling service for the elderly.

More than 400 people attended last year's event, which raised more than $50,000.

The event, at the Wells Fargo Center from 6 to 9p.m., features wine from more than 30 northern Sonoma County wineries and food from local restaurants and caterers.

Tickets are $60 in advance and $65 at the door and can be purchased at the nonprofit's website, www.sasnb.org, under the "events" tab.


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