The Sonoma Sister Cities Committee fundraising dinner for the Ukrainian city of Kaniv was a huge success. “Thank you for your generosity,” reports Kaeti Bailie. “Because of you we were able to wire transfer $20,000 for humanitarian aid to Kaniv. This brings the total to $133,000 over the past year.” Bailie thanks all the volunteers that worked so tirelessly to make the event such a big success: Sonoma Valley Rotary Club’s chef Ron Lawson and Bar-B-Q crew; Dave Barker, designer; Ukrainian bard Taras Lumiere, pop coral Voices in my Head, and rock band ZigZag for the music; Senator Bill Dodd for his inspirational remark; Congressman Mike Thompson’s support crew; Lori Rukes for the decor; and Karen Collins and Jeni and Byron Nichols the program and organization. Bailie (who Dodd named Sonoma County Woman of the Year for her work supporting Ukraine) shared the heartfelt response from Kaniv’s mayor and his wife upon receiving news of the funds transfer. “Hello Kaeti,” reads the note from Ihor Renkas and Tetiana Renkas. “On behalf of Kaniv citizens, I would like to sincerely thank you, Sonomans, and Mr. Bill Dodd. We feel your heartfelt support and wishes for a successful end of this terrible war. The help that you continue to provide will definitely assist us with the ongoing expenses. Again thank you very much for all the support and effort that you organized. Looking forward to your visit in peaceful Kaniv and Ukraine. Together till the victory!”
Kina’s Kitchen & Bar, owned by local entrepreneur Kina Chavez, has given away more than $3,700 to local schools and nonprofits. She has also donated food and drink to events by La Luz, Sonoma Community Center, Sonoma Speaker Series, Sonoma International Film Festival, School Fundraisers, local sports teams, and more. Says the entrepreneur, “It’s up to us, the community, to give back.”
Krystle Grgich has been named District Behavior Analyst for the Sonoma Valley Unified School District, entering the education world after a career in the private sector as a Clinical Supervisor and later as a Regional Manager for a nonprofit providing naturalistic behavioral services for children on the autism spectrum. Grigch, originally from Tracy, completed her undergraduate at University of San Diego and earned a Master’s Degree from the Florida Institute of Technology. “I am so excited to be a part of a community that I love, helping children and school staff, working in a school district, and having the opportunity to collaborate more frequently with other professionals will broaden my scope of practice,” she said. Maureen Vanderpool, SVUSD Director of Special Education, said since the introduction of the Behavior Analyst position “our students and staff have received top-notch, effective support. We believe Krystle’s passion for her work and all of her expertise will continue to benefit our community and move the progress even further.”
The Sonoma Valley Citizens Advisory Commission is looking to fill upcoming vacancies. The SVCAC is a Joint Powers Authority between the City of Sonoma and the County, and generally hears land-use items and provides an advisory recommendation to the Planning Commission and other County boards. The SVCAC has heard such items as the Sonoma Developmental Center, Verano Ave Hotel and Housing project (former Paul’s Resort), Amazon warehouse project, Siesta Senior Apartments, various vineyard and cannabis projects, and more. About the volunteer position, Supervisor Susan Gorin said, “We are particularly encouraging residents of the Springs who would consider serving on both the SVCAC and the Springs Municipal Advisory Council, which has a seat specifically for an SVCAC member. The City of Sonoma also has a vacancy, so whether you live in the City of Sonoma, the Springs, Kenwood, Glen Ellen, or elsewhere in Sonoma Valley, we would love to review your application.” Reach out to District Director Arielle Kubu-Jones at [email protected].