In the wake of Napa Valley's latest brush with wildfire, three local organizations are teaming up to support the first responders who have helped the region survive the recent Glass Fire and other disasters.
Working together, Napa Valley's CLIF Family Winery
, Northern California and Italy-based Capo Cycling Apparel
and North Bay cycling event producers Ride Napa Valley
have launched the custom California Love cycling kit.
The cycling kits include jerseys and shorts for both men and women that are designed specifically to raise funds for North Bay-based nonprofit organization First Responders Resiliency, Inc.
"Cycling and activism go hand-in-hand," says Rebecca Kotch, owner of Ride Napa Valley, in a statement.
Ride Napa Valley first teamed up with CLIF Family Winery and Capo in 2018 to launch the fundraising #NapaStrong cycling kit. That endeavor raised nearly $13,000 for local nonprofits in Napa County. After the 2019 fires, the three groups once again prepared to support the community, this time focusing on nonprofits that work to benefit those with mental health needs and first responders.
"When you see that your entire state is burning up, you know that just about every firefighter or police team is actively involved in managing these disasters, and that’s as just as much mental energy as it is physically energy,” Kotch says.
In researching first responder-related benefits, Kotch discovered First Responders Resiliency, Inc. through Congressman Mike Thompson, an avid cyclist himself, who had worked with FRRI through the Tubbs, Paradise and Kincade fires.
"Yet again, our district and our region are being battered by fires. But I know that we will come together to help each other rebuild, recover and come back even stronger. I am so proud to support this effort that will benefit our incredible first responders and show the true colors of strength and community that have held the Napa Valley together through tough times," says Congressman Thompson in a statement.
First Responders Resiliency, Inc. is a group for first responders and by first responders, and the nonprofit was established by paramedics, firefighters, dispatchers, and other law enforcement and medical professionals. FRRI is dedicated to treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and related injuries in first responders and their families.
“Our motto is ‘Putting PTSD Out of Business™’ and every day, even virtually, we are doing the hard work to make sure we give the first responders (and their families) the support and tools they need to cope with the stress of both their professional and personal lives,” says Susan Farren, FRRI Executive Director and Founder, in a statement.
This new California Love cycling kit was initially created after the 2019 Northern California fires, though the venture was put on hold when the Covid-19 pandemic hit Europe and shut down Capo's Italian production house in early 2020. That Italian production house is now fully back in operation, and Capo is committed to moving into production for a late fall or winter release.
“We know that many of our fellow cyclists are also police, firefighters and EMTs, and producing this kit is just one small way we can give back to them,” says Gary Vasconi, co-founder of Capo, in a statement.
While the 2018 #NapaStrong kit was unveiled at a large group ride event at CLIF Family Winery, the California Love cycling kit will be launched with virtual events to be announced at a later date. To order a kit, visit capocycling.com.