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The Age of Me: A Story About Giving… and Ping Pong

The Age of Me

Last Fall, I heard Yvon Chouinard on the radio talking about the new edition of his business biography, Let my People go Surfing. In the interview, he spoke about the current state of affairs and the role that businesses can and should play when government isn’t stepping up. Everything he said made immediate sense to me and I bought the book the next day. I tore through it in a matter of a few days feeling inspired and on a mission about what it means to be a business owner. I am thankful to love wine and winemaking, and the fact that I get to call it a job, but why not grow my business in more directions? Why not actively seek out ways to contribute more to individual, community, and environmental health and well being? If our goal is to improve everything, and it should be, then we always need to be innovating, improving, and looking for ways to lower our impact on the planet. We need to make the peoples whos lives we affect more enjoyable and meaningful (which, by the way, is everyone to some extent), and use our influence as a business to affect other businesses and people to do the same. We need to set an example.

With a large space like a winery, a fundraising event is a very obtainable way to support a special interest non-profit that is already dedicated to improving the world. Yvon advocates this specifically. Do what you do well and use that to raise money or other resources to support organizations that are already set up to do the environmental and social work that our world needs. For us, it was The School Box Project. This non-profit made a lot of sense because they are locally based in Sebastopol so we could work directly with them and also be working to provide relief for the crisis in Syria that the entire world is facing.

Fortunately our very good friends at Peter Lowell’s and Handline feel the same way we do about all of this. Together, we enlisted the help and resources of all of our friends, invited a bunch of people who give a shit (and like ping pong) and had a party. Hobo Pong has set a course for future collaborative and environmentally and/or socially conscious minded business endeavors. We raised $38,000, far surpassing our $10,000 starting goal. The Hobo Wine Company as well as many other individuals and businesses used its resources and worked with the community to make the world better.


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