Signature Event – Girls Day on the Row

Sometimes, you really just need to relax. After weeks of driving your kids from soccer training to language lessons and from drama club rehearsal to choir practice, you need sanity-restoration time. Indulge yourself and seven of your favorite people with an entertaining shopping adventure at Santana Row complete with limousine, champagne, and lunch. Check it out…

Girls Day On the Row

[This is an original post to Witchy Wonderful, the official blog of the Bella Vista League, the non-profit organization behind the annual Wonderful Witchy Women With A Cause luncheon and silent auction. This year’s event will be held on October 27th, 10:30am – 2:00pm, at the Fairmont Hotel, San Jose. Purchase your tickets now and join us!]

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Signature Events – The Desert and the Valley

The packages are starting to come together for the silent auction at our annual Wonderful Witchy Women luncheon and we’re so excited about many of them. Some of these packages will give you a chance to discover new and different places in our very own state of California. From the desert to the valley…there is a LOT to appreciate and LOVE about our state. Check out a couple of the silent auction items that can be yours below:

La Quinta Getaway Page

Sip and Soar Page

[This is an original post to Witchy Wonderful, the official blog of the Bella Vista League, the non-profit organization behind the annual Wonderful Witchy Women With A Cause luncheon and silent auction. This year’s event will be held on October 27th, 10:30am – 2:00pm, at the Fairmont Hotel, San Jose. Purchase your tickets now and join us!]

 

Spotlight on CityTeam Heritage Home

CityTeam_HeritageHomeWe are delighted to include Heritage Home in the set of non-profits we are supporting this year through the Wonderful Witchy Women luncheon and silent auction. Heritage Home was one of the first charities we reached out to for philanthropy years ago. The many women and children they’ve helped over the years has grown tremendously and we are humbled by the work they continue to do.

Here is a video introducing Heritage Home and some touching personal stories from a few of their graduates: https://youtu.be/p-FSV8t7qME

SJ_HH_06.22.17_013small-768x512Each graduate in the video is in a good place right now, though their futures seemed bleak when they sought out support from Heritage Home years ago. Christina was addicted to meth and alcohol for 12 years when she first arrived. She felt alone and scared. Karen was an addict, pregnant, and homeless. Alisa Rose was addicted to drugs and alcohol for years. The warm, concerned welcomes they received when they arrived at Heritage Home was unexpected. All knew that they needed to change to be able to give their babies a good life.

Heritage Home not only gave these women shelter, they showed them how to care for SJ_09.29.16_014-Editsmall-768x512their babies. They provided classes so that they could get jobs and create a life of their own. Christina is now a supervisor at a call center with a leading healthcare organization. Karen is an accounts receivable specialist. Alisa Rose is giving back to her community as a certified drug and alcohol counselor at House of Grace. All are deeply grateful to Heritage Home for the bonds they created with the other women and the staff that saw them through the lowest points in their lives to where they are today.

[This is an original post to Witchy Wonderful, the official blog of the Bella Vista League, the non-profit organization behind the annual Wonderful Witchy Women With A Cause luncheon and silent auction. This year’s event will be held on October 27th, 10:30am – 2:00pm, at the Fairmont Hotel, San Jose. Purchase your tickets now and join us!]

Enjoying Flavors of the Season

There is not a single detail that goes unplanned at the Wonderful Witchy Women With A Cause luncheon. Everything (and I do mean everything) has been well thought out, created, organized, and coordinated. So, it should not surprise anyone that select members of our group do a food tasting at the Fairmont to ensure that all attendees dine on a memorable, scrumptious meal. And this year, our luncheon guests will enjoy:

 

Fresh breads and butter will get everyone started.

First course – Petite Poached Pear Salad – Frisee, radicchio, endive, orange segments, candied walnuts, bleu cheese with balsamic vinaigrette.

Second course – Entree – Chicken or Vegetarian. Chicken: grilled chicken breast with butternut squash risotto, seasonal vegetables, thyme shallot jus (foreground in photo) OR Vegetarian: Japanese pumpkin ravioli with Alfredo sauce, broccoli, and seasonal vegetables (background in photo).

Third course – Dessert – A trio of Ginger Snap Trifle in a chocolate tulip cup, Apricot Trifle square with pumpkin sauce, and Burnt Almond Bite with raspberry sauce.

And of course, there will be plenty of regular/decaffeinated coffee, tea, iced tea and water to go around.

Bon appetit!

[This is an original post to Witchy Wonderful, the official blog of the Bella Vista League, the non-profit organization behind the annual Wonderful Witchy Women With A Cause luncheon and silent auction. This year’s event will be held on October 27th, 10:30am – 2:00pm, at the Fairmont Hotel, San Jose. Purchase your tickets now and join us!]

Signature Event – African Safari

The Bella Vista League is putting together some truly special experiences for bidding at the upcoming 12th annual Wonderful Witchy Women With A Cause luncheon and silent auction. And a safari in Africa would be a once-in-a-lifetime trip for many. See below for more details and get excited. There’s so much more to come. Hope to see you at the event!

BVL_Safari_Page_5x7

[This is an original post to Witchy Wonderful, the official blog of the Bella Vista League, the non-profit organization behind the annual Wonderful Witchy Women With A Cause luncheon and silent auction. This year’s event will be held on October 27th, 10:30am – 2:00pm, at the Fairmont Hotel, San Jose. Purchase your tickets now and join us!]

Spotlight On Operation Freedom Paws

OperationFreedomPawsOperation Freedom Paws (OFP) is a local non-profit supported by this year’s “Wonderful Witchy Women with a Cause” luncheon fundraiser. Since 2010, OFP has matched rescue dogs with veterans and others who have Post Traumatic Stress (PTS), Complex-Post Traumatic Stress (CPTS) and/or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) symptoms, or other physical, neurological, psychological or mobility needs. The organization trains the individuals to train their own dogs and certifies them as service dog teams during a 48-week program. This is different from most traditional service dog programs, and has several advantages: it cuts down the multi-year wait for a service dog, it allows the individual and dog to bond from the beginning, and it gives the individuals a sense of purpose.774A0988

I recently got the opportunity to do a site visit to witness a two-hour training session at Operation Freedom Paws. Located in San Martin, a 25-minute drive south of San Jose, the facility is located in the country and has multiple indoor and outdoor areas to train and kennel the service dogs as well as dogs from the surrounding community. Janet King, Vice President of OFP and a former client herself, took me around the facility and told me more about the organization. OFP helps veterans and other people with disabilities who can’t wait for a traditional service dog or who can’t afford the hefty price of a pre-trained service dog. The organization was started by President Mary Cortani, a former Marine, when she saw a need for a better approach to get service dogs to disabled veterans. Using her extensive dog training experience, she started training veterans how to train their own dogs.

The beginning training class I visited was a group of about 10 individuals and their dogs who were veterans and people from the community. The class was taught by Jeff, a veteran and former client, who is now a trainer for OFP. I was amazed to see so many different breeds of dogs represented such as a Dachshund, German Shepherd, Labrador Retriever, and even a Great Dane. Jeff skillfully led the class through many exercises that emphasized attention, consistency, and appropriate correction.

Once fully trained, the dogs are unbelievably talented and are a perfect match for every veteran’s specific need. For example, Janet has a severe peanut allergy and her dog is specifically trained to smell peanuts and to alert Janet by bowing and barking. I was amazed that her dog could smell the peanut butter I ate two days earlier! She said that other dogs have been trained to sense blood sugar levels for people who have diabetes and other people who suffer from severe pain – alerting them before they can sense it themselves.

After class, the veterans convened inside with their dogs for “puppy yoga.” Led by an instructor, the veterans and their dogs were given relaxation exercises to participate in together. This was a great opportunity for them to bond with their dogs and to seek camaraderie from their peers and instructors.

People come to Operation Freedom Paws from all over the West Coast and even sometimes as far away as the Midwest. Individuals with disabilities must have a letter from a doctor recommending a service dog, and after an extensive interview process they are carefully paired with a rescue dog that fits the temperament and specific needs of the person. After this pairing, individuals must train with their dogs at OFP twice a week for about a year. Along with training their dog, they are also provided with individual counseling, group therapy, and a community. One of the most amazing things about OFP is that this process is provided to veterans and other people with disabilities at no cost. Usually, the cost of a reputable service dog is upwards of $10,000.

I was extremely impressed with how Operation Freedom Paws empowers veterans and other people with disabilities, is inclusive to the community, and finds homes for rescue dogs. Janet says, “It doesn’t matter what your issues are. Whether you’re there to obedience-train your dog or you’re there with your service dog, there’s a tremendous amount of support from everybody.” Thank you, Operation Freedom Paws, for the warm welcome, the opportunity to witness your awe-inspiring community firsthand, and the work you continue to do to support local veterans and families in need.

[This is an original post by BVL member, Ellie H., to Witchy Wonderful, the official blog of the Bella Vista League, the non-profit organization behind the annual Wonderful Witchy Women With A Cause luncheon and silent auction. This year’s event will be held on October 27th, 10:30am – 2:00pm, at the Fairmont Hotel, San Jose. Purchase your tickets now and join us!]

 

Open Your Hearts and Join Us!

CoverFinalEach year, the Bella Vista League works hard to top its goals for raising money to support local non-profits that are helping those in need. This will be the 12th year of the Wonderful Witchy Women luncheon and silent auction. Tickets are on sale now right here.

Casting Spells of Kindness” underlies the uniquely designed centerpieces, the event program, the pre-event flyers, the little gifts for every attendee, and more. While the theme changes every year, the purpose remains the same – fundraising to support women, children, and families in need through selected non-profit organizations. This year, we’re excited to help Family Supportive Housing, Operation Freedom Paws, and Heritage Home.

In case  you’re new to this annual October event, you’ll find an elegant event with touches of fun throughout that stays true to its purpose of supporting local people in need. Check out a few photos from last year.  Won’t you open your hearts and join us?

[This is an original post to Witchy Wonderful, the official blog of the Bella Vista League, the non-profit organization behind the annual Wonderful Witchy Women With A Cause luncheon and silent auction. This year’s event will be held on October 27th, 10:30am – 2:00pm, at the Fairmont Hotel, San Jose. Purchase your tickets now and join us!]