YOLO for Paradise!

It was so touching to see the outpouring support to help our neighbors in Butte County and especially the victims of the tragic fires in Paradise.  Today,  community members came to the Davis Fire Relief Benefit and danced to local bands Californio and Mumbo Gumbo at the Davis Senior Center.  The venue had originally been scheduled at the Südwerk Dock which would have been outside, but due to the heavy smoke in the air from the horrific fires 90 miles away, it needed to be moved to an inside location. 


When I arrived at 1:10pm, Californio was on stage and their performance was very peppy and fun to dance to.  It was initially easy to see familiar faces in the crowd and I connected with old colleagues from UC Davis.  People kept milling in during Californio’s performance between 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm, and by the time they were done, the senior center was packed full.

What a treat to have Mumbo Gumbo join this venue with only a week’s notice.  They started in Davis over 25 years ago, and their music has been used in the TV show “Northern Exposure” and the 2005 movie “Her Minor Thing”.  This event was co-sponsored by Südwerk microbrewery and Woodstocks Pizza so people were able to enjoy pizza and beer along with the music.

People showed up with generous donations of cash and gift cards to vendors such as Safeway, Target, gas stations, or simply MasterCard for the fire victims to use on basic needs.  By the end of Californio’s performance, an announcement was made that over $27,000 had been received in donations.  By 4pm, the donations had reached $50,000.  In time of crisis, people pull together to help out regardless of our differences.

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I feel that my small donation is just a drop in the bucket and I want to help even more.  There will be another fundraiser at Lamppost Pizza in Stonegate on Black Friday from 2-5pm.  For $25.00 per person you can get a ticket for all you can eat pizza and unlimited beer.  When I purchased the tickets for my family this evening, I was asked how many “designated driver” tickets I was going to purchase.  Apparently they would like to see at least one designated driver when the others are having unlimited beer - that’s a good idea!  The “designated driver” ticket is only $10 for unlimited pizza.  Lamppost is donating 40% of the proceeds from this event to the Butte County Fire victims.

In the meantime I’m going to donate to the North Valley Community Foundation where the funds will go directly to those in need.

Mumbo Gumbo’s story

Mike Blanchard and the Californios