When Ponte Winery owner, Claudio Ponte opened the winery in 2003, he directed his philanthropic efforts towards local, needy children. Nearly 3 million reports of child abuse are made annually in the United States, with around 32 children being removed from their homes every hour. In our local Inland Empire area, 75,000 children are living with foster families with the ultimate hope of being adopted. At Ponte Winery, we are determined to do what we can to make a difference in the lives of our local children in need.

April is National Child Abuse Awareness Month and once again, Ponte Winery is teaming up with Rancho Damacitas to help with their Kids First Blue Ribbon Campaign.
For the entire month of April, there will be donation boxes set up in the Tasting Room and at the hostess desk of the Smokehouse Restaurant for anyone willing to generously drop in a dollar or two for the children of Rancho Damacitas. Last year, those in the community who participated in this campaign were able to raise just over $40,000. With the organization facing staggering budget cuts from the state, this money has been used for simple, yet necessary, means such as food, school supplies, maintenance to the cottages and treatment programs for the children who reside there.

The Rancho Damacitas and Ponte Winery child abuse awareness table at AFC Half Marathon

Rancho Damacitas is a 24-hour community group home for abused children ranging in ages from 6-18 years. The facility, located 3 miles down the street from us, houses 32 children in 6 different group cottages. The staff and case manager-therapists work closely with each child to develop an individual treatment plan that specifically addresses the greatest needs of that child. The objective is always to address specific treatment goals for each child in preparation for either a lower level of residential care, foster care or successful reunification with their natural family. Rancho Damacitas is a loving and nurturing first step for children who are removed from an abusive family.

During the month of April, you will see Ponte associates wearing blue ribbons on their nametags to show support for National Child Abuse Awareness Month. We hope you can join us in an effort to help our local children by placing your contribution into the Rancho Damacitas donation boxes at Ponte Winery.

For more information about Rancho Damacitas please visit their website.

By Lindsey Dick