The First Jam Tent Accordion Raffle, 2019

George & Regina Cuculich lived in the Bristlecone neighborhood on Fountaingrove
Avenue. George is a retired Santa Rosa Firefighter of 20+ years. On early Sunday
morning in 2017, friends and neighbors were calling and texting Regina notifying her about the fires in her area. She packed up a small bag to stay the night at her daughter’s house. George decided to stay back and put out some spot fires around the front and back of their lot, he was also helping with the neighbor’s house across the street. He was only able to grab a bag and his fire boots as the fire raged. They both thought they would be able to return in the morning and resume their normal lives.
The Tubbs’ fire swept through the city and destroyed thousands of homes, including
the Cuculich’s. George Cuculich was a First Responder in that fire which consumed his own home, his neighbors’ homes, and the accordion he played for many decades.
In 2019, Regina and George attended the accordion festival and bought some Jam Tent raffle tickets. After dozens of people bought raffle tickets, George’s winning ticket was pulled out of the jar. Someone called the mobile number on the back and Regina answered the phone. She had to go looking for George and finally caught up with him. Together they came to the Jam Tent where he found out he’d won the accordion.
George strapped on the donated accordion which had garnered about $425 which went toward student scholarships. My sister Anjali Crawford had donated her accordion for a good cause, but it turned out to be much more than a good cause but an emotionally satisfying conclusion to a story of loss and the love for the accordion. The happy couple went home with a great replacement for the accordion lost in the Tubbs fire.
Congratulations, George! And keep on squeezing! We look forward to seeing you at this year’s festival.
Sheri Mignano Crawford
Cotati Accordion Student Scholarships

Here’s a picture of Regina and George in the Jam Tent
Regina and their daughters—posing in front of what was left of the neighborhood.
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