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July 2, 2022

Community briefs, Sept. 5: Fundraising event benefits BirchBark Foundation

Fundraising event benefits BirchBark Foundation

WATSONVILLE — The BirchBark Foundation, which offers assistance grants to animal owners who are unable to cover the costs of their pet’s medical care, will host a “Art and Wine on the Mountain” benefit in Watsonville.

“Art and Wine on the Mountain” will be held from 3-6 p.m. on Sept. 16 at the Mediterranean-style home and horse ranch overlooking the Monterey Bay. The location will be disclosed once a ticket is purchased. It is at a private estate in Watsonville.

Attendees will sample gourmet appetizers and fine wines, listen to music by two musicians, view art for sale by professional local artists and participate in a silent auction.

A few of the participating artists at the event include Alena Byrnes, Katell Le Bourdonnec, Jeannine Calcagno and Dorina Hoffer.

The founder of BirchBark Foundation, Merrianne Burtch, will speak about the Santa Cruz/Monterey counties pet charity, which saves lives during veterinary emergencies when owners are unable to finance treatment.

Attendance is limited to 60. Donors to BirchBark are admitted free and can get their tickets by emailing [email protected]

The benefit is also open to the general public. Tickets, if available, are $50 each and can be purchased at Tickets are limited to only 36 available to the public.

A BirchBark Foundation-labeled wine produced by Montagne Russe will be released at this event. This winery has recently produced a 95-point Robert Parker rated Pinot Noir and the BirchBark wine is a Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir bottling. Ten dollars from the sale of every bottle will benefit the foundation.

Event participants are asked to leave their dogs at home.

For information, call 471-7255.


CASA holding info sessions

WATSONVILLE — Court Appointed Special Advocates of Santa Cruz County is holding information sessions.

CASA volunteer Advocates are everyday people, trained by CASA and then appointed by judges to advocate for the safety of children who have been removed from their homes because of abuse or neglect. 

CASA volunteers devote two to four hours a week getting to know the child and gathering information from everyone involved in the child’s case. Advocates stay with each case until the child is placed in a safe, permanent home.

Although there is a need for bilingual and male volunteers, CASA encourages people from all cultures and professions and of all ethnic and educational backgrounds to learn more. 

Training to become a Court Appointed Special Advocate typically takes place two nights a week from 6-9 p.m. for five weeks.  This fall, CASA will offer a special daytime training that will take place Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for two weeks. 

Upcoming informational sessions are:

• Tuesday, Sept. 12, from 6-7 p.m. at Live Oak Family Resource Center, 1740 17th Ave. in Santa Cruz

• Wednesday, Sept. 20, from 5:30-7 p.m. at CASA, 813 Freedom Blvd. in Watsonville

• Tuesday, Sept. 26, from 10-11 a.m. at CASA, 813 Freedom Blvd. in Watsonville

For information, visit or call 761-2956.


Ticket deadline approaching for Soroptimist gala

WATSONVILLE — Soroptimist International of Watsonville is hosting its “The Great Gatsby” fundraiser on Oct. 14 at 5:30 p.m. at Seascape Golf Club, 610 Clubhouse Drive, Aptos.

Tickets are $75 and can be purchased on the club’s website, Deadline to purchase tickets is Oct. 2.

In Gatsby style, the gala will feature dinner, dancing, a no-host bar, auctions, raffles and more. Guests are encouraged to “wear a touch of sparkle.”

Soroptimist, a coined Latin phrase meaning “Best for Women,” of Watsonville aims to improve the lives of women and girls through programs leading to social and economic empowerment. The club focuses on programs including the “Dream It, Be It” and “Live Your Dream” programs, awarding scholarships to local high school graduates in pursuit of a higher education, supporting the local shelter and Court Appointed Special Advocates.  

For information, or to become a member, visit or contact SI of Watsonville at 706-7289.


Aromas fair features harvest activities

AROMAS — The Aromas Harvest Fair will be held Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Aromas Town Square Park, on the corner of Blohm Avenue and Carpenteria Road.

The free event, hosted by Transition Aromas, will feature a zucchini race, apple pressing, tomato tasting, a live snake display, music and more.

Community members are invited to display their own produce and eggs at the fair. It can be dropped off at the Aromas Water District, 387 Blohm Ave., on Saturday from 6-8 p.m.


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