Benefit to support SYRCL programs, restore wild salmon |

Benefit to support SYRCL programs, restore wild salmon

Tom Durkin
Special to Prospector

Beer, wine, food, auction items and big band music are on tap for Saturday evening's Wild for the Yuba benefit for SYRCL (South Yuba River Citizens League) at the North Star House in Grass Valley.

For the first time, SYRCL is combining two separate fundraisers into one big one: Wild for the Yuba Wine & Beer Tasting Experience + Auction.

Previously, the tasting and auction events were at separate times, explained to Jennii Toedtemeier, associate director of development for SYRCL.

This year's beer and tasting event features 12 breweries and nine wineries. And, "We are going to have over 250 items to auction," Toedtemeier said. There will be both silent and live auctions, she added.

And to keep things lively, the snazzy show band, The Earles of Newtown, will deliver the gotta-dance music that appeals to dancers of all ages. With bandleader J. Earle Ford on trumpet and vocals, and front man Chad Connor Crow (aka General Mayhem) on washboard and vocals, the rest of the Earles play everything from horns, woodwinds, guitar, bass, banjo, drums. And kazoo.

You can see and hear the high-energy Earles in action at, said Ford. He also promised the band would preview some new songs that will be on their album to be released in August.

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It's all about the river

Although tickets to the nonprofit event are not tax-deductible (but donations are), the money raised will go directly into four programs protecting the Yuba River, Toedtemeier said.

The programs are River Monitoring, River Ambassadors, River Restoration and "Yuba Salmon Now," she said.

In partnership with the American Rivers organization, SYRCL's "Yuba Salmon Now" effort is a multiyear, multimillion-dollar project to restore the "summit to the sea" migration route of wild salmon. Currently, the Englebright Dam is a major threat to wild salmon, whose numbers have dwindled from 300,000 a year to only 8,000, according to SYRCL literature.

"We would like to raise $20,000 this Saturday," Toedtemeier said, while acknowledging the lingering recession is a tough time for many local nonprofits.

Let's party!

Bring a lawn chair or a picnic blanket and spread it out on the grassy lawn of the iconic North Star House. There will be plenty to eat and drink.

Make sure to sit a safe distance from the stage, because when the Earles of Newtown kick out the jams, people dance.

A ticket to Wild for the Yuba entitles the bearer to five tastes of wine and/or beer. An additional five tastings can be purchased for $6.

Smiley Guys Smokehouse and Horn of the Bull Taqueria will provide a variety of dishes – and there will be desserts for sale as well, Toedtemeier said.

Tickets for adults range from $25 to $35 depending on SYRCL membership and whether tickets are purchased in advance or at the door. Verified designated drivers can get in for $15, and youth 12 and under are $10.

Big spenders can reserve a table for eight for $320.

Volunteers get in free. Anyone wishing to volunteer should contact Miriam Limov at or 530-265-5961.

Bidding for deals

Throughout the evening, guests may make bids on a couple hundred silent auction items. These will include everything from gift baskets to gift certificates – and lots of other goodies like tickets to the Celtic and WorldFest festivals, Nevada County Draft Horse Classic, jewelry, a loan of a laser starfield projector, four hours in a professional recording studio, computer consultation, framed landscape photography, lots of yoga, and the list goes on.

The big-ticket items, however, will go live. This year's big deals include a Yosemite Getaway, Ultimate Hawaiian Eco Adventure, Days in the Bay at Nob Hill in San Francisco, Vichy Springs Resort, a Wild & Scenic Film Festival VIP Package, Ropes Course Adventure, RidgeRock Landscape Package – and more offers and trips.

Sponsors, breweries and wineries

There will be something for every palate with 21 wine and beer makers to choose from.

The breweries participating Sunday are American River, Auburn Alehouse, Lagunitas, Lost Coast, Mammoth, New Belgium, New Helvetia, Ninkasi, Ol' Republic, Sierra Nevada, Stone Brewing Co. and Sudwerk.

The wineries are Avanguardia, Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, Coufos Cellars, Dave the Wine Merchant, Grant Eddie, Mt. Vernon, Mountain Peoples, Solune and Vina Castellano.

Finally, Walker's Office Supply, KNCO and Placer Title Co. are sponsoring this year's "Wild for the Yuba" party.

Tom Durkin is a freelance writer and photographer in Nevada City. He can be contacted at

Know & Go

WHAT: SYRCL’s fourth annual “Wild for the Yuba” featuring music by Earles of Newtown

WHERE: North Star House, 12075 Auburn Rd, Grass Valley

WHEN: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, June 7

TICKETS: Advance tickets: $25 SYRCL members, $30 general. At the door: $30 SYRCL members; $35 general. Designated drivers $15; youth (12 and under) $10; reserved eight-person table $320. Tickets may be purchased at SYRCL office, 313 Railroad St, #101, Nevada City or online at (no service fee).

INFO: 530-265-5961, ext. 214 or or

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