A “Hitch” in Town Plaza Project But Not Derailed

COVID-19 has put a bit of a “hitch” in The Town Plaza project and, we may be a bit sidetracked but we certainly aren’t derailed!

We entered 2020 by identifying Lake Almanor Basin business and property owners who may want to participate in the project by helping secure the property with a cash donation.  With names, pitch letter and business plan ready to share, we were then asked to sequester, and like all communities in the United States, were shut down “until further notice.”  We agreed that the timing to make “the ask” was inappropriate when we had citizens and businesses in the community that needed immediate assistance. As a small community, volunteers switched their efforts to be available and create strategies such as the gift card campaign, the shopping assistance hosted by the Mountain Volunteer Project, etc. to handle the need in our community.

With that said, The Plaza was only put on the back burner – not forgotten.
The campaign to seek those contributors will be going out so we can raise funds to make the down payment for the purchase of the property.  Of course, we would like this to happen sooner rather than later, but we are confident that in time, we will raise the down payment and can call the property, “our own.”

We had hoped to have our first Farmer’s Market in Chester in mid-June but with mandates regarding gathering (and all the other unknowns) the project is on hold. The good news is we have many local vendors as far as Redding interested in participating.  When we get “back on track” for a market, the development committee has considered having the market open on a Thursday evening to encourage people to come into town, retailers to stay open and shoppers to enjoy dinner out.  

Fundraising plans for The Plaza were disrupted as well.  The cookbook, “Lake on a Plate: Seasonal Recipes Celebrating Life at Lake Almanor” has been put on hold for a release date of Memorial Weekend, 2021. We received many great recipes for which we are very appreciative but not enough in all the categories/seasons to create a cookbook that encompassed the title. But we haven’t stopped.  The wonderful volunteers on the committee remain focused on pursuing a wide-variety of recipes in order to create a cookbook that will raise money and be reflective of the wonderful life we live, now more appreciated than ever, at Lake Almanor.
The next event scheduled to raise funds for The Plaza was the Beer Tasting Festival that was scheduled for July 11th.  The initial response was great with many breweries participating . . . and then with the new mandates by Plumas County that too had to be postponed.  We are hoping to host in October and celebrate with an Oktoberfest theme.  Look for more details/date and an opportunity to hoist your beer steins in October as we continue to work on making this event happen for the community.

We continue to be optimistic that our “new normal” will be similar to what we now call “our normal” due to the fact we live in an uncrowded community, with lots of space, i.e. trees and a lake and are isolated just by the locale. So, in keeping a good thought and continuing to wear rose colored glasses, we will keep you posted as The Plaza project and fundraising events continue.

--Katherine E. Sansone, Vice-Chair, Lake Almanor Community Foundation

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