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Good causes and school’s back in session

Vivian Herron

The Nevada County Annual Food & Toy Run has been around for quite a few years, and their 13th appearance is scheduled this year for Dec. 11.

Their motto is “Every Child Will Have A Christmas … We Will Make Sure!” They have stepped up to the plate for some of our own local children, and made Christmas just that much sweeter because of their work and generosity. Thom Staser is founder and CEO of this fine organization – “I tried for Dictator for Life, but the Franchise Tax Board didn’t like that.”

Motorcycle enthusiasts come from all over California and adjoining states to participate in this run, which starts at the Rood Administrative Center and threads its way through Nevada City and Grass Valley out to the fairgrounds. The fee to ride is simply a toy for a Nevada County child, and these people do not stinge on gifts, believe you me.

I wouldn’t mind being in on this year’s run. I could maybe rent one of those scooters from a local grocery store, soup it up a little, put some streamers on the handlebars, and join in. Well, why not?

They have raised over $2 million in food, toys and in-kind services for local nonprofits, including Head Start and Big Brothers, Big Sisters. Two million bucks?! I didn’t know that.

Now another run is being planned for Europe and Australia in 2005. The members intend to build a custom bike and ride it through Austria, Germany, and several other countries, gathering donations and publicity along the way. Then the bike will be flown to Australia for a run along the southern route to Sydney, then up the East Coast to Carins.

The whole idea is to film the trip and sell it to TV and put it on tape, DVD and related magazines. They need all the exposure and support they can get for the Toy Run, and also for BB/BS and Head Start.

If you can help with funding, experience, ideas or planning, please contact them at P.O. Box 549, Nevada City, CA 95959, or info@toyrun.org.

School has begun for Washington’s students, and it’s about time. I live next to the school, and it’s so nice to hear the kids playing and laughing at recess, I really miss that during the summer. Last year’s yoga teacher, Brian O’Leary, has gone off to work in Ecuador and we are lucky to have Chrissy Howell back among us to help out the kids. Good to see you, Chrissy!

Here is the official Washington School Picture of our 2004-2005 kids. At the top are Miss Janet Romero, paraprofessional, and Mr. Pete Milano, our teacher. Second row is Ashley Shultz (fifth grade), Ryan Graham (seventh) Tyler Moran and Amy Lee (both in eighth) and bottom row first-graders Lillian Bigler and Chris Lorch, and third grader Rebecca Ruiz-McCamish. Are these gorgeous kids or what?!

I guess it’s not too early to mention it – a big, big event is in the works for next June for the 100th-year Reunion and Celebration of Washington School. The school has been sitting in its present location since 1905 (and improving every danged year since then), and open to students all that time except for six months in the 1920s.

This is the first call to all those who were students and/or worked at the school in any capacity, at any time, or knows anyone who ever did – please call the school at 265-2880. That was a convoluted sentence, huh? This is a major milestone for our community and ought to be a whopper of a to-do, and everybody is invited.


Vivian Herron is a longtime resident of the town of Washington whose column appears on Saturdays. You can write her in care of The Union, 464 Sutton Way, Grass Valley, 95945.


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