Oakmont Senior Living Ongoing Community Support
Letter from Cindy Gallaher – October 25, 2017
As a lifelong resident of Sonoma County, we share in the sense of profound loss left by the devastating fires that swept our area the week of October 9th. Our personal losses have been multigenerational. In addition to losing our own home, Cindy’s mother lost hers, and our daughter Molly and her family lost theirs. With each day comes some new memory of another piece or fragment of family history gone. Deeply grateful to be unhurt, alive, together and to have found housing we count our blessings daily, as well have always done, but now with a different perspective.
We have a deep and abiding connection with this land and community. Our grandchildren are 5th generation Sonoma County residents. We started in the construction business building one house at a time in 1979, and subsequently built homes and apartments in Windsor, Santa Rosa, Sebastopol and Oakmont. More recently our focus has been on senior housing. Our local senior communities, the Fountaingrove Lodge and Terraces, Varenna, and Villa Capri, we consider our flagship properties. All were evacuated safely in the early morning of October 9th, and Villa Capri shortly thereafter was destroyed by fire.
In the wake of this tragedy we have witnessed an outpouring of support from local community members to give, what they can and in ways they are able, in an effort to soften the terrible sadness and loss we are all experiencing. Merchants, restaurants, service providers and neighbors have all given deep discounts, free services and their time. We have been humbled and moved to tears by their generosity. The act of giving in itself is healing. Our family wants to be part of that. Along with the Ratto Family, the Gallaher family is giving a total of 2 million dollars to local organizations. Catholic Charities, the Council on Aging, the Redwood Empire Food Bank and Burbank Housing. We are depending on them to identify the neediest and distribute the funds because that is what they are good at. With each of us giving what we are able and doing what we can we will move toward healing and rebuilding this community we all cherish.
Oakmont Senior Living
“We live at Varenna and would like you to know how much we appreciate the very professional and excellent way we were treated by your staff throughout the fire evacuation process. They were so helpful and kind during the entire six weeks. We really appreciated the daily meetings to keep us informed and to answer the many questions we all had concerning the status of Varenna and our impending return. Thank you all for everything you have done for us.”
“My sister and I would like to commend the administration and staff of Villa Capri for the outstanding evacuation that happened early Monday morning. The fires in Santa Rosa were a horrendous event and it is amazing that everyone was saved. We are also grateful for the super attentive follow up care at Belmont Village. All the clients from Santa Rosa appear to be calm, and secure. It must be comforting for them to see so many familiar faces. Thank you for making that happen!”
“We are grateful to the outstanding owners, management, and staff who were able to safely evacuate hundreds of residents the night of the firestorm. We know many of the staff lost their own homes that night. Our thoughts and thanks go out to all of them.”
“The response at Varenna was excellent by 1st responders, staff and even residents. The generator did go on (I think it’s right below our bedroom) and there was emergency lighting in the hallways and in the lobby. Name checks were made as we boarded the bus, again at the church and when we boarded the bus for Concord as well as leaving Concord. I don’t know what else the staff could have done. In my mind safety and evacuation was prime in everyone’s mind.”