Lorraine’s Lowdown: Raising money for good causes | TheUnion.com

Lorraine’s Lowdown: Raising money for good causes

Snowbirds with Hooves. Norman and Allyn Carman, long-time NevCo ranchers, completed this year’s autumn cattle drive via livestock trailers with real hitches but without any rhetorical hitches. They moved their herd of Angus and Simmental momma cows — whom they affectionately refer to as “The Girls” — from higher-elevation mountain ranges to lower pasturelands in Nevada and Placer counties. Says Allyn, “Like most snowbirds, the girls travel in comfortable purpose-built RVs. Cow RVs, which we call stock trailers, smell a bit different than your typical Winnebago.” Norman adds, “The girls, having made their trip up the hill every spring and back down home every fall since they were calves, know the routine. I’ll open the gates on the stock trailer, walk around behind them, and yell, ‘Get on the bus, girls!’ They happily load themselves…”

You Don’t Have to Wear Flannel, but you’ll fit in if you do. Grab your saw or axe, rope and tarp, and head into the Tahoe National Forest to cut a Christmas tree. Remember to get a $10 permit at https://go.usa.gov/x7qju, where you’ll also learn limits regarding tree height and diameter. Taking home a Christmas tree from the forest enlists you in Nature’s Cleanup Crew. Here’s how…

“Ideal Christmas Trees, such as white firs under 10 feet tall, are ladder fuels,” says Tahoe National Forest Public Affairs Officer Joe Flannery. “They can transfer a low-intensity ground fire up into the lower branches of large trees, which can create a crown or high-intensity fire. Ground fires used to ‘clean up’ the forest, but we’ve suppressed them for 100 years. Take those ladder fuel trees home to your living room, reduce over-growth, and know you’re bringing holiday cheer to the forest by making it more resilient to wildfire…”

It’s Whimsical and Festive, with tangible benefits. The annual Muppet Launch in the Li’l Town of Washington not only sends a Muppet puppet character soaring into the heavens, the fun generates money for Hospice of the Foothills through donations plus the sale of T-shirts and buttons. Mickey Stefan, venerable Washington Hotel bartender, did the counting: $495.50! “They say I can talk Eskimos into buying ice,” jokes Mickey, “and I love raising money for good causes. I want our little town to brag about what we do for others…”

Todd Davidovich was the visual effects executive producer of the Kermit the Frog-Ford 2007 Super Bowl commercial that sparked the love affair between Li’l Town and Muppets (http://www.adage.com/videos/ford-easy-being-green/605). Todd, who attended every other launch since 2011, couldn’t make the trip this year from his SoCal home but eloquently sends best wishes. “I’m thrilled the little town of Washington has continued the tradition in the spirit of town legend, Poison Bob, to fulfil his desires for a community event of shared smiles and a charitable cause,” says Todd. “After a tested year of uncertainty, it doesn’t come at a better moment to reflect, to give thanks for what we have and to recognize the value of simplicity in things which are often taken for granted or invisible to us — even if it’s the wind…”

Of Course There’s Pie! Owners of the Rainbow Market in NevCity, Jeff Rutherford and Maggie Maloney, have offered free Thanksgiving dinners for the past 16 years to anyone who wants or needs one. Jeff and Maggie opened the market in 1996 and began serving free turkey dinners with all the fixin’s in 2004. This year, the couple dished up 245 meals. “We’re very lucky and we just want to share,” says Jeff. “I hope everyone gets through this…”

Another Thanksgiving Giving Tradition took place in the outdoor dining area at Old Town Café in downtown GeeVee. Owner Robin Buckman says he’s not sure why the nearly 200 free meals he served this year were fewer than in years past — he’s been doing it for 15 Thanksgivings. Guests’ tips generated $420 for the Food Bank of Nevada County. “I want to thank my staff and community members who volunteered to work that day,” says Robin. “I also want to thank my suppliers who donated or provided supplies at cost, especially Dave Ackerman Breads. Dave donated all of the rolls…”

The Need Remains Critical, so Nevada County is launching a fourth round of fundraising for the NevCo Relief Fund. The fund has distributed nearly $820,000 to struggling businesses and nonprofits since April. The fund includes $250,000 from the CARES Act, $100,000 from the County of Nevada, and $466,286 in private donations. NevCo Projects Manager Caleb Dardick says the goal is to raise another $100,000 (tax deductible donations at http://www.NevCoRelief.org). “We want to help those hit hardest when Nevada County moved into the Purple Tier of state restrictions,” says Caleb. “Any organization or business suffering because of COVID that are in compliance with health guidelines may apply for micro-grants up to $5,000…”

Drive-by Birthday Parties are the safe celebrations these days, and thus was Barbara Spratling feted for her 90th birthday. Barbara is the influential aunt of Brian Price and Sandi Kubich, owners of Burgee Dave’s at the Mayo (remember GI-normous Ultimate Bloody Mary drinks in Camptonville). Brian planned to attend Barbara’s party in Florida, but instead opted to interact with everyone via teleconference. “Barbara is my ‘Other Mother’ who lived 10 houses down the street where I grew up in Jacksonville,” says Brian. “Between my mother and Aunt Barbara, it was where anything good was cooked every day, which became the inspiration for our restaurant.” Burgee Dave’s hasn’t reopened since a 2017 fire, but Brian is hopeful. “My heart is still in it, and we’re looking for investors…”

“The Antidote for 50 Enemies is one friend.” — Aristotle (384 – 322 BC), Greek philosopher and star student of his mentor, Plato…

Give boundaries to enemies and loving hugs to friends, then send stories of your fun adventures to LorraineJewettWrites@gmail.com.

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