Local businesses, public safety personnel hold fundraiser for hurricane victims

Two Colusa County businesses, along with a host of public safety staff from the Cities of Williams and Colusa and a handful of volunteers, are doing their part to help the victims of the hurricanes that have recently rocked eastern Texas and Florida.

Granzella’s and Rocco’s Bar & Grill cooked up heaps of spaghetti on Monday in an effort to raise funds to assist those affected by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma.

“Dino McCarty, from Granzella’s, approached me about this. He kind of spearheaded the whole thing,” said Rocco’s co-owner Don Litchfield. “It sounded like a great idea, and we all tagged along. It’s kind of a county-wide deal. We just want to help out in any way we can, and I think it’s great to do it as a community, because it brings us all together. No one wants any credit for it really, we just want to do it.”

The idea was a spaghetti dinner fundraiser, for which Rocco’s and Granzella’s would do the cooking. The other half of the equation was the local fire departments in Williams and Colusa, which would serve as distribution points, staffed by both paid and volunteer firefighters, along with police officers and other volunteers.

“It came about at the Colusa County Fire Chief Association meeting, and local businesses wanting to sponsor it, help out, and do something to help out Texas,” said Colusa City Fire Chief Logan Conley. “We felt that it was something we could help with, as far as a fundraiser and donating actual money towards relief efforts.”

On Monday evening, plates of spaghetti were flying out of the Colusa City Fire Department. As of about 6:15 PM, between 250 and 300 dinners had been sold.

“The first 20 minutes, we went through about 150,” Conley said. “So we got lined up pretty good.”

Among the people grabbing a bite at the fundraiser’s Colusa location were Colusa residents Ray and Donna Krause, who walked the block and a half from their home to grab a plate of spaghetti. It was a win-win for the Krause’s, who got a night off from cooking while also supporting a good cause, Donna Krause said.

At $10 per plate, the Colusa location had raised between $2,500 to $3,000 as of 6:30 PM, and Conley said he expected Williams was doing as well, if not better.

“I think it sends a good message to the community,” said Conley. “The County Fire Chief’s Association, they haven’t had fundraisers as a whole county, at least not very often since I’ve been here. To show support, with all of us coming together, and all the local businesses – Rocco’s cooking the food here and Granzella’s cooking over in Williams – I think it shows that when people are in need, we’ll all come together and not worry about the small-town politics.”

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Brian Pearson is the Managing Editor & Reporter for the Williams Pioneer Review. Brian joined the Williams Pioneer Review in June 2016 and is committed to bringing hyperlocal news to its readers. A few of his projects include reporting on local government and the newly feature sports page. To contact Brian about this article, or for future articles, please email him at brian@colusacountynews.net