Fourteen Nevada County high schoolers have received signed Certificates of Appreciation from Sen. Barbara Boxer for their achievements in Innerspark, a program of the 2004 California State Summer School of the Arts, it was announced by the Nevada County Arts Council.

It was the highest per capita number of awardees of any other county in the state. There were 1,500 applicants from California.

Nevada County has had students attend since 1989. Holly Laughlin, ceramics teacher at Bear River High School, is the driving force behind students applying. Union Bank of California is the financial sponsor of the program.

Those who compete must submit a video or portfolio, a written statement and recommendations from community members. Winners spend one month at the California Arts Institute and receive instruction from outstanding people in their field – creative writers, actors, visual artists and dancers.

Recipients from Bear River are James Bond, theater; Brittany Chapman, visual arts; Lauren Hostetter, visual arts; Terra Lo Piccolo, creative writing; Stephanie Martinez, visual arts; James Teffeteller, visual arts; Michelle Vesely, dance; and Jordyn Champman, visual arts (wait listed).

Recipients from Nevada Union are Stephanie Bayne, theater; Katie Bruce, dance; Kathryn Creighton, dance; Lily Curtis Harris, dance; London Honaker Thomas, creative writing; and Sienna Powell, dance.

The recipient from Bitney Springs is Brittney Morgan, visual arts.

For more information about the Nevada County Arts Council, call Penelope Curtis at 271-5955.


Hospice of the Foothills is sponsoring a weekend retreat for families and children age 4 to 18 who have experienced the death of a family member within the last two years. The camp will provide a safe environment where parents and children will feel comfortable sharing and expressing grief to others. Lodging and all meals are included in the $150-per-family fee. Financial assistance may be provided on an individual basis.

The retreat will be at Diamond Arrow Camp, just outside Nevada City, from Aug. 6 to 8. Participants must preregister before July 9 by calling 272-5739.


Sports and history will be featured topics of the Friends of the Libraries’ book sale from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Foley Historical Library, 211 N. Pine St., Nevada City. Donations of books in good repair may be placed in an identified container at Raley’s, on Freeman Lane in Grass Valley, or brought to any of the Nevada County libraries. FOL does not accept magazines, textbooks, encyclopedias, outdated computer or law manuals.


Boy Scout Troop 855 will hold its monthly advancement night meeting at 7 p.m. today at Grace Lutheran Church in Grass Valley, with all troop members, families and the general public invited. Scouter Frank Quadro will be instructing on the Emergency Preparedness Merit Badge for those scouts working on this Eagle-required merit badge, with other scouts working on rank advancement.

For more information, call Scoutmaster Daniel Ketcham at 477-8056.


Neighborhood Center of the Arts is looking for a few good volunteers. Needed are volunteers with experience in framing and matting to assist staff with client artwork before shows and sales, volunteers who can help finish weaving and fiber art projects, and volunteers who have sewing skills. NCA is also in need of those who can assist in fund-raising events, general office work and data entry. NCA is preparing to celebrate its 20th anniversary, so extra help is needed. Call Sandia at 272-7287 for more information.


The Nevada County Land Trust’s outdoor benefit concert featuring guitar virtuoso Leo Kottke is planned for Aug. 21. The concert is expected to sell out, so early reservations are advised. The concert site is a few miles from downtown Nevada City and access will be by special bus service. Guests are encouraged to bring blankets or low-back lawn chairs. For tickets and information, call 272-5994 or see


Foothills Healthy Babies, affiliated with Child Advocates of Nevada County, is a supportive home-visiting program to help stressed and overburdened parents give nurturing care to their infants and young children. Specially trained family support specialists provide services.

The home visiting staff is supervised by a social worker with a master’s degree. The program is open to any family that is expecting a baby or already has a baby 8 weeks old or younger.

Half of the parents now helped are single parents, and 25 percent are Latino. The program has served over 100 families. For more information, call 265-9550.


Pam Fortner’s column on nonprofits appears each Monday. Deadline for information is 5 p.m. each Wednesday. The column will appear in the following Monday edition. Send information to Pamela Fortner at The Union, 464 Sutton Way, Grass Valley 95945; e-mail; or fax to 477-4292.

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