We are eternally grateful for the support we have annually received over past 11 years as we prepare to host this year’s Cycle for Sight / Rotary Ride for Veterans event this coming Saturday. The generosity and cooperation from the entire Napa Valley community has helped us raise close to $2 million, with all of the proceeds going back into the community.

The majority of these funds continue to go to our two main beneficiaries who have each experienced tragic losses this past year, so our efforts are more important than ever.

Enchanted Hills Camp for the Blind and Visually Impaired lost most of its lower camp in the October wildfires, but they are hopeful to be able to open for children’s summer camp this summer by constructing makeshift tent cabins to house campers. The funds they have received from our event have enabled hundreds of underprivileged campers to attend this magical camp, and this year’s funds will also be used to begin the rebuilding of the camp to allow it to open this summer.

The largest part of our funds go to support The Pathway Home Program that helps to heal the mental wounds of war suffered by returning veterans and to assist them with their educational goals enabling them to better reintegrate back into society after serving our country.

Although the tragic loss of life on March 9 has slowed this program down, the mission remains the same – to do all that we can to “Never to Forget.”

The sacrifices our veterans and these three brave women have made for our country and to continue supporting and funding the Pathway Home and other programs that help our returning warriors.

Never to Forget -- The life work of our three lost clinicians: Christine Loeber, Dr. Jennifer Golick and Dr. Jennifer Gonzales, who all dedicated their lives to helping veterans.

Never to Forget -- The past 10 years of the unparalleled success of the Pathway Home program that has helped to save the lives of its over 450 graduates.

Never to Forget -- The unwavering support and love of the Napa Valley that has played a major role in this success and will continue to do so.

This year’s event will honor the lives of these three caring and dedicated women in several ways. All participants, guests and volunteers will receive and wear memorial wrist bands that say “Never to Forget – CL, JGS, JG – The Pathway Home.” The entrance to the Veterans Home, which is the annual site of our “Memorial Mile,” which features approximately 350 memorial signs honoring past or current veterans and entities that support veterans, will now also feature memorial signs honoring our three brave women.

These signs will be up for display Friday afternoon and remain through the weekend. It is a very solemn tribute that we invite the entire community to view it.

The cycling portion of our event offers supported routes of 15, 25 and 50 miles with starting times of 8, 8:30 and 9 a.m. Registration begins at 7 a.m. with a cost of $80 for adults and $25 for youths.

Our acclaimed wine, food and music festival opens at 11 a.m. with a cost of $35 that includes wine tasting and features music by Johnny Smith and the Bay Area’s legendary “Pride and Joy.”

All events start and finish at Justin-Siena High School. If you just want to watch, support and encourage the 1,800 cyclists, we suggest the viewing area near the entry sign to the Veterans Home.

Napa – we honor and salute you for all that you do and thank you for your support and cooperation this coming Saturday.

Gary Rose

On behalf of The Rotary Club of Napa

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