Fundraising, et cetera

CN&R gets an extension on our effort to crowdfund $25,000, plus other stuff.

The week before Christmas, in that crazy run-up to the holiday, some colleagues and I poured wine at a fundraising event for the CN&R Foundation, our local investigative reporting initiative.

We did so at the tail-end of a long Thursday, which is generally a busy day of editing the next week’s cover story. I didn’t know what to expect when we arrived at Bidwell Park Bar & Grill, but we ended up with a nice little turnout. I felt relieved. At $5 a pop, I figured we’d have a decent haul for a few hours’ worth of work.

Fundraising is a new endeavor for this ink-stained wretch. I’ve written about it here and there in this space since last March, when we launched the nonprofit. But I’m afraid I haven’t been as attentive to the mission as I ought to have been. I get pretty consumed with putting out a newspaper each week and, well, I don’t exactly know what I’m doing when it comes to asking people for money.

So it just about knocked me over when a reader walked through the door at the event and handed me a check for $1,000. I was stunned. It came from someone who’d been an early supporter of this project and had already contributed $1,000. And with a few more generous donations from other readers that evening, plus the money from the winetasting, we left with more than $1,700.

That brings our total to $18,714, according to the North Valley Community Foundation.

The good news is that’s a whole lot of money. The bad news is we were hoping to raise $25,000 by the end of the year because an angel donor would kick in an additional $10,000 if we were able to hit that mark.

But that’s not the end to this story, because that same anonymous donor is giving us an extension through the month of January. Happy New Year to us. And many thanks to everyone who came out during the busy week before Christmas to support in-depth local journalism.

Special thanks go to Chris Hostettler and his crew (especially “Dan, the wine man”) at Chico Grocery Outlet for supplying and also pouring wine, and Courtney Foster of Bidwell Park Bar & Grill for letting us use that awesome facility. Additional thanks to the CN&R folks who helped with the event: senior advertising consultant Brian Corbit, who is the organizer of monthly winetastings that benefit local nonprofits; Jamie DeGarmo, director of sales and advertising; Howard Hardee, assistant news editor; contributing writer Whitney Garcia; and Ernesto Rivera, who has curated our calendar since last summer. Rivera graduated from Chico State the same week and has moved on. We miss him already.

On that note, there’s a new face around our office. Jace Whatcott, our new calendar editor, comes to us by way of Utah. He starts in earnest after the first of the year. Whatcott can be reached at and When you send him items for our weekly event listings, be sure to welcome him to Chico.