Following the devastating wildfires that tore through the island of Maui in August and nearly destroyed the historic town of Lahaina, people in Livermore are coming together to support disaster recovery efforts in true wine country fashion.
More than a dozen wineries, along with several other local businesses, have donated goods and services to participate in the upcoming Lahaina Strong: Wildfire Relief fundraiser set to take place at 3 Steves Winery next Friday (Sept. 8)
"The devastation in Lahaina is heartbreaking. Many businesses, homes and lives have been lost in this and we hope to do a small part in helping the people who have suffered losses," reads the event description on the 3 Steves website.
Steve Ziganti, one of the owners of 3 Steves Winery, told the Weekly that within three or four days after deciding they wanted to host a fundraiser and starting to put the word out, donations began rolling in from people wanting to help bring the event to life like On the Vine Catering, which is donating all of the food for the sold-out Hawaiian-themed festivities.
The event will feature Hawaiian music, entertainment, island food, local Livermore wines and beer, and a live and silent auction. All of the proceeds from the event, including the auction and ticket sales, will be donated directly to those affected by the fires, according to organizers.
Ziganti said that he and his wife have been taking vacations in Maui for the past four decades and have spent even more time there in the last five years. "We love it there, we love the people, we love the location," he said. Their vacation residence is roughly five miles north of Lahaina. "We've spent a lot of time in Lahaina and got to know a lot of the business owners."
His connection to the island and love for it prompted his desire to want to help with its recovery. Bringing his colleagues and the community on board was almost effortless as people were eager to lend a hand. "In typical Livermore style -- the reason I'm in Livermore -- we've been getting our doors beaten down with donations," Ziganti said.
Ziganti noted that although he's lived in other places like Santa Cruz County and Sonoma County where he could also be making wine, nowhere else compares to Livermore. "It's such a great community and we all band together to help each other and to help others as well and this is a great example of that," he said.
With a 300-person limit, there are no more tickets available online and none will be sold at the door. However, Ziganti said that cash donations are also being accepted as part of this effort through the Livermore Valley Wine Community. Checks with "Lahaina Strong" in the memo can be mailed to the winegrower organization at 3585 Greenville Road, Suite 4, in Livermore.
More information can be found at 3steveswinery.com.