The following is a summary of our meeting on Monday at Santa Rosa XC Head Coach Doug Courtemarche's house to strategize how to best rally together and coordinate getting relief to our Cross Country (XC) families impacted the most by the recent fire disaster in the Santa Rosa area. Also, since the devastation is similar in the Sonoma and Napa area, I'm hopeful our efforts to coordinate relief between our teams might also bridge into or provide assistance to those in need on the east side our Redwood Empire area. Feel free to forward this onto anyone who might be interested in our efforts.
Attending: Doug Courtemarche and Carrie Joseph from Santa Rosa HS, Luis Rosales from Piner HS, Danny Aldridge from Sonoma Academy, Melody Karpinski from Montgomery HS, Greg Fogg/Maria Carrillo HS.
Our goal was to assess (as best we can) the immediate impact of lost homes from the fires in the Santa Rosa area schools/specifically for XC families (if known) and to establish a relief contact person for each school/XC team' below is what I've come up with so far.
From what I've gathered, most victims of this fire disaster have their immediate needs covered (and besides, for most there's not any room to store anything right now) and there are many other resources here in Santa Rosa (insurance companies, FEMA, Red Cross, etc...) to help address critical or very urgent needs. However, I believe it's going to be very, very critical to get assistance to those that need it in another month or two, especially when it comes to securing 6-12 month temporary housing; consider the vacancy rate in Santa Rosa was already very low at only ~1% and we just lost 5% of the homes in Santa Rosa to this fire! Please share with anyone in the network if you know of any temporary housing that may be available! ...In time, there will also be those in need of necessary household items (especially for those not insured) and potentially, several in need of transportation assistance for those who have been displaced from their Santa Rosa homes.
IMPORTANT: The numbers outlined below are very preliminary at this point; since school is not yet back in session, we can't all practice yet and most of our XC families are scattered all over the Bay Area, or residing temporarily in other regions in Northern California, so we really won't know what the actual impact is until we return to school (Santa Rosa City Schools are supposed to be back in session by no later than next Wednesday, 10/25). ...To the best of my knowledge, there has been no official numbers published by the schools yet, so please do not consider this information as nothing more than a best estimate and an accumulation from a lot of conversations I've had over the past few days as of 10/18/17:
· Cardinal Newman: Student Enrollment ~621, Coach Kevin King very preliminary ~100+ CN homes burned down, 5 XC homes confirmed burned down confirmed (so far); the most damaged school in the area, ~1/2 of school buildings/facilities on the CN campus have sustained some level of significant damage.
CN XC Relief Contact: email@example.com
· Elsie Allen: Student Enrollment ~1082, Coach Jon Giacomi and Brian Deller, unable to make contact/no additional information available at this time... firstname.lastname@example.org
· Maria Carrillo: Student Enrollment ~1601, Coach Greg Fogg, confirmed 125 MCHS current students have lost homes + 3 current MCHS teachers, 1 coach, 1 team doctor, ~98 MCHS alumni, (this number is significant, since MCHS enrollment is primarily located in the devastated Rincon Valley and Fountaingrove neighborhoods); 6 XC homes confirmed burned down (4 families + 2 coaches).
MCHS XC Relief Contact: Dana Aguero Magueros@att.net
· Montgomery: Student Enrollment ~1613, Coach Melody Karpinski, no accurate information available at this time for entire school (primary neighborhood MHS pulls from is Bennett Valley and Annadel area, which just narrowly escaped the path of this fire, many homes evaculated); 2 XC homes confirmed burned down.
· Piner: Student Enrollment ~1170, Coach Luis Rosales, est. impact for school unknown, but have heard at least 65 homes or students homes lost and could be more (with many of the devastated Coffee Park residents in Piner district); confirmed 3 XC homes confirmed burned down.
PHS XC Relief Contact: Luis Rosales, email@example.com
· Rincon Valley Christian: Student Enrollment ~173, Coach Harry Skandera, est. impact for school and XC families unknown at this time, but could go up, including homestay students...
RVC XC Relief Contact: Harry Skandera firstname.lastname@example.org
· Roseland Collegiate Prep: Student Enrollment ~113 (former Ursuline campus), Coach Cara Teeter, unable to make contact/no information available at this time... email@example.com
· Roseland University Prep: Student Enrollment ~445, Coach Jessica Dickson confirmed 3 RUP homes lost, no XC homes confirmed burned down at this time.
RUP XC Relief Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
· Santa Rosa: Student Enrollment ~2024, Coach Doug Courtemarche, estimating 80+ homes lost for entire school (SRHS pulls from a broad mix of neighborhoods in the Santa Rosa area, including many from the devastated Coffee Park and Fountain Grove neighborhoods), 8 XC homes confirmed lost.
SRHS XC Relief Contact: Carrie Joseph, email@example.com
· Sonoma Academy: Student Enrollment ~301, Coach Danny Aldridge confirming ~51 S/A homes burned down (including teachers); S/A pulls from all neighborhoods in Sonoma County, but many affected families that live in Fountaingrove, Napa, Sonoma and Kenwood; 3 XC homes confirmed burned down.
S/A XC Relief Contact: Val Sell firstname.lastname@example.org
· Also Santa Rosa Jr. College: Coach David Wellman has an SRJC XC roster of 28 total, confirmed 2 XC homes have burned down.
SRJC XC Relief Contact: email@example.com
...For me personally, sure it's been a rough go, but we're all safe and managed to save all our pets (even our 2 hamsters) grabbed most of our family photos and a few other items from the place we used to call home for the past 23 years. For this past week like most of you, we've been evacuated several times and have become very efficient at packing just what we need in two cars, in a hurry! We've been staying with my older daughter, Leanne in her Rincon Valley condo, only a few miles from our home address, so it's very comforting to be around my family and neighborhood friends. ...However, like the other coaches, I just miss coaching and being around my extended cross country family but most of all, being around the positive energy from all our kids that most of us XC coaches refer to as the "highlight of our day" or more commonly referred to as "practice". I'm hopeful we can put all of this behind us very soon and the air clears up so we can all get back to our daily practices. -Our XC kids need each other for support and I'm very much looking forward to seeing them all together again.
Finally, I'm looking forward to shifting our focus from just being safe, to pulling together to enable our collective recovery efforts. ...I believe we'll get there with all the support from our broader XC family that knows no boundaries; working together to help everyone get back on their own path to recovery as we have all already been contacted by several other XC Coaches across the state; we should all count our blessings and feel very fortunate and privileged to be a part of an amazing, wide-spread caring running community and not just here in Santa Rosa or across Sonoma County, but the community that extends all the way up and down our State, expanding into the Western Region and even across the Nation. I hope this e-mail will help to create a network across our all of our XC teams, working together to identify those who need assistance the most, with the Relief Contact for each school sharing between all of our Santa Rosa XC teams on what specific items (such as temporary transportation, housing, food, funds, clothes, running gear, etc.) are most needed and have some way to channel assistance from those that want to help, to those that need it the most.
For anyone that wants to donate fire relief efforts to the general funds for any of the schools listed above, please contact the school administration directly or contact official school resources the school website.
Be strong and stay safe,
Maria Carrillo High School