Donations to North Bay Fire Relief Fund top $10 million

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Read all of the PD's fire coverage here

If you aren’t a Golden State Warriors fan and specifically a Klay Thompson fan, you might want to become one — at least this week — for the sake of North Bay fire victims.

Thompson, the team’s all-star shooting guard, has pledged to donate $1,000 for each point he scores in three upcoming Warriors’ games to the 2017 North Bay Fire Relief Fund.

Based on his career average of 19.1 points per game, the total could come to $57,300 from the games Wednesday against the Toronto Raptors, Friday against the Washington Wizards and Oct. 29 versus the Detroit Pistons, all at Oracle Arena.

In a brief video, Thompson, who led his Orange County high school team to a state championship, said Northern California had been “tragically affected by these wildfires the past few weeks.”

“Let’s stick together because a lot of loved ones and families have been displaced and lost in this terrible event. Property’s been damaged but we can build this thing back up if we stick together and donate.”

The fund, run by Redwood Credit Union in partnership with state Sen. Mike McGuire, D-Healdsburg, and The Press Democrat was established last week to assist people impacted by the wildfires that have ravaged four counties.

The fund has received $10.2 million from more than 17,000 donors, with more in the pipeline from corporations.

Major donors include Graton Resort & Casino and PG&E, which both gave $1 million or more, Comcast-NBCUniversal, which gave $500,000 or more and B. Wise Vineyards, AT&T and Friedman’s Home Improvement, which each gave $200,000 or more.

“The return of the newspaper to local ownership was to serve this community and when did a community ever need help more than in the past two weeks?” said Steve Falk, CEO of Sonoma Media Investments, which owns The Press Democrat.

“The Press Democrat and all of our SMI properties stepped up immediately not only to provide the critical news and information that residents needed, but to quickly begin raising funds to directly help fire victims,” he said. “And the community certainly responded.”

Since the fires began, SMI has had 3.4 million readers of its print and online products.

“We can’t be more grateful for the outpouring of support from the residents right here in Sonoma County and throughout the nation,” said McGuire. “This unprecedented disaster has brought forward an unprecedented amount of generosity.”

Brett Martinez, president and CEO of Redwood Credit Union, lauded the “incredible outpouring of support and money coming from around the country and the world from people and organizations wanting to show their care and support for fire victims across the four North Bay counties who were impacted by these devastating fires.”

The fund has committed $6 million to support families who lost their homes in Sonoma, Napa, Lake and Mendocino counties, with an additional $200,000 for first responders who lost their homes.

In addition, $1 million has been designated for emergency food and housing support, along with assistance to children who lost their homes.

Allocations include $125,000 to the Redwood Empire Food Bank and $50,000 to Community Action Napa Valley, which is distributing food to fire victims, and $50,000 to Petaluma People Services Center to provide temporary housing for people displaced by the fires.

The fund intends to give $250 to every school child — an estimated 3,000 children — who lost a home to help purchase clothing and school supplies.

Fire victims may apply for funds here. First responders and their children need not apply since school, law enforcement and fire officials are compiling names.

For fund disbursement updates or to donate, go to

The relief fund, a 501c3 organization, was created by the three partners with assistance from emergency and relief organizations, including Cal Fire, the state Office of Emergency Services, local and state officials, nonprofits and community leaders.

In 2015 and 2016, the same partnership established relief funds that supported fire victims in Lake County.

Contributions to the fund may be made online or at any of RCU’s 17 North Bay and San Francisco locations.

Checks payable to the RCU Community Fund, with 2017 North Bay Fire Relief in the memo line along with a notation “all” or a designated county, may be mailed to RCU Community Fund, P.O. Box 6104, Santa Rosa, 95406.

Redwood Credit Union is covering all administrative costs related to the fund so 100 percent of the donations go to supporting fire victims.

Companies interested in making six-figure donations may contact RCU at 707-545-4000 or 800-479-7928.

Read all of the PD's fire coverage here

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