West Marin Community Caring For Fire Evacuees

Serving dinner to evacuees at Marconi Center

Nearly a week into the firestorm that has ravaged Sonoma and Napa counties in Northern California, fresh evacuations are being ordered. Marconi Conference Center, which overlooks Tomales Bay in Marshall, CA, continues to take in evacuees fleeing the fires.

read related story

Even with a scheduled conference taking place, the Marconi staff continued to extend their unwavering support to provide shelter and food to evacuees—sharing their kitchen and finding an alternate space to set up and serve dinner. The management and kitchen staff—particularly Jo Ann, who is in charge of the kitchen—have been generous and organized.

Some of the evacuees ventured home yesterday, to see what remained, with the hope of being able to return to their homes. That resulted in a very somber mood last night, as they returned to Marconi, lungs filled with poisoned air and a thread of hope they’d clung to snapped by what they saw. People were raw. With winds and humidity conditions expected to worsen over the weekend, there seemed no end in sight.

Once again, the volunteers continue to give, do and be what is needed. There were some young volunteers as well, helping to set up food, scooping out tubs of donated Straus ice cream, and offering to take stressed, displaced dogs on walks to give their owners relief. Their presence added a much needed boost of positive energy and levity.

Last night people enjoyed donated cheese from Cowgirl Creamery, salad from Greenleaf, a crab and shrimp mac n cheese, left over tri tip turned into tacos, Esteban, a sous chef at Marshall Store, and his mother made enchiladas, pizza from Whale of a Deli. Everyone found something to enjoy. (even the dogs got a sneaky bite of the tri tip!)

Businesses not directly involved in feeding and housing the evacuees are finding their own ways to contribute. Dan Thompson, owner of the Tap Room in Inverness, California, held a benefit dinner last Thursday. All proceeds went to aiding evacuees. Dan expressed his solidarity, “We have to do all we can to help our neighbors over the hill who’ve lost so much.”

Although the names of the many volunteers are not available, we extend a heartfelt collective thanks to everyone who helped. The outpouring of community support has been extraordinary.

Sirius, one of the many dogs belonging to evacuees, who were welcomed at Marconi Center

Serving dinner to evacuees at Marconi Center

A family with their young children, taking shelter at Marconi Center

Benefit for fire evacuees at the Tap Room in Inverness, CA

Volunteers scooping out cookie rounds and Straus ice cream


Stran, a volunteer

Related Stories

Bittersweet: 16 year old celebrates birthday with other fire evacuees in West Marin
West Marin offers shelter, food and support for families fleeing the Sonoma and Napa fires.

More SF Bay Area Food

Finding Locally Sourced Food: Where to eat in Point Reyes

Point Reyes National Seashore is famous for its stunning and diverse natural beauty, abundant wildlife and pristine waters. Only an hour's drive north of San Francisco, its coastal villages—from sunny Stinson Beach in the south to the famed oyster farms of Marshall along Tomales Bay—feel a world away. Join us for an insider's look at where to eat, stay and play in Point Reyes.