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July 19, 2013
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Sixth annual penny pitch to fly again in Grass Valley


The copper will fly once again Saturday afternoon for the sixth annual Penny Pitch in downtown Grass Valley.

The event is hosted by KNCO and Kane’s Family Restaurant to raise funds for the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Coalition.

“All those funds will help,” said DVSAC Executive Director Gayle Guest-Brown.

“It’s a fun way to raise money, and every little bit helps.”

Participants enter into the penny pitch with a team or are placed into a team of six, have three tries to throw the farthest penny and are whittled down through a process of elimination. The last remaining player represents his or her team.

The event harkens to the 36-year penny pitch tradition in San Francisco, where many of the local penny pitch founders are from.

The idea for a local penny pitch came from a conversation with San Francisco natives and Nevada County residents John Kane, owner of Kane’s; his wife and owner of Maria’s Mexican Restaurant, Maria Ramos; Joe B. Hevia, account manager of KNCO; his wife, Darlene Mariani-Hevia; Frank and Caroline Machi; and Tom and Julie O’Toole.

“We all used to participate in the penny pitch in North Beach (San Francisco) and someone said, ‘Let’s do a penny pitch!’” said Hevia.

“I brought the idea to KNCO and we said, ‘Sure, let’s go for it.’”

The event raised funds for United Way for four years and then branched out to DVSAC, of which Hevia is a board member.

“All the raffle prizes go to the DVSAC, and we have a good time,” Hevia said.

“They make between $2,000 and $5,000 a year, depending on attendance.”

Part of the game’s appeal is its simplicity and accessibility, Kane said.

“It’s a simple game anyone can do. You just get the pennies as close to the wall as you can and have fun with it,” he said.

“We’ve had people win from 8 years old to 88 years old.”

The event is hosted in front of Kane’s at 120 E. Main St. The festivities begin 11:30 a.m. and the game takes place from 1 to 5 p.m.

The cost is a tax-deductible $15 per person, all of which is donated to DVSAC, and includes medals for first- through fourth-place winners and a trophy, a raffle and prizes, live music from Dream and the Dreamers, a barbecue and discounted $5 lunches from Kane’s.

The penny pitch serves as a way for the community to come together, have fun and support a good cause, Kane said.

“The DVSAC is an incredible organization that gets a lot of support, and most families throughout our area have been touched by it somehow,” Kane said.

“They help us and have their own community that comes out and helps.”

The level of community involvement is also made apparent by the various local businesses and organizations that support the cause, Kane said.

Those who wait can watch sports on one of Kane’s seven TVs and use the patio.

Visitors can also partake in a sidewalk sale from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, when Mill Street between Main and Neal will be closed so retailers can display their sale and clearance items on the street.

“It’s really nice and harmless fun and a great way for the family to come together,” Kane said.

“It’s a good cause, number one, cheap fun, number two, and good for the family, number three, so it’s a win-win for everybody.”

To contact Staff Writer Jennifer Terman, email jterman@theunion.com or call 530-477-4230.


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The Union Updated Jul 20, 2013 09:36AM Published Jul 20, 2013 09:35AM Copyright 2013 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.