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Ensuring public safety the goal of gala event

One of the premier social functions in Nevada County each year is the Red Light Ball, sponsored by the Nevada County Law Enforcement and Fire Protection Council.

This wonderful event, slated for Saturday night at the Nevada County Fairgrounds, was first conceived when Sheriff Keith Royal was elected to office. On Jan. 8, 1999, an inaugural ball was held to celebrate his election, and it has evolved into the Red Light Ball.

The Red Light Ball is one of two annual fundraisers for the organization, the other being the Guns & Hoses Golf Tournament. The two events have raised an estimated $450,000 to date. That money has been used to purchase much-needed police and firefighting equipment.



The idea of the Red Light Ball came from Bob Lenny, combining the police and fire red lights. Dee Dee Lenny created the advertising and invitation layout. Former Nevada County Judge Al Dover was the presiding judge, swearing in Keith Royal as sheriff as 210 people looked on.

Keith had originally planned on continuing this most successful event on an annual basis. When he heard the NCLFC was searching for a good fund-raising event to promote law enforcement and fire protection causes, he asked them if they would like to take on the Red Light Ball, and the rest is history.




Along with being the primary fundraiser for the NCLFC, the ball affords law enforcement and fire protection a forum to honor a citizen or citizens for their outstanding continued support of public safety. The annual Public Safety Commitment Award is awarded each year at the Red Light Ball to a deserving recipient.

The 2010 Public Safety Commitment Awards are being awarded to Sgt. Joseph Matteoni, Grass Valley Police Department, in recognition of his selfless act of courage in the life saving rescue of an unconscious victim of the Mill Street Apartment fire of Aug. 30, 2009; Firefighter Gary Dunne, Grass Valley Fire Department, in recognition of the courage and professionalism displayed in the life saving rescue of a trapped victim of the Mill Street Apartment fire of Aug. 30, 2009; and Firefighter Jeff Johnston, Nevada County Consolidated Fire District, in recognition of the courage and professionalism displayed in the life saving rescue of a trapped victim of the Mill Street Apartment fire of Aug. 30, 2009.

This is the eleventh annual Red Light Ball.

Saturday night’s event at the Nevada County Fairgrounds is sold out with over 500 people attending. Guests will enjoy a fun-filled night consisting of a full dinner, no-host bar and dancing.

If you would like to donate to the fund, please send checks, made to the order of the Nevada County Law Enforcement and Fire Protection Council, and mail to 115 Mill Street, Grass Valley, 95945. For more information call (530) 268-9015.


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