Cohn music fest raises $400k for charity

Posted on November 10, 2011 by Sonoma Valley Sun

In an annual holiday tradition, philanthropist, vintner and concert promoter Bruce Cohn distributed today the proceeds from his 25th Annual B.R Cohn Charity Events Fall Music Festival held in September at the B.R Cohn Winery Amphitheatre in Glen Ellen. The event raised over $400,000, making it one of the top fundraising weekends in the events 25-year history, raising much needed funds for various charities.

“What an incredible silver anniversary” exclaimed Bruce Cohn. “We are very pleased with the fundraising totals which could not have been possible without the extraordinary support from all the artists who performed, the hard-working staff, the many volunteers as well as our charity and media partners.”

The Fall Festival kicked off on Friday night September 23rd with a sold-out, sit-down dinner in the winery’s beautiful Olive Grove, with an action packed auction that raised a record $200,000 for charity. Celebrity chef Guy Fieri was supported throughout the night from Marin’s Brick and Bottle Catering. The top item of the evening was the lot presented by chef Guy Fieri himself, and included a chance to join the set of his hit television show Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, it raised $37,500.

Saturday’s September 24th concert featured a memorable performance by the Doobie Brothers and their very special guests Sammy Hagar and Joe Satriani. It was a phenomenal afternoon of music by Leon Russell, performing for his first time at the festival, as well as Jim Messina, Greg Kihn, Jeff Watson the Lone Ranger and Carlos Reyes.

Sunday’s performance was great for multi-generational music lovers with hit-laden sets by Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Doobie Brothers with special guest Jim Messina; also sets by Little Feat, Leon Russell, plus daughter of Doobie Brother Tom Johnston, Lara Johnston who rocked the house, and another fantastic set by Carlos Reyes.

This festival was held in the memory of Marty Cohn, Bruce’s brother who passed away in late March after a battle with cancer. The concerts new second stage, named in honor of Marty, featured packed intermission performances by Miles Schon with Will Champlin (Bill Champlin’s son), the Zen Road Pilots (formerly Billy Satellite) and Eddie Bush on Saturday. On Sunday the Marty Cohn stage featured the Rich Little Band, Black Market Blues and Frobeck.

In addition, Cohn’s annual Celebrity Golf Classic was held at the famed Sonoma Golf Club on Monday, September 26. Celebrity golfers included Kenny Gradney and Paul Barrere of Little Feat and Bill Gibson of Huey Lewis and the News.
Over the years Cohn has been able to raise over $6 million for various local and national charities including national veteran’s organizations.

This year the events benefit Redwood Empire Food Bank, Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance, Sonoma Valley Education Foundation, Glide Memorial, Santa Rosa Memorial Trauma Center, Sonoma Developmental Center and dozens other local and national charities.Next year’s event is scheduled for the weekend of October 5-8th.

Co-sponsors of the event are Friedman’s Home Improvement, Sonoma Chevrolet, KRON-4, 97.7 The River, All News KCBS 740 and 106.9 and KFRC 1550, 98.5 KFOX in San Jose, and KSEG the Eagle in Sacramento.

B.R. Cohn Winery is located at 15000 Sonoma Highway 12 in Glen Ellen.

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