Lately we have found ourselves covering many charity events that offered a wide variety of talent and last night was no exception. Upon entering the Creekside Grille at Wilson Creek Winery we were greeted with a warm smile and a glass of champagne. We were pleasantly surprised when we found ourselves along with a packed house really enjoying “Illusions and Laughter”. I’ve seen a lot of magicians and comedians inmy time and I was prepared to be only mildly amused. This show had me in stitches and included many talented performers. In addition to the entertainment was a buffet of food from Spuntino’s and Gourmet Italia restaurants and wine from Wilson Creek Winery. The event was a fundraiser to help local resident Jim Herrmann.
Herrmann, a Temecula Wine Country resident was injured in a dirt bike accident in August of this year. The 44 year old family man has been confined to one area of his home. He is wheelchair bound and the doorways are too small and the walks and driveway around his home are made of gravel. “It’s impossible to maneuver on my own,” he claims. His family and friends have resolved to alleviate these issues and hold this fundraiser and help with accessibility.
Surrounded by his wife, two teenaged daughters and a bevy of friends, the event embarked on the task of raising enough funds to lay concrete around Herrmann’s home, build ramps and expand the doorways so that he will be able to move around. When asked what his prognosis was he said, “It’ll be a lot of hard work and dedication, but I know things will get better.”
Co-owner of Wilson Creek Winery Craig Johns helped to organize the benefit which included national comedian Willie Barcena who has performed ten times on The Jay Leno Show. Rob Zabrecky, a magician who was both strange and hilarialso held the live auction. There was also a large raffle with many wonderful donated items. Handsome Jack, (who was not all that handsome), was creative with his uproarious magical antics involving participants from the audience. Kevin Millard, a young SoCal native brought his witty and sarcastic everyday view of life to the stage. Leonard Holloway was the Master of Ceremonies who opened for them all and started the merriment.
The community has really pulled together to help Herrmann in his quest to adjust. His wife of 20 years, Julia Herrmann has had to take off from her job as an instructional aide for autistic children since the accident, but will soon be returning. An auto mechanic for 25 years, Herrmann has only had two jobs. “I have worked for Ford and Ford,” he quipped. “I have worked for two Ford Motor companies.” His job now is to adapt and work hard to get better. He is very determined and has a positive outlook and with the support of family and friends it will surely pay off.
The venue was not only split at the seams at full capacity, but with side-splitting laughter throughout the night. It was wonderful to see how many people rallied to help at this event and it appeared that Jim Herrmann will soon be navigating his way around the house on his own.
For more information on how you can help the Hermann Family, go here