FWA: The hottest ticket in town


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Family Water Alliance recognized two longtime members of its board of directors at the group’s annual fundraiser on Saturday.  

St. Bernadette’s Hall in Colusa was wall to wall for the annual Hot Cajun Night dinner, where the organization said goodbye to longtime directors Joe Carrancho, who stepped down at the end of 2018, and Cliff Liddy, after years of dedicated service. 

“We’re not just talking about years,” said FWA Chairman Joe Lauwerijssen. “We are talking about, in some cases, decades.” 

Carrancho was a founding member of the organization, which was formed in 1989 by Sue Sutton and Marion Mathis in response to the threat of farmers losing water for crop irrigation. 

“It was just a few of us in the beginning,” Carrancho said. “It’s really gone far, but I think 29 years is long enough.” 

Hot Cajun Night, sponsored by Butte Creek Farms and dozens of local businesses, farms, families, and individuals, is the only fundraising event for the organization, which lobbies on behalf of agriculture, private property rights, and rural communities.  

“We are the push back for the state and federal government,” Lauwerijssen said. “They tend to overstep a lot, which leaves us to push back.” 

Since 1996, Family Water Alliance has also spearheaded research, development, and installation of fish screens on small agricultural diversions, which is a program that could soon end, leaving FWA looking for another long-term revenue stream, Lauwerijssen said

Hundreds of people, a mix of both long-time and new supporters, attended the Cajun-style dinner, where live auction, silent auction, and raffles are the highlights. 

Lisa Kennedy, of Kennedy Couto Farming, held the winning key for the gun safe. Marie Spooner’s famous apple pie drew the single highest bid for dessert, selling for $700. 

After decades in Maxwell, Family Water Alliance has recently relocated its office to the Business and Visitors Center, 2963 Davison Cr, Ste A, Colusa, where operations will continue as usual. 

Longtime supporter Tom Indrieri and Director Ray Davis prepared the dinner. Jerry Maltby served as the auctioneer. ■