We are pleased to share the following conversation with two stalwart supporters of our mission, Erika and Ross Dawkins. In addition to Erika’s extensive volunteering with the Healthcare Foundation, both she and Ross are among our latest Healthcare Heroes. Healthcare Heroes are donors who make sustaining multi-year pledges to support our vision of eliminating health inequities in northern Sonoma County.
Erika, owner-founder of Bon Ton Studio and Bon Ton Baby, and the child of parents originally from the Bay Area, has lived in Healdsburg nearly all her life. Ross, after graduating university, came to Healdsburg directly from South Africa to launch his career in winemaking. Beginning their life together, Erika and Ross relocated for a job in Australia for six years, before coming back to Healdsburg to be closer to family and raise their own children.
Recently, Ross and Erika kindly responded to three questions we asked about their connection to the Healthcare Foundation’s mission and the region we serve.
How did you first come to be aware of and involved with the Healthcare Foundation?
Ross: That happened while Erika was working at Lambert Bridge Winery. Erika got to pour at “Wine Women & Shoes” [an early Healthcare Foundation fundraiser]. Later, she and others were inspired to put on a cultivation event for the Healthcare Foundation at the winery.
Erika: From there I decided to sign up to help as a volunteer and worked on the auction committee for two years. One of those years, Ross was a shoe guy. After Covid, and welcoming our second child, I jumped back in and joined the Healthcare Foundation’s fund development committee.
What in the work and mission of the Healthcare Foundation made you want to become Healthcare Heroes?
We really respond to the Healthcare Foundation’s commitment to advancing and promoting the health of all residents in northern Sonoma County. We wanted to support that and we wanted to connect with other donors and volunteers, to be part of the collective effort to build a healthier community and a better future for the next generation.
What is it about the region that you most enjoy?
Sonoma County’s natural beauty is its calling card, from the mountains and forests to the valleys and meadows. As a family with small children, we really enjoy our recreational activities at the hiking trails, the lakes and River, and the parks.
The consistent funding provided by our Healthcare Heroes allows the Healthcare Foundation to better plan ahead while furthering the grantmaking and programming designed to ensure equitable local access to healthcare and mental health services. To learn more, please contact Development Director Mary Ott at (707) 395-4928 or firstname.lastname@example.org.