Besides creating the most fun Food & Music Festival we can possibly produce, we are focused on raising much-needed funds for some incredible children’s charities in our local area.

Both of these charities will have a booth at the festival as well. We will also be coming up with other ways we can raise funds before, during and after the festival to help these wonderful charities.

If you would like to help by donating your time or money before and/or during the festival, please fill out our quick Contact Form. We are always looking for volunteers!

Below are the charities that The Pepper Festival has carefully chosen to raise much-needed funds for the causes that focus on the children in our community.

Markie Foundation – Children’s Hospice

The Markie Foundation was established in July 1999 to honor Mark Warren Wuelfing, who died at four months old from a severe neurological disorder. During his short time on earth, Markie had a positive impact on many people–family, friends, and strangers alike–who offered unconditional love and support as we cared for our sick baby. This generosity helped get us through each day, and enabled us to focus on what mattered most–loving Markie.

Specifically, we were blessed with wonderful child hospice care that enabled us to spend quality time caring for Markie in the comfort of our own home. Without the guidance of a qualified and devoted nurse, we could not have effectively administered the equipment and medication needed to keep Markie comfortable. Nor would we have been able to share his final days together as a family at home. For this we are grateful.

Through The Markie Foundation, we hope to make a positive difference for other families caring for terminally ill children. We are focused on raising funds for children’s hospice programs that help families care for their child while spending valuable time together at home. In doing so, we spread the goodness we received to others in need, and extend the spirit of our innocent child.

Child Advocates of Placer County – Empowering foster youth, at-risk youth, and families in Placer County

“We are the bridge between the most vulnerable in our community and volunteers who make a difference.”

Within Placer County, on an average year, about 800 kids experience substantiated abuse or neglect, and over 200 of them are removed from their homes.

Child Advocates of Placer County received its non-profit status in 2004 with the mission to establish the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program for the Placer County Juvenile Dependency Court. We began slowly, serving fewer than 30 children in 2006. Then in 2007 we turned a corner, and by year’s end we had 49 volunteers serving 67 children. That growth trend continues today, in 2014-2015 we provided CASA volunteers and Mentors to 447 foster children and 101 at-risk youth and former foster youth, a 15% increase over the number we served in 2013-2014.

“I was thrilled to learn that Child Advocates of Placer County had been chosen to partner with The Pepper Festival for their upcoming event next June!  We are grateful for opportunity to bring about awareness of the important work we do to serve the at-risk youth and foster children in our community, while enjoying live music, great food, and fun activities with our neighbors!  Endless thanks to Mr. Tracewell and The Pepper Festival team for their dedication to helping children in Placer County and passion for connecting the community.” ~ Amber Lane Celmer, Development Director

Our success with CASA led the Placer County Office of Education to award us a two-year grant to create the Adult-to-Youth Mentors (A2Y) program in 2009. Then in 2010 we received funding for Placer First 5 to create, Family Mentors, where we take Placer Mentor volunteers and specifically train them to serve at-risk parents.

All programs – CASA and Placer Mentors – utilize  volunteers to serve our community. CASA and Placer Mentor volunteers help  foster youth, at-risk youth and young adults build resiliency, self-confidence and self-sufficiency. We help them attain academic achievement and avoid the juvenile justice system, teen pregnancy, and drug and/or alcohol use. Family Mentors help at-risk parents create functioning households, so that they can reunify – permanently – with their children.