Generous Heart Event

Generous Heart @the Hangar

Generous Heart

Save the Date:
Saturday, September 23, 2017

Cindy Pawlcyn feted and $2.2 million raised at Generous Heart Event for
Queen of the Valley Gasser Emergency Center

Queen of the Valley Foundation’s annual fundraiser “Generous Heart,” raised more than $2.2 million for the Gasser Emergency Center at Queen of the Valley Medical Center on September 24, 2016. With a $1 million grant from the Peter A. and Vernice H. Gasser Foundation announced at the event, the total included more than $1,325,000 in fund-a-need donations to support the Gasser Emergency Center.

The Generous Heart event was hosted by Susanna Kelham of Kelham Vineyards in St. Helena, together with her two winemaker sons, Ron and Hamilton. The family hosted the event in honor of Rawson (Rory) Kelham, Susanna’s late husband and the boys’ stepfather.

Tim Streblow, trustee with the Peter A. and Vernice H. Gasser Foundation and a retired firefighter, took to the stage early in the evening. “I have seen first-hand what health care facilities are like in other counties, and none, none compare to the Queen of the Valley Medical Center in Napa. It has become the largest, most comprehensive health care facility in the region, backed by state-of-the-art, leading-edge technologies and the best health care doctors.” He added, “It is our responsibility as local and corporate citizens to make sure that our facilities remain the best in the country. And great health care requires philanthropy. That is why the Gasser Foundation is thrilled to announce that Queen of the Valley Medical Center will be receiving the 2016 fund-a-need grant in the amount of $1 million.”

John Williams, owner and winemaker of Frog’s Leap Winery, paid tribute to Cindy Pawlcyn, “my friend and my hero.” He quipped, “Cindy was California cuisine before there was cuisine in California. She was Wine Country cuisine before there were restaurants in Napa. Who better to bring us together tonight than Cindy, as she’s been bringing us together for dinner going on 40 years?” Williams also acknowledged Pawlcyn’s efforts outside the kitchen. “With all of her accomplishments, Cindy could easily step back and rest on her laurels, but I bet if you asked her, she is, yes, proud of all that she has accomplished in the culinary world, but even more proud of all of her efforts in giving back to the community. Cindy tirelessly donates her time and her restaurants’ resources to so many causes. Whether it’s the Boys & Girls Clubs or Hands across the Valley or Auction Napa Valley or Aldea or Clinic Ole, you name it, Cindy is there with her beautiful bright glasses and her beautiful bright smile to help in any way she can.” Williams recently asked a server at Mustards Grill what he should say about her, and the server responded, “Oh that’s easy. She cares about us all.”

Pawlcyn has been a fixture in the Napa Valley since 1983, when she opened her legendary Yountville restaurant Mustards Grill, pioneering fresh, local, seasonal, sustainable Wine Country cuisine. She is also the founder/owner of Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen in St. Helena and a culinary partner at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. She was also the recipient of life-saving care in the Queen of the Valley Gasser Emergency Center following a head-on collision on the Carneros Highway in 2014.

“I want to thank everyone for honoring me. As a chef, I usually get honored for things like making a good dinner or writing a book, but I’ve never been honored for being a patient, and as any of my chefs can tell you, I’m not very patient, so that’s kind of an amazing thing,” laughed Pawlcyn. She shared the story of the car accident she was in, reminding the audience that life sometimes gives you an event that you’re not prepared for, “but if it happens, we really, really want to have good care and you want to be in a place that has the best technology and the best medical equipment and the best doctors and the best nurses in a comforting surrounding.“ She added, “Part of why I live here is because it’s like living in a big city without having to live in a big city. And a hospital of high quality is a very big part of that.” She thanked the audience. “You honor the ER, the doctors, the nurses, the staff, and me with your presence here tonight and your generous, heartfelt contributions.”

Auctioneer Malcolm Barber, co-chairman of Bonhams, a privately owned British auction house and one of the sponsors for Generous Heart, kept the bidding lively during 21 lots, which included a dinner hosted by event honoree Pawlcyn, as well as vintner dinners with Beth Nickel, Gail and Carmen Policy, Shari and Garen Staglin and Nancy and Dan Duckhorn. Other auction lots included trips to the 2017 Kentucky Derby and to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. Event chair Lydia Mondavi generously tripled lot #18, a stay at her family’s beach house in South Carolina, generating $59,000 for that auction lot alone. With the winning ticket in the Williams-Sonoma raffle, foundation chairman George Porter and his wife Kali took home $5,000 worth of Williams-Sonoma kitchenware and appliances and will enjoy a cooking class and lunch for 12.

In addition to the $1 million grant from the Peter A. and Vernice H. Gasser Foundation, three donors kicked off the fund-a-need with generous pledges of $50,000. The $2.2 million raised will go a long way toward meeting the event’s overarching goal of raising funds to support a transformation of the Queen of the Valley Gasser Emergency Center so that Napa County residents and visitors can experience world-class emergency and trauma care in a warm and compassionate environment, now, and for years to come. The projected cost for updating technology, new equipment, program and services support, advanced training and modernized patient rooms and nurses’ stations is $4.6 million.

Other “generous hearts” were acknowledged in the audience for their previous gifts to Queen of the Valley, including the Tim Herman Family; Betty and Ron Profili; Michael, Marcia and Timothy Mondavi families; Betty and Paul Woolls; Patty and Stan Teaderman; the Peter A. and Vernice H. Gasser Foundation; and The V Foundation for Cancer Research.

Special thanks to our event host:

Sponsors and Underwriters

Generous Heart 2016 Committee
Lydia Mondavi, Chair

Beth Fenton, Co-Chair
Dorothy Salmon, Co-Chair
Diana Zapolski, Co-Chair

Ellie Anest
Mandy Birkbeck
Michelle Cheatham
Deb Connor
Jessica Cuneo
Nancy Duckhorn
Kimberly Hard
Nana Howell
Rebecca Johnson
Paula Kornell
Keli Manfred
Lauren Nicholsen
Amy Parker
George Porter
Laura Regusci
Connie Sangiacomo
Katie Sebastiani
Erin Simms
Kass Simon

Click here for a photo gallery of the 2016 event.

Generous Heart guests Cindy Pawlcyn

1000 Trancas Street • Napa, California 94558 • (707) 257-4044