Linda Stout's retirement and new CERT President
Linda Stout (right) retired end of December 2019 after decades serving CERT and our community
LINDA STROUT’S RETIREMENT
As many of you already know, Linda Stout, who founded and led Bodega Bay CERT for many years has retired. We are all so grateful for the foundation that she created and grew over the years and will miss her dearly.
MEET BODEGA BAY CERT’S NEW PRESIDENT PATTY GINOCHIO
The best way to introduce Patty is with this article by Mary Callahan, printed in THE PRESS DEMOCRAT on July 19, 2019.
The steady glare of headlights in the early morning hours of Oct. 9, 2017 was the first sign of what lay ahead for the coastal village of Bodega Bay, as hundreds of people fleeing wildfires sought safe harbor on the Sonoma Coast.
Over the days that followed, some 3,000 refugees struggled to find their footing amid the chaos and fear of the firestorm, most arriving on the coast empty-handed and in desperate need of basics like food, clothing and a place to lay their heads.
Into the void stepped Patty Ginochio, whose home sits on the slope above Highway 1 and Schoolhouse Beach, affording a view of the pre-dawn procession into town and firsthand recognition of the exigency of the situation.
Vehicles were squeezed into every parking lot and turnout along the coast, parked haphazardly halfway off the roads, their occupants dazed, some clad in pajamas, all aimless and uncertain about what to do next.
Within hours, Ginochio’s Kitchen, a small family-run, harbor-front restaurant, was “jam-packed full of refugees” getting breakfast plates, hot drinks and doses of news about the region’s fires on the kitchen television.
Ginochio, 59, would soon find herself leading a larger community relief effort with comrades-in-arms from around Bodega Bay, centered at the local grange and kick-started by funds raised just weeks earlier for a newly minted nonprofit called the Waves of Compassion Foundation, created to host a local twice-a-month food bank.
Ginochio, a founding director, also is a founding member of the local Community Emergency Response Team and deployed the mobile Red Cross shelter stationed in town for the wildfire refugees, arranging for additional cots and blankets and helping to mobilize an impressive supply drive.
A massive food-delivery system was put together through the Ceres Project in Sebastopol and Blue Water Bistro in Bodega Harbour to serve evacuees placed in campgrounds and resorts around the area.
It was an all-hands-on-deck operation, but one in which Ginochio played a critical, coordinating role, taking advantage of her community network and utilizing skills honed over a decades long professional career in global relocation services.