The Northern Sonoma County Firefighters recently presented John Jordan with its inaugural Honorary Firefighter of the Year award, created by Wine Country to the Rescue, a non-profit organization made up of the Healdsburg, Geyserville, Cloverdale and Knights Valley firefighters, who regularly work together to protect northern Sonoma County and share educational and equipment resources.
John was presented a commemorative fireman’s axe and plaque by four firefighters July 25 at the winery. The John Jordan Foundation has funded two major initiatives for local firefighters, including a two-year commitment to purchase a special vehicle that carries firemen’s air packs and compressor, allowing them to easily refill in the field. This year, the Foundation also helped the group purchase pre-fire attack maps, critical for training firefighters from outside the area on terrain, typography and landmarks.
“We wanted to create a way to recognize our donors,” said Joe Stewart, captain of Geyserville Fire. “John has been our most generous donor, and we thought it would only be appropriate to make him the first honorary firefighter.”
Since the October 2017 wildfires, the Foundation has worked to help the community rebuild, while maintaining existing non-profit services vital to communities affected by disaster. The Foundation made an initial investment of $25,000 to the new Sonoma County Grape Growers Foundation (SCGGF) Wildfire Relief Fund, assisting agriculture workers who lost their homes in the fires. The Foundation is also helping build the new Santa Rosa Community Health Vista Campus. Lost in the fires in Santa Rosa’s Fountaingrove neighborhood, the new building will reopen in 2019. Other Foundation supported charities include United Way’s Earn it, Keep it, Save it program, which provides free tax preparation service as a tool to help Bay Area residents become financially stable, and CTE (Career Technical Education) Foundation, focused on increasing the construction and engineering career pathways to create a larger, well trained workforce for the rebuild effort. John and foundation director Lisa Wittke Schaffner also fund local school programs designed to help meet the growing mental health challenges for students after the tragedy.
A significant portion of the proceeds from Jordan Winery fund the John Jordan Foundation, which supports programs that help disadvantaged youth and adults access the tools they need to excel personally and professionally.