“WE DID IT! We ran our first Half Marathon and 5K and raised $15,850 for Rancho Damacitas!”
– Ponte Winery, Facebook posting 8/17/09
On Sunday, August 16th, Team Ponte Winery participated in San Diego’s 32nd annual America’s Finest City Half Marathon and 5K to raise funds for Rancho Damacitas. Rancho Damacitas is a Temecula based, nonprofit residential treatment home for children that helps and heals kids who have been affected by maltreatment or neglect. For months winery associates had been training for the marathon and recruiting wine club members and members of the community to donate funds or join Team Ponte in the event. Their work paid off and, as a result, Rancho Damacitas now has added resources to support the childrens’ needs.
Direct Sales Manager and Team Ponte member, Ragan Erickson, says, “We could not be more thrilled about the outcome of this fundraiser. Not only did everyone who donated make a difference in a child’s life, but also some members of our team accomplished something they never dreamed they could do-run a half marathon! We had a 28 year old stroke survivor, a 66 year old grandmother and several team members who were running in celebration of major weight loss as part of the team.”
After the race was complete the team celebrated during the post race festival held at Balboa Park. Over 10,000 participants enjoyed live music and refreshments. This was also the location for Ponte Winery to present a check for $15,850 made out to Rancho Damacitas. Ragan Erickson took the main stage and presented the check to Cliff Nunn, Director of Development with Rancho Damacitas. The emcee for the event shared information about the children’s home and of Ponte Winery as the crowd applauded the efforts of Team Ponte. Nunn reciprocated by giving each Team Ponte member a blue ribbon (signifying child abuse prevention) medal engraved with the words “Thanks for running for the kids at Rancho Damacitas” for their accomplishment as well as a glass engraved award made out to the winery and to Ragan Erickson for all her efforts in organizing the event.
Ponte Tasting Room associate, Abby Trybulski, stated, “I ran my first 5K in 41 minutes. It was an amazing experience and I can’t wait to do another.”
Tasting Room Assistant Manager, Jayna Warila, exclaimed, “I made it! I finished the half marathon in 2 hours 27 minutes and 10 seconds-way under my goal of 3 hours-and I didn’t stop once! It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life.”
And Lauren Todd, Manager of Ponte’s Tasting Room was just as excited. “I did it,” she shouted, “I finished the half marathon in 2 hours 7 minutes. Thanks to all of you who donated to Rancho Damacitas!”
It was truly a proud and exciting day as members of Team Ponte crossed the finish line, one by one, all for a small but significant, life-changing residence called Rancho Damacitas located in the Temecula wine country. Mark your calendar for next year and join Team Ponte in their 2nd annual race for a cause. August 15th 2010!
For more information about Rancho Damacitas, visit For Kids First. To learn more about other charities Ponte Winery has partnered with, visit Ponte Winery.
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