Community news from Sonoma County towns

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Film festival raises $66,000 for fire relief and recovery

Thanks to the generous support of local movie fans, sponsors, board members and other donors, all money raised at last weekend’s 3rd annual Alexander Valley Film Festival were donated to help fire relief and recovery.

“We conducted 46 screenings, sold nearly 2,000 tickets and raised $66,000 for the Community Foundation Sonoma County Resilience Fund,” noted Alexander Valley Film Society Executive Director Kathryn Hecht.

Less than a week prior to the first screening on Oct. 19, organizers decided to totally change their fundraising focus to “Movies to Benefit Fire Relief & Healing,” adapting the festival to serve as a fundraiser for fire relief and recovery.


Benefit for first responders scheduled for Nov. 4

“Moroccan Nights,” the Cloverdale Arts Alliance’s annual casino-night fundraising event originally slated for Wednesday has been postponed until Dec. 9.

Organizers are now encouraging everyone to support the Cloverdale Volunteer Firefighters Association’s Spaghetti Feed from 4 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday instead.

According to one firefighter, “It was originally going to be our volunteer fire department fundraiser, but now we are going to donate 100 percent of all proceeds to the first responders who lost their homes during the fire storm. We felt that helping out our own was more than the right thing to do.”

Event will be held at the Cloverdale Fire House, 451 S. Cloverdale Blvd. In addition to dinner, there will be raffle prizes, a silent auction, guided hunts and outdoor activities.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for kids under 12. Call 894-3545 for more information.


Fall Colors Festival kicks off with benefit pancake breakfast

Geyserville Volunteer Firefighters Pancake Breakfast 8 to 11 a.m. today, is the morning kickoff to Geyserville Fall Colors Festival.

The annual pancake breakfast fundraiser has a very special meaning this year. All attendees will have an opportunity to personally sign a very large “Thank You” banner and write a personal note of thanks to all the Geyserville firefighters.

Fall Colors Festival takes over the street from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with the Kiwanis Classic Car Show. Geyserville Avenue will be lined with old cars, while the Geyserville Chamber of Commerce brings local crafters and food vendors together.


Free Store seeks partners to gather items for fire victims

The Healdsburg Free Store is seeking community partners to gather specific items for those who lost their belongings in the devastating fires. They are currently partnering with Garrett’s Ace Hardware to collect women’s, men’s and children’s underwear and socks and St. Dizier Home to collect kitchen essentials.

They are specifically looking for two more partners, one to collect diapers, wipes and other baby-related items, and the other to collect sheets, towels and blankets.

Store owners willing to participate are asked to contact Ariel Kelley by email,


Benefit for Fitch Mountain Fund includes hike, live music

From 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, the Fitch Mountain Fund, along with the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District, LandPaths, the Coastal Conservancy, the City of Healdsburg are holding a fundraiser and hike, the second “Fitch Mountain Forever” event.

Attendees will meet at the Villa Chanticleer, 900 Chanticleer Way.

The property, now preserved in perpetuity, returns from LandPaths to the City of Healdsburg and it will reopen as Fitch Mountain Park and Open Space Preserve. State Senator Mike McGuire led the community in the creation of the Fitch Mountain Fund.

The Fund plans to raise $2 million to support the park. Funds will be held by the Community Foundation Sonoma County specifically for the park.

In addition to the hike, which will be led by a naturalist, there will be a barbecue, libations, live music and kids’ activities. Senator McGuire will be on hand, as well.

Individual tickets are $25 and family tickets are $40. For more information, visit


Free concert tickets for fire relief workers and volunteers

West African musician Habib Koité, with his band Bamada, will perform at 7:30 p.m. today at the Raven Performing Arts Theater, 115 North St.

Koité is hailed by Rolling Stone magazine as the biggest pop star from the region.

The Raven joined Heart Space Presents and Live Music Lantern to offer fire relief workers and volunteers, as well as social workers and educators in Sonoma with free tickets to this event.

General admission tickets are $30 in advance and available at


Dancing with the Stars event returns to the Raven Theater

Dancing with the Stars at the Raven is back in a one-night event at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. “Bubbles and Bling 2017” is the title of the fundraising event.

The popular event features local “stars” dancing with professional dancers in a rollicking night of fun.

The $35 tickets are available at

A special preview performance will be held at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Funds from that evening will be donated to Sonoma County Fire Relief.

The Raven Performing Arts Theater is located at 115 North St.


Christmas tree farm will not open this holiday season

Although it survived the North Bay fires, Moon Mountain Christmas Tree Farm in Sonoma Valley will not open this holiday season.

The Ferrando family that established the farm and has cared for the property for four generations announced the closure on its website, noting concerns about potential falling boulders, mudslides and other hazards.

A bulldozer cleared through a side of the hilltop property to prevent wildfires from progressing further south.

“Until we go through a winter, it is uncertain how the road and driveway will fair,” the family noted, also expressing gratitude to “the wonderful firefighters (who) saved our farm and homes.”

Located about two miles up winding Moon Mountain Road off Highway 12 just north of Fetters Hot Springs, the picturesque farm provides expansive views and is a popular destination for visitors from throughout the North Bay and beyond.

The Ferrandos settled on the land in 1918. The farm was planted more than 50 years ago and has been welcoming guests with complimentary cookies, candy canes and hot drinks as part of its longtime tradition.

It typically opens the first weekend in November for visitors anxious to select and tag their Christmas trees. The family hopes to reopen in 2018, with ample time for the trees to refresh.

For more information, visit

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