SB Vintners Foundation (SBVF) President Jessica Gasca, SBVF Boardmember Tim Snider, and SBVF Board VP Tymari LoRe

On June 5, 75 golfers converged on Sandpiper Golf Course for the SB Vintners Foundation (SBVF) 2nd annual Vintners Golf Classic to raise funds for vineyard workers’ healthcare provided by Community Health Centers.

Golfers kept their spirits up despite the gloomy weather and occasional drizzle and raised about $20,000 for CHC. They enjoyed food, wine, and beer at outposts situated along the scenic course. Afterward, golfers and other guests feasted on a grilled dinner at the clubhouse by Hitching Post proprietor and chef Frank Ostini. The Presqu’ile Winery team won the tournament and Rich Nahas came within one inch of winning the hole-in-one prize of a new truck offered by Rio Vista Chevrolet.

Historically, the lion’s share of the Foundation’s largesse has gone to Direct Relief, which got the mega proceeds from its biannual SB Wine Auction. Under the leadership of Jessica Gasca, the Foundation has been shifting its general philanthropic focus more to CHC. In 2020, CHC got added as a beneficiary of the auction and to date, CHC has been the recipient of about $500,000. The funds enabled CHC to open a brick and mortar clinic in Los Alamos, where many of the patients are farmworkers.

In an interview, Gasca shared her passion for supporting vineyard workers. As the co-founder and winemaker at Story of Soil, Gasca observes firsthand their strong work ethic and, she related, also sees that the tremendous contribution of these workers is not acknowledged by many in the community. While the workers are grateful for the opportunities they have been given, according to Gasca, they deserve to feel the community’s gratitude for their valuable work.  

Through the Foundation, Gasca has initiated various worker assistance programs. In 2019, shortly after she moved to the area, she spotted one of CHC’s clinics while out driving. She walked in and inquired on the spot about having a clinic come to vineyards and so began the discussion.  

COVID hit soon after and when vaccines became available, Gasca saw an urgent need to get workers vaccinated for their own health and for the good of the industry, but many workers were undocumented and reticent to go off site to receive a vaccine. As a SBVF boardmember, Gasca pitched the idea of funding a CHC mobile clinic to bring the vaccines to the vineyards, got the green light, and CHC vaccinated nearly 1,000 vineyard workers.

Last year, Gasca spearheaded SBVF’s first Health and Wellness Fair, where vineyard workers and their families could avail themselves of services from several nonprofits, including health screenings by CHC. This August, SBVF will host a similar fair.

Another initiative is the Holiday Hope program, where wineries purchase items on vineyard workers’ wish lists, wrap them, and present them to the families. Last year, the event provided $35,000 in presents, which, Gasca related, had an absolutely incredible impact on the families.

A great grandchild of Mexican immigrants, Gasca shared that she started her winery with pennies in her pocket. She rises early and works alongside her crew, and has immense gratitude for vineyard workers being out there every day. “Any little bit I can give back or get our community to give back, i think is extremely important.”

SBVF is the charitable arm of Santa Barbara Vintners, a marketing-focused organization largely comprising growers and wineries. Community Health Centers provides medical and dental care in San Luis Obispo and northern Santa Barbara counties, focusing on the medically underserved through 28  brick-and-mortar clinics and a few mobile clinics. CHC Director of Outreach Services Jose Guzman shared how CHC is grateful to Gasca both for the financial assistance and for highlighting the need to bring healthcare to vineyard workers. Discussions between CHC and SBVF are ongoing about doing more to meet the healthcare needs of vineyard workers.

Donations to CHC can be made at

SBVF Events Director Emily Byram with sponsor Hitching Post proprietor and chef Frank Ostini | Gail Arnold
Coastal Vineyard Care Partner Ruben Solorzano, SBVF Boardmember Riley Wathen Slack, and SBVF Boardmember Daniel Berman | Gail Arnold

CHC’s Mobile Clinic at the Vintner’s Golf Classic | Jose Guzman
Guests enjoy a putting competition. | Jose Guzman


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