Forestwatch Announces 12th Annual Ojai Wild! Benefit On June 2, 2019

Forestwatch

 

Event Honors Ojai Legends John & Kathy Broesamle, Raises Funds to Protect Public Lands & WIldlife

Ojai, Calif.—Come celebrate our region’s wildlife and wild places at the 12th Annual Ojai WILD! on Sunday, June 2, 2019 from 4-7:30pm. The event is a benefit for Los Padres ForestWatch and raises critical funds for the protection of the Los Padres National Forest and other public lands throughout the region.

Ojai WILD! is open to the public and takes place at The Thacher School’s beautiful Upper Field, with panoramic views of the Ojai Valley and the Topatopa Mountains. More than 350 conservationists, outdoor enthusiasts, and community leaders will enjoy a fun afternoon filled with live music by Todd Hannigan and Sleeping Chief, local wines, craft brews, a delicious farm-to-table dinner and dessert, exciting silent and live auctions, and a wine cellar raffle.

Ojai WILD! is Ventura County’s longest-running fundraiser for land and wildlife conservation. This year’s live auction features a weeklong stay in an oceanfront estate on Mexico’s Riviera complete with private chef; a family or corporate retreat at Sonoma Broadway Farms; a mountain getaway at an upscale cabin in Lake Arrowhead; a hosted bed and breakfast stay in Scotland during the Edinburgh Festival; and a stay at a remote cabin in Rose Valley near the Sespe Wilderness. The silent auction features more than one hundred items including outdoor gear from Patagonia, one-of-a-kind works of art by local artists, and unique items from some of the region’s top restaurants and shops.

This year’s event honors longtime Ojai residents John and Kathy Broesamle with the Wilderness Legacy Award for their lifetime of conservation work.

Proceeds from the event benefit Los Padres ForestWatch, a local nonprofit organization working to protect the Los Padres National Forest. Tickets for the afternoon are $125, and tables for eight can be reserved for $1,000. Reservations may be made through May 17 at OjaiWild.org, or call Lindy at 805-617-4610 ext 4.

About Honorees John & Kathy Broesamle

Kathy and John Broesamle met in 1960 in Yosemite, where they both worked summers during college.  Kathy is a retired speech pathologist. John, a retired professor, has written numerous books on American political history. They have lived in the Ojai Valley for more than 30 years, during which time both have been actively and generously involved in the environmental well-being of the valley.

For nearly a decade, Kathy volunteered as the event coordinator for the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy, organizing its annual Moonlight on the Meadow fundraiser. Kathy also served on the first board of directors and as the event coordinator for the Ojai Valley Defense Fund, a nonprofit that provides financial support to groups undertaking legal action to protect and sustain the environmental quality of the Ojai Valley for the public benefit. Kathy’s name appears on monuments to personal generosity across the Valley, including the library, pergola, the Matilija Pavilion, Cluff Vista Park, Ojai Meadows Preserve, Ventura River Preserve, and Valley View Preserve, yet she never seeks recognition or cares about credit. Kathy balances her passion for the environment with a passion for music education in the public schools. She has worked for more than a decade as a volunteer with Education Through Music and currently also with the Ojai Music Festival’s BRAVO! Committee.  

John’s record of environmental stewardship spans the decades, including managing the campaign of an ahead-of-its-time 1980 growth control initiative for the City of Thousand Oaks. John was President of the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy from 1998 to 2000. It was during his and Kathy’s active involvement with the Conservancy that the Ojai Valley acquired the Ilvento Preserve, Cluff Vista Park, the Ojai Meadows Preserve, and the Ventura River Preserve.  John was named Ojai Citizen of the Year by the Chamber of Commerce in 1999, and an Ojai Living Treasure in 2001. He received the Environmental Defense Center’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003. For 2012 and 2013, he was voted “Best Volunteer of the Ojai Valley.” In 2014, he was recognized by the Ventura County Star as one of the county’s top “25 over [age] 50” community leaders. He has long been a volunteer in Ojai’s public schools and an active planter with Ojai Trees.

John also founded the Ojai Valley Defense Fund in 2009, which he served as president for the following three years. With significant guidance – and philanthropy – from John and Kathy, the Defense Fund now stands at a million dollars strong. Recognized in 2018 with the Defense Fund’s James D. Loebl Award for environmental excellence, John has been described by Ojai Mayor Johnny Johnston as a “conservation giant.”

 


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