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  • Napa Valley Marketplace Magazine

Senator Dodd’s Holiday Party Sets Fundraising Record for Wildfire Safety

Front row (left to right) Senator Bill Dodd; Elaine Honig, Napa Communities Firewise Foundation Director; Myrna Andrews, NCFF Volunteer; Jim Andrews, NCFF Volunteer; Linda Cantey, NCFF Director; Paul Cantey, NCFF Volunteer; and Gretchen Hayes, NCFF Executive Director. Back row (left to right) Ginny Smith, Event Volunteer; and Dennis Smith, Event Volunteer. Photo credit: Kerrey Arlyn Photography

Sen. Bill Dodd’s annual holiday charity fundraiser, which for 22 years has been a leading event for Napa County nonprofit groups, set a fundraising record, taking in $1.4 million to support wildfire prevention and safety projects of the Napa Communities Firewise Foundation. This year’s festivities took place on December 3 under enhanced Covid-19 safety protocols at The Meritage Resort and Spa.

“Wildfire safety and prevention is critical in Napa County, and I am pleased to be able to support the work of this essential nonprofit group,” Sen. Dodd said. “I thank all of the donors for their generosity and for recognizing the importance of this work.”

“We are grateful for the generosity of donors and appreciate Sen. Dodd for selecting us to receive this support,” said Christopher Thompson, Board President, Napa Communities Firewise Foundation. “These funds will go a long way to protecting our community from the continuing threat of wildfire.”

Napa Firewise is a countywide nonprofit organization that has been operating for 16 years. Its mission is to reduce the risk and impacts of wildfires through fire fuel reduction and community education in Napa County. It achieves this through Fire Safe Councils, through local, state and federal grants and by educating our communities on such topics as defensible space, home hardening and fire preparedness.

Sen. Dodd has hosted a holiday party every year since 2000, raising a combined total of $5 million for local nonprofit groups. Past recipients have been education advocates If Given a Chance and the Fire Relief Fund of the Salvation Army.

In addition, Sen. Dodd has been a leader in passing wildfire safety legislation, authoring more than two-dozen laws on the topic including bills to create more defensible space, alert residents of approaching infernos and to set standards for utilities safety. This year, he secured about $7.6 million for Napa County to support wildfire safety, fire suppression, fuels reduction and creation of fire breaks and other vital infrastructure improvements.

More than 450 people were in attendance and everyone, including staff and volunteers were Covid tested by OLE Health at the door and required to show proof of vaccination.



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