Readers’ picks: Community
Recognizing the special people and places that give Chico its character
1ST PLACE: Butte Humane Society2580 Fair St. 343-7917
Chicoans hold a special place in their hearts for animals, so it should be no surprise that Butte Humane Society, whose primary function is to care for the homeless pets in our community, regularly wins Best Charitable Cause. In addition to caring for dogs, cats and other animals in need of a home, BHS facilitates foster care for pets, offers obedience and temperament training, and also runs a low-cost vaccination clinic. The organization is also a fun place to be, earning it a second honor for Best Place to Volunteer.
2ND PLACE: Torres Community Shelter101 Silver Dollar Way, 891-9048
3RD PLACE: The Jesus Center1297 Park Ave., 345-2640
1ST PLACE: Taste of Chico
Chico is home to hundreds of eateries, breweries, wineries, food trucks and other businesses dedicated to delivering a huge variety of delicious food and drink to the public, and the best way to sample a good number of them in a short time is at Taste of Chico. The streets of downtown are closed for the popular September event, which features live music, art exhibits and plentiful people-watching opportunities, and is made possible by the hard work of more than 150 volunteers.
2ND PLACE: Saturday Chico Certified Farmers’ Market
3RD PLACE: Thursday Night Market
Place to volunteer
1ST PLACE: Butte Humane Society2580 Fair St. 343-7917
2ND PLACE: The Jesus Center1297 Park Ave., 345-2640
3RD PLACE: Torres Community Shelter101 Silver Dollar Way, 891-9048
1ST PLACE: Farshad AzadAzad’s Martial Arts Family Center, 313 Walnut St., Ste. 150, 892-2923
Farshad Azad has influenced the lives of hundreds of students, from children to seniors. But he’s also known for his activism in the community. Many Thanksgivings ago, the martial arts instructor started a community drive, dubbed the Basket Brigade, to assemble and deliver food baskets for local needy families. He has organized many of the downtown Parade of Lights festivals, bringing together groups and organizations for a bright event celebrating community. He’s also given back through working with the Chico Noon Exchange Club. Is there anything this guy doesn’t do?
2ND PLACE: Nicholas MertzRelay for Life, Stonewall Alliance
3RD PLACE: Jim SecolaChristbridge Ministry, 984 Myrtle Ave., 990-0822
Locally produced food— Regional (Butte/Glenn/Tehama)
1ST PLACE (TIE): Chico Chai teas1919 Park Ave., 897-0822
Sarah Adams launched her company, Chico Chai, over a decade ago and locals caught the chai tea bug—and haven’t let go. Adams makes her loose-leaf and “strong brew” teas in small batches using organic, whole spices. It’s her attention to detail and commitment to quality that sets her teas apart and earned Chico Chai the title of Best Locally Produced Food and Best Farmers’ Market Vendor. Congrats!
1ST PLACE (TIE): Live Life Juice Co. juices220 W. Sixth St., 566-3346
The ladies at Live Life Juice Co., sisters Angelina, Autumn and Abigail Rasmussen, have struck liquid gold with their cold-pressed juices. After launching their company at the Saturday farmers’ market about two years ago, they quickly caught on with locals and earlier this year they parlayed that success into a brick-and-mortar shop, where they serve wellness shots and rotate through about a dozen different juice blends.
3RD PLACE: Lundberg Family Farms rice5311 Midway, Richvale, 538-3500
Farmers' market vendor
1ST PLACE: Chico Chai1919 Park Ave., 897-0822
2ND PLACE: Grub CSA Farm3269 W Sacramento Ave., 680-4543
3RD PLACE: Live Life Juice Co.220 W. Sixth St., 566-3346
1ST PLACE: Sanjay DevMath departments, Butte College and Chico State
Sanjay Dev tied for first place in the Best Instructor/Professor category last year, and this time around he proves his recognition is lasting. Students in Dev’s math classes at Chico State and Butte College rave about his ability to make the subject fun despite its technical nature. His bright smile and infectious positivity are testaments to his love of life, which he also translates to his students.
2ND PLACE: Janet Lombardi-BlixtChico Art School, 336 Broadway, Ste. 20, 570-3895
3RD PLACE: Lori Jean PhippsPreschool teacher, Kids First Learning Center, 2117 Zuni Ave., 321-2784
1ST PLACE (TIE): Rebecca KleinThird grade, Little Chico Creek Elementary, 2090 Amanda Way, 891-3285
Third-grade teacher Rebecca Klein just started her third year teaching and clearly she’s made an impression. “What makes Rebecca special is her amazing connection with her students,” says Little Chico Creek Elementary Principal Kristen Schrock. Students love her for her positive attitude, dedication and commitment to making learning fun. She even painted her car with chalkboard paint, so her students could use it as a canvas!
1ST PLACE (TIE): Jennifer RossovichSecond grade, Hooker Oak Elementary School, 1238 Arbutus Ave., 891-3119
A teacher for Chico Unified School District since 1989, Jennifer Rossovich has seen many changes, but has always been focused on the children. That’s what Hooker Oak Principal Brian Holderman says stands out about the second-grade teacher. Rossovich is known for being a kind and gentle leader, always holding her students to high standards. Students and parents alike recognize her as an excellent teacher, one of three in the Open Structure Program at Hooker Oak.
2ND PLACE: Nicole NyeKindergarten, Chico Country Day School, 102 W. 11th St., 895-2650
Place to pray
1ST PLACE: Bidwell Presbyterian Church208 W. First St., 343-1484
Bidwell Presbyterian Church was founded in Chico nearly 150 years ago and names John and Annie Bidwell among its first members. Today, the church attracts a variety of congregants between its traditional and contemporary services. Just last month, the congregation unanimously selected a new senior pastor, The Rev. Dr. Henry Hansen, who hails from the Bay Area and promises to continue Bidwell Pres’ commitment to ministry and community.
2ND PLACE: Chico New Thought Center for Spiritual Living14 Hillary Lane, 895-8395
3RD PLACE: Bidwell Park
Place to tie the knot
1ST PLACE: White Ranch214 Hagenridge Road, 342-6530
When it comes to the big day, nothing is quite as important as the venue, which brings all the pieces of the puzzle together. Chicoans again voted White Ranch, owned by Tom and Donna White, as the Best Place to Tie the Knot, and it’s easy to see why. Large trees encompass the lush landscape, providing beautiful backdrops for photos and shade for daytime affairs. Who could ask for more?
2ND PLACE: Bidwell Park
3RD PLACE: The Palms2947 Nord Ave., 894-8000
1ST PLACE: Boys & Girls Clubs of the North Valley601 Wall St., 879-5653
With nine locations throughout Butte County that serve more than 2,000 kids and teens, it’s no wonder the Boys & Girls Clubs of the North Valley is voted Best Youth Organization. The clubs offer not only a safe place to play and make friends, but also homework help, mentoring and positive role models for local youth.
2ND PLACE: Chico Area Recreation & Park District (CARD)545 Vallombrosa Ave., 895-4711
3RD PLACE: Youth for Change7200 Skyway, Paradise, 877-8187
1ST PLACE: Mike “G-Ride” GriffithG-Ride Pedi Cab, 354-9885
If you’ve spent any time at all in downtown Chico, you know Mike “G-Ride” Griffith. In fact, you probably know he’s coming before he arrives, as his signature ride, a pedicab, is pimped out with a full stereo that he uses to pump upbeat tunes through the streets. Griffith—along with his loveable pup, Lil’ G—can also be found at many community events, from the Thursday Night Market to the annual Parade of Lights, and he takes genuine joy in making friends, acquaintances and even strangers smile.
2ND PLACE: Linda Watkins-BennettCBS 12 and NBC 24
3RD PLACE: Megan McMannCBS 12 and NBC 24 (formerly)