Colusa County service groups bouncing back after pandemic hurdles

Frieda Edelmann comes into the rest stop in Meridian for the 100 miler during the 11th annual Flat, Fast and Fun Century Bike Ride on Oct. 10.


The ongoing COVID-19 has altered most ever facet of our typical way of life the past few months and among the many casualties has been the cancelation of several premier community events. 

Many of these events are organized and hosted annually by local service clubs to raise money to give back to the community but charitable causes have taken quite a hit amid the pandemic. These organizations, however, have stayed on track despite the many challenges presented this year and still managed to continue supporting their community. 

Colusa Lions Club

Jim Pingrey, president of the Colusa Lions Club, said the group had to cancel a few of their annual events this year, including their yearly Easter egg hunt and Super 7 dinner, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The beloved community event, “Christmas Tyme in Colusa,” which the club hosts in coordination with the city of Colusa and the Colusa Rotary Club, also had to be canceled due to the pandemic. 

The two largest fundraisers for the group were able to be rescheduled and held with great success, according to Pingrey. 

“We did have the Jim Reading Memorial Golf Tournament on June 26, moved from May 8,” said Pingrey. “We had almost a full field.”

The group also hosted their 11th annual “Flat, Fast and Fun” Century Bike Ride on Saturday, Oct. 10, bringing more than 100 riders from all over the state to participate in one of three course in and around Colusa and Sutter counties. 

“The Golf tournament and 3F Bike ride are our biggest fundraisers,” said Pingrey. “We will probably be at 75 percent of what we usually raise.”

The annual Rubber Duckie Races facilitated by the Club was also able to happen this year. 

While unable to host events and provide services for the community while the shelter-in-place orders were in effect, the club renovated the Scout Cabin in Colusa and now call the location home. 

“We have put in a new floor along with painting the interior among other touch ups,” said Pingrey. 

Friends of the Colusa County Library

For more than 40 years, the Friends of the Colusa County Library have been contributing to the Colusa County Free Library but the pandemic has restricted how the organization is able to raise funds to provide continued support to the five local branches. 

“It began with book sales, then the Bookworm Used Book store was opened in the late 70s, with all proceeds going to the library,” said FCCL member Cindy Pronsolino. “The group was officially started around that time and over the years other fundraisers were added.”

According to Pronsolino, the Friends have established a contribution list that includes money for book collections, magazine subscriptions, a summer library program, the online program called Ebsco, young adult book collections, science and art programs, microfilm materials and equipment as well as other donations for programs and materials as the needs arise.

Pronsolino said prior to the pandemic, the average income for the organization has been $25,000, with an average of $22,000 going directly to the library each year and the remainder used for administrative fees. 

“For 2020, our income was slashed considerably by the pandemic as we were unable to host our wine tasting event and summer concert concessions,” said Pronsolina. “The Bookworm had to shut down for several months, even though we had to continue to pay rent, utilities, and insurance.”

The Friends were able to host a modified version of their wine tasting event in November by partnering with Capay Valley Vineyards to sell and deliver cases of wine. For each case of wine that was purchased from the vineyard during the event, $20 was donated to the FCCL. 

According to Pronsolino, the organization raised $280 dollars during the event and even more funding came in after the organization sent out their annual sponsorship letters. 

“We received donations from our very generous sponsors and we were able to get caught up quite substantially,” said Pronsolino. 

Pronsolino said the organization’s current balance is now up to $22,000, an increase of more than $17,500 from the beginning of October. 

“Our goal each year is to get rid of all the money that we take in by donating to the library,” said Pronsolino. 

Those interested in donating to the Friends of the Colusa County Library can do so at the Bookworm, 440 Market Street, Colusa. The store is open Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m and the second Saturday of each month. Donations can also be mailed to Friends of the Colusa Library, P.O. Box 1105, Colusa, CA  95932.

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