Six County non-profit groups were recipients of 2016 Premier Mushroom Inc. Grants. Representatives from each group accepted the awards on March 1 during the annual Awards Breakfast hosted by Premier Mushrooms Inc. CEO John Ashbaugh.
Recipients included Studio ABC, the Arbuckle-College City Fire District, Safe Haven Drop-in Center, Colusa County Resource Conservation District, Colusa County Free Library, and the Colusa County Food Basket Association. Each group received a $250 award.
For the past five seasons, Premier Mushrooms Inc. has partnered with the Colusa County Chamber of Commerce to provide their locally grown mushrooms for sale at the Colusa Farmers Market. One hundred percent of the mushroom sale proceeds benefit the grant fund designated for distribution among selected non-profit applicants.
In recent years, Market Street Grill has joined the project and sold the mushrooms once weekly as well.
The Colusa Farmers Market’s Farm to Fork Dinner also joined the grant program when it donated a portion of the dinner proceeds to the endowment fund.
Ashbaugh commented that Jennifer Diaz, Colusa Farmers Market manager and coordinator of the Farm to Fork Dinner, was instrumental in a successful grants program this year. “Jennifer does an excellent job with the Market, and the first Farm to Fork dinner was exceptional,” he said.
“Combining the mushroom sales with a portion of the dinner proceeds helped make this year’s grant program even more successful,” Ashbaugh added.
Every Colusa County-based non-profit group is eligible to apply for the grants.
Ashbaugh commented that he and the mushroom farm are pleased to be a part of the Colusa County community. “We believe it is important for businesses here to give back to our community,” he said adding that the grant program is one way that Premier can do that. “We are appreciative the Colusa County Chamber of Commerce, Colusa Farmers Market, Market Street Grill, and the Farm to Fork Dinner committee for their efforts in helping this be a successful project,” he said.
This year’s grant recipients brought various projects for consideration.
Safe Haven Drop-In Center’s award will provide funding for the Center’s continued effort to bring awareness around mental health and reduce stigma within the community through various outreach efforts. Safe Haven is a peer-supported center for individuals who are in recovery, requiring assistance or looking to avoid isolation. Studio ABC is a volunteer-based organization providing arts and crafts to schools in County. The Colusa County Resource Conservation District is spearheading efforts to sustain and expand the Colusa County Grown program. The Colusa County Free Library’s Literacy Program’s grant will support the summer book to movie club reading program. Arbuckle-College City Fire District’s grant will support its fire prevention education programs.
The Colusa County Food Basket Association’s grant will help to continue a project which prepares and distributes about 450 holiday food baskets to Colusa County families in need. ■