April 2017 E-News

A Little Boy, Uncle Mike’s Chair and a Spider
March 13, 2017
Embracing the Kara Community: 40 Years of Serving
April 19, 2017


40th-Emblem-1_With KARA LogoIn less than 3 weeks, we get to share an amazing milestone with our community! On Friday, April 21st, we will host Kara’s 40th Anniversary Celebration and Fundraiser! We want to thank everyone who has supported this event through sponsorships, ticket sales, and in-kind donations. While tickets are sold out, we encourage everyone to support Kara’s 40th year through a commemorative gift.

In this month’s newsletter, we are excited to highlight our Wine Sponsor for the 40th Anniversary Celebration, Manzanita Creek Winery. We also share details upcoming groups at Kara, as well as other offerings such as our Compassion Cultivation Training with certified Stanford CCT instructor, Robert Cusick. With April also the month for National Volunteer Week (23-29), we are reminded at how wonderful and heart-felt our volunteers are and strive to continue to find ways to support them.

Thank you for allowing us to serve the bereaved in our community.

Keep Well,
Jim Santucci, CPA
Executive Director

Kara Spotlight: Manzanita Creek Winery

MCW-Jack and WilliamFor our Kara Spotlight, we highlight individuals from within our Kara community. This month, we want to share a special thank you by highlighting our Wine Sponsor for the 40th Anniversary Celebration Fundraiser, Manzanita Creek Winery! Brothers William and Jack Salerno have been making delicious wines at their Dry Creek Valley winemaking facility since 2001. With backgrounds in construction and painting, the Salerno brothers might not seem the likeliest of winemakers, but they credit the skills they acquired in their previous industries – precision, perseverance and risk taking – with their success at Manzanita Creek Winery. Their passion for zinfandel and other bold red grapes that thrive in Dry Creek Valley is evident in the excellent wines these self-taught winemakers are making.

Brothers Jack and William Jr. Salerno’s eclectic approach to life seems natural when you understand a bit more about their roots. When their father William met Mary Louise Salvato in 1948, she was a model for May Co., opera singer in training and was dating two Hollywood actors who were making a splash in the new world of television. William wasn’t deterred by the competition. A consummate salesman and weight lifter, this Son of Sicilian immigrants wooed Mary Louise by first getting her family to embrace him, and soon she did too. Mary quickly forgot about her other beaus, Fess Parker, aka TVs Daniel Boone, and Clint Walker, the latest cowboy heart throb, and agreed to marry William. William and Mary started their lives together in 1950. Mary’s flair for the arts and music influenced her boys, and William’s self-assuredness that you can do anything you put your mind to wore off on the boys as well.

William and Jack moved to Sonoma County in 1996 to pursue careers in the wine business. Having been raised in their family’s retail department stores, and in business for themselves from the early 1970s, their entrepreneurial spirit was the perfect training to build a thriving winery amidst, arguably the best and most competitive wineries in the “New World”. Sourcing grapes from some of the finest and most sought after vineyards in Sonoma County, as well as proven stalwart vineyards in Mendocino County, the Brothers have proven themselves to make some of the top wines in their respective classes.

It is my belief that we are eternal beings, I know that we must all deal with death; our own, and that of loved our ones. There is nothing harder to understand than the premature passing of a child…  It takes a great deal of skill to know what not to say at a time like that… Supporting Kara is the least I can do!

“William and I have always strived to the best at what we do, we have a no holds barred approach to any challenge we face….we were challenged to make the best, and that’s what we do.” The Brothers Salerno continue to seek out new varietals and are always looking at ways to exceed at bringing their best to their fans. “It’s really about pleasing our friends, that’s what drives us to leave no stone unturned.”
The future is bright; Jack has been training his Granddaughter Natalia since she was 6 years old to follow his passion of working with the vines. “She is amazing to watch, we hope that our grandchildren will follow our lead,” says William…”We have seven or eight, I lost count.”

When asked about his support of Kara and our event, Jack responded, “It is my belief that we are eternal beings, I know that we must all deal with death….our own, and that of loved our ones. There is nothing harder to understand than the premature passing of a child. Helping someone to deal with the inevitable passing of a child is probably the most difficult. Understanding comes from our ability to express God’s love to others through us. That is my duty as a Christian. That said, no one that is trying to cope with such a loss wants to be preached to. It takes a great deal of skill to know what not to say at a time like that … grief counseling takes a special kind of person, a person much greater than I, at this important profession. That is why I chose to support Kara at this time.”

Manzanita Creek Winery’s tasting room in is located in the heart of Sonoma Valley in Kenwood. It offers a serene setting to picnic with a bottle of your favorite Manzanita Creek wine, linger in the gardens, and enjoy the shade of the beautiful mature trees. Visitors are invited to view their rotating exhibits of diverse local artists while sipping our award-winning and “Never Boring Wines!” We are so grateful for Jack and William’s support of our mission!


Many find it helpful to meet with others who have experienced a similar loss. These groups, facilitated by our trained volunteers, offer an opportunity to share experiences in a safe, supportive environment. Kara offers regularly scheduled ongoing drop-in groups for adults throughout the year.

General Drop-In Group:

Welcome carpet
1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month from 7:00 – 8:30 pm

General Drop-In Group:
2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month from 1:00 – 2:30 pm

Men’s Drop-In Group:
4th Tuesday of the month from 7:00-8:30 pm

Visit our calendar to get the full dates for our Drop-In groups.


Adult Sibling Loss Group Beginning in May 2017

dawn-nature-sunset-woman-mediumThe death of a sibling can have a deep and lasting impact. The group provides a safe and supportive environment for adults who are grieving the loss of a sibling to share their experiences and feelings as well as learn about the grieving process. This group meets twice a month for 12 total sessions on Wednesday evenings from 7:00 – 8:30 pm (excluding holidays) at the Palo Alto location.

An initial interview is required before enrolling in the group. Although no fee is required for participating in this group, regular donations are suggested and appreciated. To set up an interview, please submit an online request form or call us at 650-321-5272.



Just 3 weeks away: Kara’s 40th Anniversary Celebration Fundraiser40th-Primary-Image-1

We are quickly approaching the homestretch of our 40th Anniversary Celebration Fundraiser! While the event is sold out, there are many ways to support our incredible milestone! We invite you to make a 40th Anniversary Commemorative gift or participate in the event as a sponsor or in-kind donor for our raffle or Live Auction packages. To learn more about ways to get involved, please contact Sarah Dover at sarah@kara-grief.org.




Men’s Drop-In Group


cover-ff-what-facilitators-sayingThe group is designed for men who have recently had a significant person in their life die. The group provides a safe and a supportive environment for men to share their experiences and feelings as well as learn about the grieving process. Join our next Men’s Drop-In group on Tuesday, April 25 at 7:00 pm. No prior registration is needed. The meeting will be held at the Kara Palo Alto location.

Visit our calendar to get the full dates for our Drop-In groups.




Compassion Cultivation Training Begins April 18th!


Self-compassionImagine experiencing empathy and compassion rather than defaulting to ‘reactivity’ and shutting-down when confronted with life’s inevitable challenges. Through the Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT), explore new skills to cultivate compassion, discover what blocks it and new ways to access and respond to the unending demands and needs that are increasingly a part of our professional and ‘daily life’ experience.

Registration is required. Classes will be held each Tuesday from 7:00 – 9:00 pm starting April 18 through June 6. For more information or to register for the course, click here!





We are GRATEFUL for YOU!

1aaaThankYouA very special thank you this month goes out to the Beth Longwell Foundation for their continued generosity and financial support. Additionally, we want to thank all of our wonderful 40th Anniversary Celebration sponsors: Greenberg Traurig, Manzanita Creek Winery, Jacqueline Davidson, Janet Larson, Jacqueline & Michael Solomon, Barbara & Ken Strong, The Emily Benatar Foundation, and Clos LaChance Winery. Their commitment and partnerships and make a real difference in the lives of children, families, and adults in our community working with their grief and we couldn’t continue this work without you. THANK YOU!