Annual community grants awarded



For many Colusa County non-profit groups, $250 goes a long way.

That is why Premier Mushroom Inc. teams up with the Colusa County Chamber of Commerce each year to put the money raised from the sale of mushrooms at the Colusa Certified Farmers Market to good use.

Premier Mushrooms Inc. CEO John Ashbaugh and Farmers Market Coordinator Jennifer Diaz awarded a total of $3,000 to 11 Colusa County non-profit groups this year.

“The way this works is we donate the mushrooms to the Chamber, and Jennifer is gracious enough to sell them at the Farmers Market. The proceeds from that and the Farm-to-Fork dinner she started (generate) all the money that we are giving back,” Ashbaugh said.

The grant program was started in 2010, and all non-profit organizations are eligible to apply for funding, Diaz said.

“We love being involved in Colusa and the community. We try to get involved in as many things as we can.”

More than a half dozen representatives of the non-profits groups receiving grants this year attended a breakfast held Feb. 7 at the Colusa County Visitor’s Center, including those from Arbuckle-College City Fire Protection District, Stonyford Museum, Colusa County Resource Conservation District, Studio ABC, Colusa Flyway Quilters, Colusa County Literacy Program, Eleanor Azevedo YES Program, and Stagehands Theatre.

Tom Robinson, assistant chief of the volunteer firefighters, said his grant would be used for flyers, stickers, and toy fire helmets for his fire prevention classes for children, held annually in October during National Fire Prevention Week.

“Doing it for 18 years at the fire department, I’ve done this for roughly 7,500 kids,” Robinson said.

Lora Weekes, of Stagehands, said she plans to use the grant money for their next youth production of “Hansel and Gretel.”

The other representatives said the grants would come in handy for their causes, all of which benefit the community in some way.

Following the breakfast, Chamber of Commerce Director Nancy Newlin said Premier Mushroom and the grant program are tremendous assets to Colusa County.

“It is such an impact on our community,” Newlin said. “Both (Ashbaugh) and (Diaz) are involved in so many things. The Chamber tries to reach out in a lot of different places, but (they) make it easy to bring a bright, shiny light into our community.” ■

Susan Meeker is the Editor and Reporter for the Pioneer Review. She started her position with the Pioneer Review in January 2017 as the Advertising Manager. Susan specializes in local crime, government reporting. She also loves covering the various topics and events in our county. You can send her a message at