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I love volunteering. I get to use my skills in different settings and feel good about supporting groups I believe in. Sometimes volunteering is about the mission of the organization and sometimes it’s simply about having some fun with people I know. And sometimes, like last night, the two come together.

Last night was the opening of the Grinduro festival, the newest of the Triple Crown biking events that raise money for Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship, a mighty local organization that builds and maintains outdoor hiking/biking trails in Plumas, Lassen and Tahoe national forests. This organization is worthy of its own post, but suffice it to say that these folks accomplish a LOT and have a darn good time doing it.

Grinduro is a cycling event and festival that combines the best elements of a mountain bike enduro with a gravel grinder-style road race. Festivities include two days of excellent food, a handmade bike show, an art exhibit, live music and camping.
My “job” was to sell all kinds of Grinduro-branded merchandise from T-shirts to socks, gloves, hats and jerseys. Not a difficult task at all since the merchandise was all great looking and participants seemed eager to support SBTS and memorialize the event with cool gear.

I met some really interesting folks from all over the western United States and even a couple from Europe! Some were hard core cyclists eager for the competition and some were casual cyclists who wanted to try something new. All were intrigued by the event and happy to be spending the weekend in Quincy riding the trails and supporting the hard work of SBTS.

There were food trucks with a great variety of culinary delights to try and fire pits to warm us while we dined. The entertainment started after dark with an inspiring movie about the vision and work of SBTS, then live music under the stars. It was a fabulous way to spend a Friday night, and for festival participants, it was just the warm-up for a weekend-long fun-fest.

If you’re looking for a fun way to become part of the community, consider attending a local fund-raising event or even volunteering. Your contribution will certainly be appreciated. Learn more about Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship Here.

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Fortified by a beautiful blue sky and bloody Marys, players in the Nakoma Education Fund Golf Tournament raised more more than $11,000 for Portola Jr.-Sr. High School on Sept. 13.

Forty golfers took on each other and the Dragon golf course to have fun and raise money for Portola Jr.-Sr. High’s tech program needs. The $11,130 raised is the highest amount so far in the history of the NEF tournament, eclipsing last year’s total by more than $3,300.

“I was thrilled when I saw the NEF check in my office,” said school Principal Sara Sheridan. “Our school community is so grateful for the amazing generosity and support of Nakoma.”

Funds from the 2017 tournament will go directly toward technology at Portola Jr.-Sr. High, as the school needs more laptops and upgrades in classroom instructional technology.

Nakoma’s 2016 NEF golf tournament raised $7,784, with the proceeds going to C. Roy Carmichael Elementary School’s computer lab.

That private-sector funding is important for small, rural schools because it allows administrators to provide unique opportunities for students.

Sheridan said that in the past Portola High has used donated funds to send students on college visits, build computer labs and purchase innovative technology such as 3D printers and Mind Storm Robots.

Kate Rowden, Nakoma’s membership and group coordinator and Portola High graduate, said that addition to entry fees, Nakoma raised money through donated raffle and silent auction items. Those items were supplied by local individuals and businesses who recognize the importance of supporting education in Eastern Plumas County.

“We intend to grow the Nakoma Education Fund tournament in coming years and in so doing increase the amount we can give back to our students and their teachers.”

Nakoma Resort staff thanks all the sponsors of the 2017 NEF tournament and the participating golfers who came out to play for such a worthwhile cause. We will be announcing the September 2018 NEF tournament date as well as new fundraising initiatives early in the new year.

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One of the most satisfying aspects of living in a small community is knowing that you can make a positive impact by supporting local non-profit organizations. We are lucky in the Lost Sierra that so many people give their time and energy to a multitude of non-profits which take on important missions such as preserving the area’s cultural and historical legacy, expanding recreation opportunities, providing services to the community and so much more. The fundraising events are usually creative, fun and unifying for the community.

Today I got to experience a brand new collaboration between local brewery The Brewing Lair and High Sierra Animal Rescue (HSAR), a no-kill shelter committed to saving homeless pets and advancing pet welfare.

The Brewing Lair is a home grown brewery with some outrageously good beer set in a little corner of the forest, just perfect enjoying a cold brew or round of disc golf. It’s a lovely spot for an afternoon picnic on any day, but today there were great raffle prizes to support HSAR plus delicious food from the Red Truck out of Truckee and live music from local band Prescribed Burn to add to the ambience. The Brewing Lair generously donated $2 from every beer purchased to HSAR.

What could be better than an afternoon spent hanging out with friends in a beautiful outdoor setting enjoying a delicious brew or two listening to a great local band while raising money for an extremely worthwhile cause? It doesn’t get much better than this in my book.

If you don’t know about this fine organization, High Sierra Animal Rescue is a no-kill shelter in the Lost Sierra that also offers dog boarding, so if you’re in the area and need to leave Fido for a night, now you know where to go.

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