The $10 million campaign that could take Jameson Animal Rescue Ranch nationwide
IF WE CAN PUT HUMANS ON THE MOON, THEN CERTAINLY WE CAN build a sustainable ranch and solution center for animals in Napa Valley. That was the message Monica and David Stevens, founders of Jameson Animal Rescue Ranch, not-so-subtly delivered to their guests at WineaPAWlooza 2019, a memorable, 2-day affair that fittingly took place during the 50th anniversary of Apollo It’s moon landing. JARR seized the opportunity and launched its Moonshot, a bold, capital campaign to raise $10 million to build the facility which famed architect Howard Backen will design. Under the stars at the beautiful Tusk estate high in the hills of Oakville, I sat in astonishment when a $1 million pledge from donors wishing to remain anonymous was announced to gel the ball rolling for Lot 17 in the live auction, JARR’s Moonshot. Please go to www.jamcsonanimalrcscucranch.org to learn about this campaign and plans lo replicate the center across the country.
The generosity of the people of Napa Valley never ceases to amaze me. On this evening, vintner Michael Uytengsu opened up his private estate, which he calls Papa’s Perch in honor of his late father, for the first time for a charity event. We were welcomed with Billecart-Salmon Brut Rose, which we sipped while enjoying the jaw-dropping views of the valley before strolling into the cave for a grand lasting featuring several wines handcrafted by winemaker extraordinaire Philippe Melka. Vintners, including Robin Lail, Bret Lopez, Dario Sattui, David Long and Lawrence Fairchild, mingled with fellow animal lovers and other wine glitterati. I chatted with David Griffin, the new general manager of the NBAs New Orleans Pelicans, and his wife, Meredith. David then introduced me to former Los Angeles Laker Josh Hart, whom he had traded for earlier in the month. The GM told Josh I was a Lakers beat writer back in the 90s—when David worked in the PR department of the Phoenix Suns (and Josh was an infant). Such a small world!
We returned outside for a five-course, plant- based dinner created by top chef Casey Thompson and supported by Estate Events by Meadowood. The array of wines included a delicious 2012 Limited Edition Tusk poured from 3-1 iter bottles and a 2015 Lindstrom Pinot Noir, which I must add to my wine collection. Auctioneer Fritz Hatton cajoled attendees to dig deep for animals—and they did. One winning bidder shelled out $70,000 for a double-magnum (3L) of 1998 Screaming Eagle from the founders cellar. Another guest, for $90,000, purchased the Beckstoffer Bonanza, an enviable collection of 30 magnums of Beckstoffer-bred wine, including a few Alpha Omega wines, donated from the personal cellar of grape grower Andy Beckstoffer, who attended with his lovely wife, Betty. What a special evening this was. Unfortunately, a conflicting event at Alpha Omega winery kept me from attending the second night of WineaPAWlooza so I missed walking my chihuahua, Honey, whom I adopted from JARR, in the legendary pet parade at One Hope Estate in Rutherford.
July is one of the months where there is way too much going on in Napa Valley with the amazing, 10-day Festival Napa Valley occupying one third of it. The festival’s finale at Alpha Omega was especially entertaining with a performance by singer Robyn Adele Anderson, who adds her vintage flair to renditions of songs from across many musical genres. I’m now addicted to this YouTube sensation’s channel.
I didn’t slow down in early August. It was impossible to with the V Foundation Wine Celebration, which raised $7 million for the V Foundation for Cancer Research, taking place. An energetic concert by The Struts on the lawn at Domaine Chandon and a fun silent disco following the Rock the V party the next night deprived me of my beauty sleep, but it was worth it. 1 hope to see you at some of the exciting fundraisers this harvest season.
Ole Health’s weekly food giveaway came to St. Helena last Friday, as the nonprofit organization passed out free food outside Vintage Hall.
Ole Health provided a pair of grocery bags to 607 families and 2,386 individuals during the drive-through event.
Jameson Animal Rescue Ranch was also on hand to distribute 1,000 pounds of free pet food.
Since the end of March, Ole Health has distributed food to 6,723 families and 29,492 individuals. The next giveaway will be on Friday, May 22, at Napa Valley College in Napa.
Napa Wildlife Rescue is poised to escape a situation as dire as those faced by the orphaned baby birds and injured creatures that it saves.
The nonprofit cannot stay in trailers at a county road yard along Silverado Trail beyond this summer and had no place to go. No home meant possibly going out of business after 29 years.
Just like a last-minute cavalry charge, a donor who wishes to remain anonymous stepped forward. That allowed Napa Wildlife Rescue to buy a $950,000, 2.1-acre property with a house, barn and kennel near Cuttings Wharf in the Carneros region.
Suddenly, a group that had always leased space and was in danger of becoming homeless has a permanent home amid a garden spot of vineyards, farms and wetlands. The future has gone from looking dim to brighter than ever.
“It’s really a historic turning point for the organization,” Board of Directors President John Comisky said.
The one thing needed to make the new home official is a use permit from the county Planning Commission. That means a commission hearing at a yet-to-be-announced date.
Comisky and board Vice President Carol Poole are optimistic. They smiled as much as any new homeowner on a recent day as they gave a quick tour of the property.
They showed rooms in the 1970s-era house where volunteers are to tend to songbirds and baby raptors. They described how the kennels will be for small mammals such as raccoons and coyotes. They talked about having outdoor aviaries.
For these birds and mammals, the property at 4001 Middle Ave. is to be a temporary home until they are ready to return to the wild. For Napa Wildlife Rescue, it is to be a forever home.
“Every day, we feel more certain that this is the place we’re meant to be,” Comisky said.
Napa Wildlife Rescue has time to go through county approval steps, given the county will allow it to use the corporation yard site through the summer.
“We’re just entering baby season right now,” Poole said. “We’re getting lots and lots of baby birds and animals in every day. It’s a really difficult time for us to move. We wouldn’t be able to move in right now.”
Obstacles can always arise at Planning Commission meetings. A typical one is neighbors who are concerned about traffic and other issues. Napa Wildlife Rescue during the peak summer season would generate about 20 daily trips.
Fortunately for Napa Wildlife Rescue, the nearest neighbor has a similar line of work — Jameson Animal Rescue Ranch (JARR), which cares for cats, dogs and farm animals.
“I actually told them about the property because I wanted them to be our new neighbor,” JARR President Monica Stevens said. “I have a great respect for Napa Wildlife Rescue and a really nice friendship with all of the folks there, particularly John Comisky and Carol Poole.”
The two groups could create a kind of animal rescue focal point in Napa County. Poole sees room for collaboration, even though one cares for wild animals and the other for domestic animals.
“We’re hoping we share volunteers and maybe do some public meet-and-greets — come see what we do,” Poole said.
Stevens also sees the potential for working together.
“We share a fence line, but we also share a wonderful collaborative spirit about helping people out,” Stevens said.
Napa Wildlife Rescue cares for about 1,200 injured and orphaned wild animals annually. It has operated out of the county corporation yard site along Silverado Trail for 10 years, but must move because the county needs the space in light of an increased road maintenance workload.
It considered moving to the 5-acre Shafer property along Silverado Trail that it owns and uses for pre-release caging and aviaries. But, because the Shafer Sanctuary is in the agricultural preserve, a hospital clinic would not be allowed there without a Measure P vote.
Not having the resources for a political campaign, the group looked outside of the agricultural preserve, at Skyline Park, American Canyon’s Clarke Ranch and other possible locations. Nothing worked out.
Then the anonymous donor paid for the purchase of the Cuttings Wharf site. Because the property is in the agricultural watershed zoning area, not the agricultural preserve, a clinic is possible there with Planning Commission concurrence.
“I don’t think we could have found a more perfect property,” Poole said. “It’s absolutely perfect for us.”
Napa Wildlife Rescue is hoping that the county will agree.
Go to https://www.napawildliferescue.org to learn more about Napa Wildlife Rescue.
ST. HELENA, Calif. (KRON) — These are stressful times for many of us and one of the biggest concerns for some is getting enough food to eat — and that includes people’s pets.
A North Bay animal sanctuary is stepping up to ease some of that stress by providing free food and even medicine to those struggling to take care of their pets.
It’s even set up donation bins at Napa area grocery stores and has been giving out thousands of pounds of pet food.
Jameson Animal Rescue Ranch is also delivering pet medication to seniors who are especially wary of leaving their homes and exposing themselves to coronavirus while trying to care for their pets.
It says its willing to donate pet food to any family in need in the Bay Area and will even deliver it. To find out more, click here.
(KRON) — In tonight’s Flying Tails, we visit a Napa County rescue organization that makes the animals’ lives comfortable.
We’ve been crisscrossing the state for years, picking up dozens and dozens of cats and dogs and even the occasional bear cub.
Once we drop off the animals, our work is done and we focus on our next trip. But what happens after we’re gone — to the animals left behind?
“Those that can be, get adopted out,” Monica Stevens said. “Those that we believe this is their last and final stay of their life, we make sure that they have the best days of their life.”
Monica Stevens is the founder and CEO of Jameson Animal Rescue Ranch in Napa County. It’s one of the many shelters and sanctuaries where our furry passengers get dropped off.
She gave us a tour to meet some of the 70 residents on the property, including Cupid the pit bull that had almost no hair and could barely walk.
He’s doing fine now.
And the new “Catio”, a cat patio for senior cats, some who’ve outlived their human owners.
“We have a great partnership with the Napa County animal shelter who gets a lot of senior cat surrenders,” Stevens said. “Over the past five years, we’ve probably taken in 200 cats.”
Many of the cats are in their teens and they and other unwanted animals will likely spend the rest of their days here.
“Mainly it’s from animal shelters. People surrendering their cats,” Stevens said. “People not being able to afford their horses the feed and the care that they need.”
Speaking of horses, some of those are here too. Each has their own personality.
Jameson said it’s helped more than 40,000 animals during fires and floods across California and beyond.
Some of the horses were rescued during the North Bay fire storms.
Many of the nation's top charity auctions enjoyed another record-breaking year in 2019. Wine lovers became local heroes as 13 auctions topped the $1 million mark in live bids, earning a spot on Wine Spectator's annual list of top charity wine events. Those highest-earning events raised a combined $44.1 million in live bids for underprivileged children, health initiatives and art and cultural institutions across the country.
Beyond breaking $1 million in live bids, the Auction of Washington Wines (AWW), Naples Winter Wine Festival, Sonoma County Wine Auction, Carnivale du Vin, Auction Napa Valley, Classic Wines Auction and WineaPawlooza all surpassed their 2018 totals, while a few set their highest totals ever.
Wine-focused lots were central to the success of the highest earners, such as Naples Winter Wine Festival (NWWF), the No. 1 auction in the nation for a fifth straight year, which raised nearly $13.1 million in live-auction bids and nearly $16 million total. An auction lot of double magnums of Screaming Eagle's first eight vintages sold for $350,000, while an Adriatic cruise paired with four double magnums of Darioush Darius II Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 sold for $400,000.
NWWF benefited more than 45 non-profit organizations dedicated to improving the lives of children in Collier County, Fla., and auctiongoers were able to meet some of those kids. "Meet the Kids Day continues to be a highlight of the Naples Winter Wine Festival," NWWF director Barrett Farmer said. "This year's Fund a Need focused on Naples Children & Education Foundation's Children's Mental Health Initiative, and it was moving to witness how this topic was so deeply rooted in the community."
The Sonoma County Wine Auction also fetched one of the biggest wine lots of the year, offering a 378-bottle collection of Sonoma Cabernets and Bordeaux blends, which sold for $510,000.
Down South, Emeril Lagasse's Carnivale du Vin delivered New Orleans flavor with live entertainment, cirque-style performers and local culinary arts high school students who designed and prepped a four-course menu alongside Emeril's team. The event raised $3.6 million for children's charities. Over in Texas, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo's annual auction raised over $1.7 million in live bids.
AWW made noise in the Northwest, raising $1.6 million for Seattle Children's Hospital, thanks in part to its highest-selling lot ever: a 1928 Ford Roadster that went for $425,000. The Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest, Destin Charity Auction and Portland, Ore.'s Classic Wines Auction were also among those supporting children's causes.
High Museum Atlanta Wine Auction, Sonoma County Wine Auction and Festival Napa Valley focused on the arts and community enrichment programs. "The funds we raise at our gala provide free and affordable access to world-class performances," president and CEO of Festival Napa Valley Rick Walker said. "They support our primary mission: to make the arts accessible to all."
WineaPawlooza focused on animal rescue, while Toast to Your Health directed its campaign to tackling cardiovascular disease. "WineaPawlooza 2019 was a milestone event for Jameson Animal Rescue Ranch," co-founder and CEO Monica Stevens said. "We launched our capital campaign that night and one of our supporters stood up and pledged $1 million to the building of our Ranch and Education Center in Carneros."
Despite not breaking the $1 million mark in live-auction bids, several auctions made big splashes with their overall event totals. Dallas' Côtes du Coeur raised $4.5 million and Napa's Harvest Stomp raised $2.3 million. Carolina's Triangle Wine Experience (TWE), ¡Salud! Oregon Pinot Noir Auction, Inspire Napa Valley, Oregon Wine Experience, Nashville Wine Auction, Kansas City's Shuttlecork and Idaho's Sun Valley Center Wine Auction all raised over $1 million.
"The Triangle Wine Experience raised $2.3 million last year, allowing the Frankie Lemmon School [a preschool for kids with and without special needs] to serve 95 children for the 2020 school year and helping close the gap of financial need so that no child need be turned away from the school due to financial restrictions," TWE director Tiffany Langhi said.
This year is looking like another banner year, as newcomers such as Orlando Wine Festival & Auction take the stage and long-running auctions add innovative fundraising strategies. "Our focus in 2020 will be engaging with more wineries as we expand the opportunities for participation and engagement with wine lovers," said AWW executive director Jamie Peha. "We'll continue to focus on innovation in fundraising by bringing new experiences to bidders who prefer intimate settings … and utilizing technologies such as mobile bidding."
Whatever the cause, wine lovers across the country joined paddles and made a difference in 2019. "Their unending support has allowed us to break our fundraising record from year to year," said Festival Napa Valley's Walker. "We hope to do the same in 2020."
Hundreds of dog and cat owners brought their four-footed companions to a clinic organized on Sunday by the Jameson Animal Rescue Ranch, which vaccinated and microchipped pets free of charge at CrossWalk Community Church.
More than 200 visitors received vouchers for free pet spaying and neutering during the first 40 minutes of the two-hour clinic, where clients began lining up three hours before the 11 a.m. opening, according to JARR spokesman Brad Schomburg.
The fourth annual JARR vaccination clinic was paid for with funds donated by Beverly Wendel in memory of her late husband Barry Wendel, an animal lover.