Nevada County’s top cops set to chow down in GoFundMe doughnut hole challenge |

Nevada County’s top cops set to chow down in GoFundMe doughnut hole challenge

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With just a couple of days left to go, a GoFundMe launched by local law enforcement has raised more than $10,000 for the Grass Valley Charter School Foundation to recoup the costs of canceling its major fundraiser, the Blue Marble Jubilee.

And that means Grass Valley Police Chief Alex Gammelgard, Nevada City Police Chief Chad Ellis and Nevada County Sheriff Shannan Moon, who promised to eat one doughnut hole for every $100 raised, will have to gobble at least 105 apiece, in a challenge that will be streamed live on Facebook Thursday morning.

Nearly the entire student body will assemble outside to root on the teams from the three agencies and, in a few special cases, to help out with the treat consumption.

Initially the event was planned for the actual last day of school, but scheduling conflicts prompted the date change, said foundation President Wendy Willoughby.

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At 10:30 a.m., the three law enforcement heads will “make good on their campaign promise,” Willoughby said with a laugh. “Right now, we’re at 105 doughnut holes each.”

She noted, however, that recruits will be brought in.

“We’ll be bringing up the coloring contest winners to help out,” Willoughby said. “It’s gonna be a little bit of mayhem. It will be fun.”

The doughnut hole challenge was dreamed up to put a positive spin on a sad situation, after a bizarre conspiracy theory forced the foundation to cancel the jubilee earlier this spring.

The children’s festival, which emphasizes ecological awareness, was scheduled to take place on May 11. But conspiracy theorists honed in on the school after they “found” the word “Jihad” and the acronym GVCSF (Grass Valley Charter School Foundation) in a tweet by former FBI Director James Comey.

People across the country began claiming there was a threat of attack to the Blue Marble Jubilee and school foundation officials made the decision to cancel the event. The discredited “plot” subsequently made national and even international news.

The real losers, the three agency heads noted in their GoFundMe pitch, were the children. The jubilee typically brings in between $20,000 and $25,000, funds the foundation spends on projects not covered by the school district’s budget.

“We need to upgrade the technology for the math classrooms and one lower grade level,” Willoughby said, noting that students need to be able to learn on up-to-date equipment.

The foundation also had been hoping to fund two “renovation/rejuvenation projects” this year. An update of the library is one of those projects, Willoughby said.

“It’s very old, it needs a new paint job,” she said. “Also, the new librarian wants to expand the appeal to the middle school, to make it a more coveted space for the older students.”

The second project is a complete makeover of the school’s multipurpose room.

“That will be a pricey endeavor,” Willoughby said. “I doubt we will have funds this (year).”

She explained that the multipurpose room renovation is too far down the list and will not get funded through the Measure D bond measure approved in 2018.

“It’s on (the school foundation) to raise the dollars to do that,” Willoughby said. “It’s a priority for us.”

In conjunction with the online GoFundMe, some donations have been made directly to the law enforcement agencies that total about $12,000. The foundation has received about $3,500 directly though its website, including from an online auction of artwork by the charter school students that would have been sold during the jubilee.

“We’re looking at $15,000 plus,” Willoughby said. “That certainly does cover costs with a little to spare.”

Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at

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