Sonoma County Vintner Gives to CPMC’s Forbes Norris ALS Center

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The Forbes Norris ALS Research and Treatment Center located at Sutter Health’s California Pacific Medical Center, one of the nation’s leading centers for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), is the recipient of a perpetual gift from an award winning vintner located in California’s wine country.

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It is through generous individual gifts like this that help us sustain our multidisciplinary approach of active management of ALS which improves quality of life and allows our patients to live their lives with dignity.

The Forbes Norris ALS Research and Treatment Center located at Sutter Health’s California Pacific Medical Center, one of the nation’s leading centers for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), is the recipient of a perpetual gift from an award winning vintner located in California’s wine country. Collier Falls Winery today gave the first gift of $10,000 to the Forbes Norris ALS Center to support ALS research and treatment.

“This gift from the Collier Falls Winery will help sustain research and care programs providing quality care and advancement of scientific knowledge”, said Director of the Forbes Norris ALS Center Dr. Robert Miller. “It is through generous individual gifts like this that help us sustain our multidisciplinary approach of active management of ALS which improves quality of life and allows our patients to live their lives with dignity.”

Barry Collier, owner of Collier Falls Winery in the Dry Creek Valley of Sonoma County, has pledged to gift 100 percent of the profits in perpetuity from a vineyard of Syrah, “Sue’s Block,” named after and planted by his wife Susan before her onset of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). In 2007, after 34 years of blissful marriage to the love of her life, Sue passed away from ALS. Barry, in love with Sue to this day, provides this gift in her memory.

“Staff and physicians at the Forbes Norris ALS Center went beyond all expectations in providing compassionate and in-depth management of care for Sue. We are fortunate to have internationally recognized ALS experts at this clinic in the Bay Area,” said Collier. “Because of my experience caring for Sue and the candid guidance of the care team at Forbes Norris, I have been able to provide a road map to other families who have a loved one with ALS.”

Barry and Susan Collier lived a true love story. Dedicated to each other and the magic that they found in the beautiful countryside of Sonoma County, they discovered their great passion for the wine country, and thus, Collier Falls Wines were born in the Dry Creek Valley.

“The vineyard is what we made together, and Sue is still alive here,” said Barry Collier, reflecting on their love for their life’s work and joy that resulted in the development of the hillside vineyards of Collier Falls Winery.

The Colliers planted and grew several grape varieties and received accolades and medals for their first wines. Awards include:

  •     Double Gold - Best of Class - Pacific Rim Wine Competition—2005 Cabernet Sauvignon
  •     Gold - Pacific Rim Wine Competition—2009 Syrah Du Soleil
  •     Gold - Dallas Morning News International Wine Competition—2007 Petite Sirah
  •     92 Points - Top 10 Zins of 2012 - Wine & Spirits—2007 Zinfandel

The gift to the Forbes Norris ALS Center is not only in memory of Sue but also in gratitude for the care and guidance provided from the center. “It’s a way I can support something good from something Sue and I created together,” said Collier. “It’s a drop in the bucket, but it’s what we can do. If everyone did what they could do, we might solve this terrible disease.”

The Forbes Norris ALS Center is one of the largest ALS clinical research and care centers in the United States and has been at the forefront of neuromuscular disease research and treatment for over 25 years. Their multidisciplinary concept for active management of ALS to improve the quality of life allows patients to live their lives with dignity.

The Forbes Norris ALS Center is working to bring the latest molecular biological findings about motor nerve cells directly from the laboratory bench to the bedside. Philanthropic gifts, like that from the Collier Falls Winery, help sustain research and care programs providing quality care and advancement of scientific knowledge.

More info about the Forbes Norris ALS Center and ALS can be found at http://www.cpmc.org/services/als. Information about Collier Falls Winery can be found at http://www.collierfalls.com/

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Dean Fryer
California Pacific Medical Center
415-600-7484
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