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Sonoma County Gazette
Linda and Roger Collins
Linda and Roger Collins - Sebastopol’s “Locals Who Make a Difference”

Sebastopol Couple Chosen as “Locals Who Make a Difference”

Jan 7, 2019


Roger and Linda Collins have been chosen as Sebastopol’s next“Locals Who Make a Difference” honorees. They were recognized with a proclamation from the Sebastopol City Council on December 18 and Roger and Linda will soon be featured on banners around the downtown area.  The nomination noted Roger and Linda’s passionate dedication for hosting an annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner in which the couple has prepared a hot meal for anyone hungry for food or companionship on the holiday for the past 18 years.

“Roger and Linda have probably served more than 10,000 Thanksgiving meals to folks who might not otherwise enjoy a hot meal on Thanksgiving, and make sure that anyone who wants to take an extra meal home has plenty for their plate,” reads an excerpt from the nomination.

Roger was inspired to do something good in the world after 9/11. What started out 18 years ago with just a handful of people has now grown to more than 600 in attendance last Thanksgiving. Roger and Linda say the highlight for them is to see guests who return every year. Some of their favorites include a couple who met at the dinner, got married, and now return annually to volunteer.

When not preparing for Thanksgiving, Linda, a Sonoma County native, works full time as the Executive Director of the Sebastopol Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center.

Roger, born and raised in the Bay Area, is a retired pipefitter with the Local 38 who now spends a lot of time tinkering with his train collection. The couple also belong to the Redwood Empire Classic Chevy Club.

As a special holiday surprise, the couple was notified of their nomination during Sebastopol's Tree Lighting & Holiday Celebration in the Plaza on Thursday, December 6 to cheers of congratulations from those in attendance.

The Locals Who Make a Difference program acknowledges and thanks members of the Sebastopol community for their contributions in helping to make Sebastopol a better place to live. These members of the Sebastopol community will be recognized with banners lining Sebastopol’s Main Street and Downtown Plaza. There will be three honorees each year, with each being featured for approximately four months.

The next Locals Who Make a Difference honoree will be chosen in April 2019.

Applications must be submitted by March 1, 2018 for consideration. Anyone may submit a nomination application.

Nominees must be living and must reside in Sebastopol or identify Sebastopol as their home community. The accomplishment or contribution to the Sebastopol community for which the nominee is being recognized must not be their primary source of income. Applications will be reviewed by the program subcommittee and approved by the City Council.

Applications for nominees not chosen in initial rounds will be retained for future consideration. Applications are available atSebastopol City Hall (7120 Bodega Ave.), Public Works (714 Johnson St.), and on the Sebastopol City’s website at The program is sponsored by the City of Sebastopol. 

For more information, visit


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