A golf legend is set to use his passion and profession to help Napa County rise from the ashes of last year’s fires.
Johnny Miller was among those who ran for their lives as the Atlas Fire raced into Napa Valley’s Silverado neighborhood. Now, Miller is ready to use a marquee tournament to help his neighbors recover.
Like many in the communities surrounding the Silverado Resort and Spa, Dan and Cindi Dwyer lost their house on the night of Oct. 8. Their son took video the following day, remnants of the home they shared for 12 years still smoldering.
"We tried to cram as much stuff as we could in the car, but gosh, in hindsight, we left so much," Dan Dwyer said. "You know what I mean? Things that meant ... sentimental things like wedding pictures."
Today, their lot is still dirt and rubble and the members of the Silverado Resort call one of its condos home. But not for long. They intend to rebuild soon. The permits just went through, they said.
"If you look at this beautiful view that we used to look at every day, we want it back, and we’re going to come back stronger than ever," Dan said.
Cindi added: "We’re going to have a bigger dining room so we can sit a few more people for meals; we’re excited about that. I mean, so many people have had us for meals that now maybe we can reciprocate after all of this. And the stories that we could tell you about people sort of stepping out of their comfort zones just to offer help is just unbelievable."
Miller, an NBC golf commentator, co-owns Silverado and calls it home. He recalls what he and his family had to endure here nearly 11 months ago.
"We had to evacuate twice to get away from the fires and the smoke, and it was a terrible thing," Miller said. "We lost here at Silverado 31 condos, I think it was, and 100 homes. Lost my daughter’s home and everything she had."
It’s why Miller, with the assistance of title sponsor Safeway, has decided to do something virtually unheard of at this year’s tournament.
"All the money from the ticket sales goes right to the fire victims," he said. "So no one’s taking a dime of your money if you come out and pay that $30. There’s going to be a lot of money raised, and it’s going to go to some really needy causes fire-wise."
The Safeway Open tees off Oct. 3-7.