Corporate Philanthropy Awards: Winners with up to 100 employees

B.R. Cohn Charity EventsRaising money for the needy, children and veterans

Bruce Cohn has been blessed with success as both a manager of rock icons like the Doobie Brothers as well as an entrepreneur and founder-proprietor of the award-winning B.R. Cohn Winery, an olive oil company and Olive Hill Estate Vineyards. But he has long-understood the importance of giving back.

His philanthropic efforts benefiting children, veterans and California communities close to home have been intertwined with his other great passions: music, wine and golf.

[caption id="attachment_90098" align="alignleft" width="350"] The B.R. Cohn Charity Events stage during a concert[/caption]

Mr. Cohn has raised money for community organizations for more than 28 years since he first established nonprofit B.R. Cohn Charity Events in 1985, the year after he founded the winery in the heart of Sonoma Valley. Oversight of the winery turned over to his son Dan Cohn in January, and Bruce Cohn has focused his full attention on charity events.

During the first six years after founding B.R. Cohn Charity Events, he organized the B.R. Cohn Winery Celebrity Golf Classic. That was followed in years seven and eight by the B.R. Cohn Charity Fall Music Festival. Originally held on a field at Sonoma High School in 1992, the concert series is now held each September at the winery amphitheater in Glen Ellen. Some 300 volunteers help produce this festival and related events.

In 2008, he added the Charity Car Classic, a vintage car exhibition that would be held for the next five years.

Last year, the 27th annual music festival raised $200,000 for the Sonoma Valley Education Foundation, The Field of Dreams, The Guardsmen, The Station Foundation and American Legion Post 489 to benefit and honor U.S. veterans. That sum includes $35,000 for Redwood Empire Food Bank.

"This food bank does incredible work in Sonoma County, and especially in light of the recent reduction in food stamps by the government," Mr. Cohn said. "It is a shame so many can go hungry in a region with so much bounty. The food bank is able to turn a dollar donation into several dollars worth of food -- which is amazing."


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