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Occidental Oriented by Gino Gaffney

Plenty to Be Thankful For 

Nov 30, 2018

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Hello to all, and happy December to you. I hope your Thanksgiving was great and the end of year holidays and festivities go smoothly and bring everyone happily into the new year.

Though the smoke and sadness from Butte still hangs heavy in the air and in my heart, rain is finally here and I am finding plenty to be thankful for myself.

Democrats took back the house, Measure M passed and Prop. 6 did not. I am hopeful that the divided congress can come together on some bi-partisan issues, happy that our local parks have a dedicated source of funding, and relieved that transportation infrastructure improvements throughout the state will continue to be funded.

Locally I attended a couple of events recently that were quite fun and from the looks of things successful fund-raising efforts. 

The Bodega Land Trust held their annual dinner and my Mom and I attended for the first time. The place was packed, food tasty, auction items aplenty. I ran into many people I knew, some expected some not and made some new acquaintances as well. 

Camp Meeker Fire Department hosted a bbq and bingo evening that was a real hoot. The bbq was great, and the bingo was real fun. I hadn’t played bingo in years. I took home a whole home-made bundt cake at the end of the night for a real deal as they had too many desserts. I also took home numerous raffle prizes which included Lagunitas beer, pint glasses and tee-shirt, a nice beverage dispenser and a gift certificate to a bike shop. 

I bring up these events in the past because they will come around again, and there are many other similar events throughout the year around West County. I encourage you, dear reader to make an appearance at any & all. Attending events such as these is one of my favorite things to do locally. They are fun, you get to commune with your neighbors and raise money for good causes and you get a tasty meal in the process. Plus, you generally have pretty good odds at taking home some cool schwag! Kudos to all who made these particular events happen and to those engaged in creating the next ones down the line – count me in.

Speaking of events, December brings quite a few of them to Occidental. 

The first is the return of the Occidental Community Choir, celebrating their 40th anniversary this year. They will be performing at the Arts Center Nov. 30th and Dec. 1st at 8pm, Dec. 2nd at 3pm, Dec. 8th at 8pm and on Sunday Dec. 9th at the Glaser Center in Santa Rosa at 3pm.

The Holiday Crafts Faire returns on December 8th and 9th. Saturday hours are 10-5 and Sunday 10-4. There are a lot of new vendors this year that I’m excited to see, with many favorites from years past returning as well. Let the smell of fresh popped popcorn welcome you in the door, say hi to Santa who should be making an appearance both days. Buy some tickets for the always amazing bucket raffle, purchase some tasty lunch or scrumptious baked goods. Early afternoon Sunday there will be a performance by the local ukulele club which is quite fun. Funds raised over the weekend go to the Occidental Community Council which helps to fund the unmet needs of the Occidental Community.

December 8th there are also some fun holiday themed goings on up in the middle of town. Starting at 4pm there will be a community sing along at one of the churches in town. I apologize for not knowing which one, but seeing as how there are only 2 arriving a little early and strolling through town if you chose the wrong one first doesn’t sound like too bad a thing to me. Also, keep your eyes out for the fliers around town. At 5:30 there will be a tree-lighting ceremony in front of the Bohemian market. 

Come to town for the Crafts Faire and grab some lunch, go check out the shops around town and participate in the sing along and tree-lighting. Then grab some dinner from any of the great establishments and stick around for the choir concert. Sounds like a wonderfully full day to me.

I hope to see ya’ll around. As always let me know if you have anything you’d like included in a future column and in the meantime happy holidays!

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