Longstanding Ojai Wild! Benefit Shifts to Support the Larger Community Amidst COVID-19 Crisis

Los Padres ForestWatch partners with HELP of Ojai, Local Restaurants & Musicians

OJAI, CA—Ventura County’s longest-running benefit for land and wildlife conservation is moving online this year to meet physical distancing guidelines while supporting local businesses and families in need. Now in its 13th year, participants of this year’s Ojai WILD @ HOME! event can triple their impact by supporting food deliveries, contributing to local restaurants, and supporting ForestWatch’s conservation-focused mission.

“The COVID-19 health crisis has created an opportunity for nonprofits to work together to support each other through this time,” said Los Padres ForestWatch executive director Jeff Kuyper. “Ojai WILD! is our biggest annual fundraiser, but with growing needs in our community and existing event limitations, we are keeping the tradition alive while adapting to the times.”

Through a partnership with local nonprofit HELP of Ojai, donors of $50 or more will automatically donate a portion of their sponsorship to provide one month’s worth of food deliveries for a local family in need. Every sponsorship helps a new family and raises critical funds for the protection of the Los Padres National Forest and other public lands throughout the region.
“As we continue our work providing basic needs for residents of the Ojai Valley, HELP of Ojai is honored to partner with Los Padres ForestWatch as they kick off their annual Ojai WILD! fundraiser,” said HELP of Ojai executive director Terri Wolfe. “Together, we’re helping to provide one month of healthy meals for local families with each event sponsorship, while protecting open spaces that are important to us all for physical and mental health.”
Higher-level sponsors of the event will be eligible to receive a gift card for two, four, or eight meals. ForestWatch has partnered with local restaurants to help keep their operations afloat through this time. They will also receive a digital download of Todd Hannigan and Sleeping Chief’s upcoming release from last year’s live performance at Ojai Underground Exchange.
Highlights include video appearances by prominent speakers, an online auction, and a very special creekside performance by The Salty Suites. Congressman Salud Carbajal, Assemblymember Monique Limón, County Supervisor Steve Bennett, Patagonia VP Rick Ridgeway, the Broesamle-Vondriska Family, and others are amongst the featured speakers.
The auction is known as one of the best silent auctions around with a broad array of unique items, outdoor gear, wines and spirits, nights out, and travel adventures.
The virtual event has already gained the support of more than sixty early sponsors, including Sespe Wilderness Sponsors Patagonia and The Thacher School; Topatopa Bluff Sponsors Rachael and Griffin Barkley, Carol Gravelle Graphic Design, Bill and Jill Shanbrom, and Ventura Rental Party & Events; and Pine Mountain Sponsors The Becker Group, John and Kathy Broesamle, Hawthorne & Halliday Eaton Hart, Ruth Lasell & Robert Bonewitz, Ojai Valley Directory, PIP Printing Marketing Signs, Tiffany Rochelle & Paul Hibler, SC&A Insurance Services, Seasons Catering, Slaughter Reagan & Cole LLP, and Sam & Christiana Thomas, and The Turtle Conservancy, amongst many other generous individuals and businesses in the Ojai Valley and throughout Ventura County.
Ojai WILD @ HOME! launches virtually on Friday, May 22 and runs through Sunday, May 31. The event helps raise critical funds for the protection of land, wildlife, and public access in the Los Padres National Forest. Visit OjaiWild.org to become a sponsor or join the event, or contact ForestWatch events manager Lindy Carlson directly at 805.770.8696.



Los Padres ForestWatch


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