Hemig: Tomorrow is a great day to help connect our community | TheUnion.com

Hemig: Tomorrow is a great day to help connect our community

Jim Hemig

Jim Hemig

I was sitting at Pete's Pizza staring at my ol' Republic beer and a blank computer screen wondering what to write about this week when a wee little voice asked what I was doing.

The polite young man seemed more interested in my Apple computer than what I was writing.

While trying to explain that my computer isn't a good match for video games, I overheard his mother discussing an upcoming fundraiser.

While she tried to pry the young man's interest off my computer, I asked about the fundraiser since it sounded like she had an unconventional reason for hosting the event.

What’s the best way to thank these giving people? Join them on Saturday morning for painting and Saturday evening for bingo.

So Nadea DeFrance told me that another event had fallen through, and she was left with a nonrefundable deposit on a banquet room in town.

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Instead of losing the deposit, she said she decided to make lemonade out of lemons and created a bingo night fundraiser for the Women of Worth (WOW) nonprofit group.

Nadea said WOW has been her favorite charity since moving here from Southern California.

Women of Worth is a community nonprofit which has been assisting families in crisis and domestic violence victims for nearly a decade. The organization provides practical assistance and support services to hundreds, including counseling, advocacy, support groups, life skills training, mentoring, assistance with re-entry into the workforce and/or schooling, transitional housing, furnishings and transportation assistance.

In 2010, through encouragement and financial support, WOW opened Hetty's Haven in Grass Valley. Hetty's Haven is a seven-bedroom home that houses women and children escaping a violent environment. Their services are provided free of charge.

After hearing this story I wanted to help. I asked Nadea to send The Union some information for our calendar and decided to mention the fundraiser details in my column.

If you would like to help Nadea and Women of Worth, the bingo night is this Saturday at the Holiday Inn Express-Gold Miners Inn at 121 Bank St. in Grass Valley. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., with the first bingo game starting at 7 p.m.

Tickets cost $25 in advance and $30 at the door. Ticket price includes entry to the event, finger foods, and bingo cards (one set) for all 6 games. There will be extra bingo card sets for sale for $5 each for people who would like to have a better shot at a winning game. There will also be wine from local vintners for sale for $5 per glass.

Nadea has purchased markers, which are meant for use as bingo daubers, that can be purchased for $1 each.

At the end of the event guests will have the opportunity to donate the markers to WOW for use in their annual "Way Cool Back to School" drive. The program provides much needed new backpacks, school supplies and clothing every year to children in need in Nevada County. To purchase tickets or get more information, call 530-274-1631.

If you have even more time on Saturday to help out in our community, I ran across another event taking place in the morning. The day after I learned about the WOW fundraiser, I stopped by the Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce office to say hi to Robin Galvan-Davies and the Chamber staff. I usually do that after I've had lunch at Kane's. It has become a bit of a ritual.

Robin mentioned a group of people are planning to repaint a few of the downtown buildings with historically accurate colors. This group, led by the Nevada County Contractors' Association, the Grass Valley Downtown Association, the City of Grass Valley and the Grass Valley Chamber, decided to follow up on an idea from Grass Valley Town Manager, Bob Richardson. He thought repainting the buildings would not only build a lot of community spirit, but would also brighten up the downtown area and make it more vibrant and appealing to new businesses, residents and tourists.

Robin said the Contractors' Association is looking for additional volunteers to supplement the volunteer Contractors' Association team. If you are interested in helping out, the painting team is meeting in the Grass Valley City Hall parking lot at 8 a.m. this Saturday.

Wear some old clothes and shoes and be prepared to help paint. The contractors will paint the higher, second floor walls, and any other volunteers will get the easier stuff, Robin told me. Coffee and donuts will be supplied in the morning and Sweeny's Weenies will provide hot dogs for lunch for all the volunteers.

For more information about the painting activity, call Robin at 530-273-4667.

I'm told there are more than 600 nonprofits in Nevada County. If each of these groups provides a benefit like these folks, Nevada County will continue to be the wonderful place to live that we all know it is.

Sometimes when you wonder what to write about, a great message falls into your lap. And what's the best way to thank these giving people? Join them on Saturday morning for painting and Saturday evening for bingo. You will be contributing to our great community.

Jim Hemig is publisher at The Union. Contact him via email at jhemig@theunion.com or at 530-477-4299.

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