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Chester 2019 Year in Review

Jan. 9

As many victims of the Camp Fire are finding a new beginning in the Lake Almanor Basin the community is stepping up to help them make the transition.

There probably isn’t an individual in our community that hasn’t met someone affected by the fire that raged through the Paradise, Concow and Magalia areas.

With an estimated 250-300 evacuees coming into the area shortly after the fire started the Lake Almanor Area Chamber of Commerce board of directors realized there was going to be a massive need for emergency “right now” assistance.

March 6

As part of the 90th anniversary celebration of Chester Library, Joan Sayre, Marilyn Quadrio and Marilyn Ornbaun of the ChesterLake Almanor Museum created an exhibit inside the Chester Library depicting the history of the library and Chester’s first librarian, Catherine (Katie) May Clarke Stover, Ornbaun’s great aunt.

March 7

Chester Rotary celebrates the birthday of Theodor Seuss Geisel, more commonly known as “Dr. Seuss” as part of the annual “Read across America” program.

Dr, Seuss was born on March 2, 1904, and became well known as an American children’s book author, political cartoonist and animator.

March 20

It’s that time of the year once again for the Chester Volunteer Firefighters Association’s all-you-can-eat spaghetti feed and raffle drawing fundraising drive.

March 27

The Lake Almanor Elks held their traditional St. Patrick’s Day Dinner fundraiser at the Elks Lodge, Sunday, March 17 to support the Elks’ mission to raise money for community programs that members sponsor during the year.

The entrée is aligned with the festive Irish holiday, and featured corned beef, cabbage, potatoes and carrots, raisin bread, plus cookies for dessert.

April 3

Separate grade levels were represented on stage at the Chester Elementary School talent show and fundraiser March 15, with first- to sixth-graders performing a variety of acts from contemporary song and dance, to gymnastics, playacting and a few hard to describe, but amusing acts in-between.

April 10

Sponsored by the Lake Almanor Elks Lodge No. 2626, the Chester Elementary School “Hoop Shoot” contestants and their families gathered for a spaghetti dinner at the Elks Lodge in Chester March 26, where the winners received trophies for their participation in the basketball free throw contest.

April 17

Aimee Heaney, Mental Health Services Act coordinator for Plumas County Behavioral Health, hosted a MHSA stakeholder community meeting and dinner April 2 in the conference room at the Chester Wellness Center, to elicit community input on MHSA services and programs.

A large turnout of interested community members and retirees were in attendance at the gathering, including representatives from Seneca Healthcare District, Behavioral Health Commission members, Chester Wellness Center employees, local teachers, Lake Almanor Area Chamber board members, along with mental health professionals and other stakeholders.

April 24

Jane Austen, one of England’s foremost novelists, was considered a preeminent literary talent. So it was fitting that the first annual “A Jane Austen Tea,” hosted by The Friends of Chester Library April 13, celebrated her memory with a fundraiser.

Hosted by HYPERLINK “https://www.facebook.com/ChesterFire/?eid=ARBoRvyG_cKBW18gNlLPUlljiyQji9GoBPLFpE0D0Z59tQTcvo7rqTv7ADAfJ3Kg7Sprty3OU5XVpej6″Chester Fire, the Chester Firewise Committee invites Chester residents to join the Wildfire Community Preparedness Day event scheduled Saturday, May 4.

Learn how to create a defensible space around your home to help avoid a tragedy like the one in the town of Paradise this past year, when a fire swept through the subdivision unexpectedly and extremely rapidly, destroying thousands of homes and taking the life of at least 83 people.

May 1

Hosted by Mt. Lassen Community Church, the 2019 EGGstravanganza Easter Carnival was filled with energized kids revved up and ready to collect a myriad of colored Easter eggs strewn out on the lawn and playground area in Chester Park on April 21.

The entire Chester Elementary School student body assembled in the school’s gymnasium April 5 to take on a “Kindness Challenge,” where they welcomed Think Kindness founder Brian Williams, the Kindness Ninja, so named given his 4th degree black belt in martial arts.

May 8

It couldn’t have been a more beautiful day for the 2019 Chester Little League opening ceremonies at Chester Park April 27.

With 13 teams consisting of 134 team members, along with their families, coaches and attendees from the community all excited to see the little league season underway, everyone was eager for the start of play.

May 15

The Chester Community Chorus is in full swing for its spring concert under the direction of Jane Brown who also directs the Reno Pops Orchestra, performing at the United Methodist Church in Chester.

The Chester Youth Wrestling team took part in the Chester Youth Wrestling Tournament with more than a dozen other schools inside Chester High School’s Adamson Gymnasium.

The six-hour tourney consisted of teams of the Mountain Wrestling League, which includes Chester, Fall River, Burney, Modoc, Bieber, and team members from a number of other schools.

A team of volunteers worked to clear brush and debris from two Chester homes on Saturday, May 4 as part of the Wildfire Community Preparedness Day.

May 29

The Almanor Fishing Association’s third annual Veteran’s Fishing Day is promising to be bigger and better than what was imagined when it first began.

What began as a few guides and fishermen taking some veterans fishing for a day has evolved to include co-partners Field of Dreams, California Fish & Wildlife, USFS, PG&E, Chester Elks Lodge, Blue Star Moms and Lake Almanor Country Club, along with more guides and volunteer fishermen.

June 5

The Lake Almanor Elks Scholarship Committee hosted a dinner and celebration May 28 in recognition of seven scholarship recipients who showed high academic achievement during the past school year, including Chloe Monday, Ashlyn Olah, Faith Clarke, Zoe Utterback, Claudia Herman, Brenah Delacour and Annika Bengaard.

The students named attend Chester High, Westwood High and Plumas Charter School.

For more than 40 years the American Legion “Harry Doble Post 664” has hosted Memorial Day services to honor all those men and women that have given their lives defending the freedoms we enjoy in America.

On Monday, May 27, well over a hundred Lake Almanor area residents braved the impending weather forecasts to join the Legionnaires’ in remembering those fallen comrades.

June 12

The Canyon Dam Boat Launch was a very busy place on Saturday, June 1.

The very first Chester Kids Fish Fair and Fishing Derby kicked off that day at 8 a.m. and within an hour or so had grown to 109 registered participants close to an equal number of adults watching them endeavor to hook one of the 8,000 trout that were delivered for the occasion.

July 3

A sizable crowd of beer lovers showed to wet their whistles in the early afternoon hours for the 15th annual A Few Brews & A Banjo revelry June 22 for music and beer tasting alongside the North Fork of the Feather River in scenic Chester Park.

Sponsored by Plumas Arts in Quincy, the popular happening has raised funds to benefit music and arts programs at Chester schools since 2004.

Target shooters are always welcome to participate with members of the Westwood Rifle & Pistol Club at the Al Hoop gun range in Plumas County. Membership is not a requirement and not just Westwood residents are invited as the name of the organization suggests.

Now in its 55th year, the competition is always friendly during scheduled club events, including weekly shotgun, rifle and pistol target shooting.

July 10

Several hundred runners converged west of town at the new race location at Stover Mountain Road to compete for medals and bragging rights at the 40th annual Chester Classic Fourth of July Fun Run and Walk.

July 17

The Almanor Fishing Association will be hosted its 27th annual Family BBQ and Fundraiser on Saturday, July 27, from 4 to 9 p.m., at the Lake Almanor Country Club Rec. 1 Picnic Area.

The dinner menu included their traditional New York steaks dinner for a $20 donation or a Hot Dog dinner for $10 and tickets were sold out very quickly. Both dinner meals include beans, salad, French bread and cookies.

The Feather River Land Trust teamed up with Chester Elementary K-6 students and teachers, along with retired teachers, volunteers and local fisheries biologists, as students sifted through sediment, mud, and river water May 24 and again in early June looking for benthic (an ecological region at the lowest level of a body of water such as a lake or stream) macro-invertebrates.

Aug. 7

Celebrating the transfer of Humbug Valley (Tásmam Kojóm in the Maidu language) later this year — and soon other parcels of ancestral lands around Lake Almanor next year — back to the Maidu Summit Consortium and the Mountain Maidu people after a long 16-year process, the 2019 Friends of Humbug Valley Gathering and potluck at Yellow Creek Campground may have been the most attended gathering yet.

The July 27 potluck was a perfect example of the long-standing tradition of the Maidu reaching out to the wider community, and of their hospitality and inclusion.

Aug. 14

The Collins Pine Museum was constructed to look like a miniature version of the sawmill that was operated by Collins Pine Company in Chester from 1943 to 2002, after which a new state-of-the-art sawmill replaced the original in 2003.

Terry Collins, co-owner of the sawmill, board member and museum curator, said the purpose of the Collins Pine Museum is to develop exhibits on lumbering, forestry and principles of sustainability.

Sept. 4

Marathoners converged on Plumas Pines Resort in Canyon Dam on Aug. 24 to compete in the fifth annual 2019 Courage Triathlon fundraising event hosted by Courage Worldwide, a nonprofit founded by CEO Jenny Williamson to help house teen girls 18 years of age and young female adults who have been sexually abused through the sex trafficking trade.

The triathlon featured a 14-mile loop encompassing a 2.8-mile run, followed by a 7.1-mile bike ride, and ending with a final leg that consisted of a 4.1-mile kayak paddle along the west shore of Lake Almanor, and then a short sprint back to Plumas Pines where the crowd of spectators cheered the athletes as they crossed the finish line.

Sept. 11

As part of its efforts to prepare customers and communities for the growing threat of wildfire, Pacific Gas and Electric Company has launched a robust HYPERLINK “https://www.pge.com/en_US/safety/emergency-preparedness/natural-disaster/wildfires/psps-weather-map.page?WT.mc_id=Vanity_weather”weather webpage on pge.com, providing detailed, localized forecasts; a seven-day, look-ahead regional forecast updated daily by a PG&E meteorologist that indicates the potential need to call a Public Safety Power Shutoff should high gusty winds and dry conditions, combined with a heightened fire risk, threaten a portion of the electric system.

Sept 18

After a 16-year long process, the transfer of Humbug Valley (Tásmam Kojóm in the Maidu language), consisting of 2,325 pristine acres of meadows, year-round streams and natural springs in the Sierra Nevada wilderness, has finally been finalized and returned back to the Maidu Summit Consortium and the Mountain Maidu people.

Sept. 25

This year’s 33rd annual Street Rod Extravaganza classic car show, sponsored by the Almanor Recreation and Park District and organized by ARPD board member Gage Wade, was held in Chester Community Park on Sept. 14 next to the North Fork of the Feather River.

One of the most popular events of the summer season, the Extravaganza provided an opportunity for car enthusiasts to display their beloved vintage hot rods and classic automobiles to fellow aficionados and, just as importantly, to mingle with friends and neighbors.

Sept. 28

The morning was cool and clear — perfect weather for the 22nd annual Randy Fossum Memorial “Wheel Around Lake Almanor” bike ride held Sept. 15 in downtown Chester, sponsored by the Lake Almanor Elks Lodge no. 2626 to raise funds for those in our community that need monetary support to help them through hard times when an unexpected injury or serious illness strikes.

Oct. 23

Many in the Chester community and a few from beyond its borders showed up to intermingle with fire personnel at Chester Fire Department’s open house invitational in conjunction with National Fire Prevention Week on Oct. 12 to forge an increase in fire awareness and prevention.

Particularly relevant in the North State where wildfires are all too prevalent, the 2019 theme for National Fire Prevention Week is “Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice Your Escape!”

Oct. 30

Approximately 17 miles east of the town of Chester, a yellow school bus pulls off into “The Chimney” turnout where it dislodges its cargo of eager students from Chester and Westwood schools for an outdoor excursion to plant hundreds of willow branches along the Goodrich Creek stream bank in Lassen County.

The project is part of the Students and Teachers Restoring a Watershed (STRAW) program, a collaborative effort of K-12 students and teachers leading their communities to restore and enhance local ecosystems by participating in habitat restoration activities.

Nov. 20

For the seventh consecutive year the Lake Almanor Area Chamber of Commerce, in conjunction with several community groups, hosted a tribute to veterans with the lighting of the Chester Community Tree.

  This event is always celebrated on the Saturday of Veterans Day weekend with the intent of honoring veterans, both past and those currently on active duty as well as bring the community together to celebrate a season of “… peace on earth and good will toward men.”

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