In October 2017, wildfires swept through the communities of Napa, Santa Rosa, and Sonoma. The bulk of the destruction was felt in the residential areas of Santa Rosa, where thousands of homes were destroyed. Although the communities of the prominent wine regions have made a resilient comeback—due in part to wine-loving visitors—many residents are still rebuilding what was lost.  

On Saturday, international sports series Ironman will bring more than 3,000 competitors to the area for Ironman 70.3 Santa Rosa. Following the endurance race on Sunday, the Ironman Foundation (the company's charity arm), will give back over $100,000 to wildfire relief, hold a 5K to benefit fire-impacted parks, and conduct a hands-on home rebuilding project. The foundation has partnered with running brand HOKA ONE ONE and nonprofit Rebuilding Together Petaluma to help build new “tiny houses” for fire victims.

“Ironman is about creating a sense of community, and through the support and generosity of our athletes and partners like HOKA ONE ONE, the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation, and CLIF Bar, we hope to be able to make a difference in Santa Rosa’s continued recovery from the wildfires,” says Sarah Hartmann, Acting Executive Director of the Ironman Foundation.

Although the 75 volunteer spots have been filled for Sunday's rebuild, you can still donate to relief efforts or register for the Ironman Foundation Community 5K scheduled for Sunday, July 29, at Santa Rosa’s Old Courthouse Square. Proceeds from the race—plus an additional $15,000 grant—go directly to the Santa Rosa Parks Foundation to rebuild affected parks.

And, of course, visiting the impacted areas continues to help the community. Consider these ideas for must-try restaurants in Sonoma, take the ultimate wine country road trip, or shop at these local favorites.