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