A few months back, our longtime friend and business associate, Pam Davis, called Steve and asked if he would be willing to design the poster for her 50th birthday party bash called “The Heart of Winter.”

A birthday party requires a poster? In Pam’s case, the answer is yes. It was important to publicize her birthday because turning 50 gave Pam the ideal opportunity to bring the community together to raise money for two of her favorite non-profits: the Sebastopol Community Centerand the Ceres Community Project.

Pam probably knows more about recycling than anyone else in Sonoma County– she previously worked in government relations for the County’s garbage company and is now general manager of Sonoma Compost – and she is all about making the world around her a better place.

So, in addition eating to some really, really good artisan cheese from local creameries (I’m still dreaming about the Roasted Chili Redwood Hill Farm Chevre) and wishing Pam a happy birthday, another great aspect of the event was learning about an organization that meets a need that I had never thought about before.

The Ceres Community Project provides nutritious meals to people with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. The program makes complete sense: someone going through chemotherapy certainly isn’t going to have energy to shop and cook yet consuming high-quality, whole foods is essential to helping them regain their health.

And the Ceres Project (named after the Roman goddess of agriculture) goes far beyond just delivering food. The healthy meals are prepared by teen chefs working under professional chef mentors. Not only are teens serving people in need, they are also learning culinary and life skills and spreading the word about the connection between food and health. The whole program works beautifully on so many levels.

At the event, we got to enjoy the type of meal that the teen chefs prepare for the Ceres Project clients. And it was fabulous: pork with red cabbage, roasted sweet potatoes and sautéed kale. Organic, delicious and nutritious.

Their goal in 2012 is to provide 45,000 free and nourishing meals – a 50% increase over 2011.

So thank you Pam for turning 50 and introducing me to yet another way that people in Sonoma County come together to support and serve one another.

For more information on the Ceres Community Project go to www.ceresproject.org