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Sonoma County's Man of the Year hopes to raise funds for Leukemia & Lymphoma


Sonoma County's Man of the Year hopes to raise funds for Leukemia & Lymphoma

Chef Schmidt’s “Man of the Year” Campaign to Includes incentives for Vintners Inn and John Ash & Co Guests to Donate, and Other Events through June 20

Executive Chef Tom Schmidt, of John Ash & launching a campaign to raise $100,000 in support of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Greater Bay Area - North Bay (LLS). The effort is part of LLS Man & Woman of the Year annual nationwide 10-week fundraising competition, which raises money for blood cancer research, patient services and advocacy.

“In honor of my big sister Sue, who passed away from cancer at 50 years young, I am proud to accept my nomination for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Man of the Year,” says Chef Schmidt. “My campaign, "Kickin' Cancer’s Ash" has a multi-facted focus: fundraise, advocate, and unite. My team and I are asking people to join us in this effort because we cannot do it alone, and we want to make it fun for people to participate!” 

Schmidt’s fundraising efforts will comprise a variety of events and donation opportunities for guests of John Ash & Co. restaurant and adjoining Vintners Inn, including:

  • “Cosmo for the Cure,” a special libation available at The Front Room Bar & Lounge from through June 20; 50 percent of proceeds will be donated to LLS, thanks to sponsorship by Pacific Wine & Spirits, which donated the Kettle One vodka
  • Dinner for Two Drawing - Guests at John Ash & Co. will have the option to make a $10 donation and be entered into a drawing to win four-course dinner for two with wine pairings, one night stay at the inn, and breakfast; a donation insert will be included in every check presenter.  

A special fundraising breakfast, winemakers dinners, and other events will be announced in the coming weeks. Guests at Vintners Inn can also support the cause by making a per-night donation in any amount upon check-in or check-out.

Here is Tom's personal appeal:

I moved to Germany on a whim in 1987 and did not see my family as often as I should have. When you are young you think there will always be time. After living there for over 20 years, I decided to move back to California to be closer to my family. My sister had been suffering from cancer for a few years and was getting worse every day. Unfortunately, she died 9 months after my return. My father has been undergoing treatment for liver cancer for the last four years. My father-in-law (who I never had the chance to meet), many relatives and friends have passed from the disease and some have beaten it. 

We, John Ash & Co./Vintners Inn, donate a lot of time and effort towards nonprofits working in our community and this time I wanted to be the one to make a difference. I’ve been thinking for quite some time how I can give back in a significant way but it seemed that I was always “too busy”. However, as I get older, I have learned that the time is now to make a considerable impact towards a disease that has affected me so often throughout my life. 

In honor of the family I have lost, including my big sister Sue, who passed away from cancers at 50 years young, and all of those currently battling these terrible diseases, I accepted my nomination for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's (LLS) Man of the Year campaign ( Man & Woman of the Year is an annual nationwide 10-week fundraising event that raises money for blood cancer research, patient services, and advocacy. 

My campaign, “Kick’n Cancer’s Ash”, has a three-fold focus: fundraise, advocate and unite. My team and I are asking you to join us in this effort because we cannot do it alone, and we’d rather do it together! By reaching out to you and others, we want to advocate on behalf of blood cancer patients and encourage people to join in the fight for a cure. 78% of every dollar raised will support LLS’ mission. Every new advocate can inspire another. Together, we can make a difference!

Over the last 63 years, LLS has invested close to $1 billion in research to find the cause and cure for various forms of blood cancer and this research has played a critical role in developing groundbreaking treatments such as chemotherapy and stem cell transplantation. Your contribution will enable LLS to further their efforts to cure blood cancers and improve the lives of patients and their families.

Our team goal is to raise $100,000 over the next 10-weeks (April 9-June 20)! Here is how you can help:

  • Visit my fundraising page to make a donation by June 20. Any donation is greatly appreciated and all donations are 100% tax deductible. 
  • Mail a check to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, 2455 Bennett Valley Road, Suite B204, Santa Rosa, CA 95404. All donations must be received by June 19, 2015. Please be sure to write “Kickin’ Cancer’s Ash” on the memo line of the check. 
  • Match your donation...through your company’s matching gifts program.
  • Share this letter or email with others that may want to help. 

By supporting the LLS, we move one step closer to finding the cure for blood cancers. Thank you so much for your support and generosity. 

Sincerely, Tom Schmidt



About John Ash & Co. Restaurant

Helmed by veteran chef Tom Schmidt, John Ash & Co. restaurant is one of Sonoma County’s premier dining venues, featuring a seasonal menu built around local, sustainable ingredients, many of which are grown in the on-site culinary garden. With a lively bar scene, welcoming sun porch, and the region’s only “all season” terrace nestled amidst the estate’s vineyards and gardens, John Ash & Co. is classic wine country dining at its best. The restaurant is located on the Vintners Inn estate at 4330 Barnes Rd, Santa Rosa, CA 95403; for information and reservations, visit or call (707) 527-7687

John Ash & Co. Restaurant and Vintners Inn are part of the Ferrari-Carano family of brands.

About Ferrari-Carano

Founded initially as a small wine farm in 1981 by hospitality-industry pioneers Don and Rhonda Carano, the Ferrari-Carano family of brands now comprises the very best in hospitality, wine and food experiences in California’s North Bay region. The portfolio comprises destination wineries in Sonoma (Ferrari-Carano Vineyards and Winery) and Mendocino (Lazy Creek Vineyards) counties; three wine production facilities; more than 20 estate-owned vineyards spanning nearly 2,000 acres across three counties; the 44-room Vintners Inn and John Ash & Co. Restaurant; and Seasons of the Vineyard Tasting Bar & Boutique in Healdsburg. Ferrari-Carano is one of the region’s leaders, setting the bar for the highest standard in hospitality, wine quality and sustainability.