Thanks to all of our members and friends who attended our 25th Anniversary Gala on October 10. The event drew a lively crowd, including some of our founding members, others who’ve just learned of our organization, and a few elected officials. Held at Karmere Vineyards & Winery on a perfect autumn evening, guests enjoyed sunset views of the Shenandoah Valley, delicious food and drink, music, and more.
More than 120 people attended, including some who came from as far as Bishop and Quincy to celebrate our 25 years of accomplishments. The event was especially festive with the announcement that Gov. Jerry Brown had signed Assembly Bill 142 the previous day. The bill requires a study of state Wild and Scenic River designation for the upper Mokelumne River and names the river in state law as a potential addition to the state’s protected rivers system.
Special guest speaker Martha Davis inspired us with her comments on the critical role local people play in the restoration of Sierra headwaters and the importance of focusing on resiliency in the face of climate change. Martha is the former Executive Director of the Mono Lake Committee, where she ran the successful campaign to save Mono Lake. A California water expert, she is currently the Executive Manager of Policy Development for the Inland Empire Utilities Agency.
As a nod to our early potluck dinners, which included tabouli, Lucy’s Spice Box of Volcano created a delectable spread of quinoa and heirloom-tomato tabouli and other delicious Mediterranean-inspired dishes. Fine Amador County wines donated by Karmere, Drytown Cellars, and Damas Vineyards and Lagunitas craft beers were a wonderful complement to Lucy’s food. Guests danced to music by guitarist-vocalist Herb Boxhorn, bassist Joe Bellamy and saxophonist Klaudi Promessi as the sun set over the valley. River Reflections musicians Adam Gottlieb and Meghan “Mojo” O’Keefe gave special performances of their moving Mokelumne River pieces.
“It was a great crowd and a really fun event,” said Foothill Conservancy President Katherine Evatt. “Founding members attending included Dr. Bob Hartmann, Marta Brady Johnson, Pete Bell, Mel Welsh, Susan Bragstad and Steve Wilensky. We were delighted to share our celebration with folks we’ve worked with around the Sierra and in the East Bay, too.”
Foothill Conservancy was founded by local residents in 1989 in response to concerns about threats to local quality of life and the Mokelumne River. It has been run by locals ever since. The organization was incorporated and received its nonprofit status in 1990. Since then, we have become the leading voice for upper Mokelumne River conservation in the state and achieved a number of significant successes in land use, community development, and river conservation and protection. None of our accomplishments would be possible without the support of our members throughout our 25-year history.
Our 25th Anniversary Gala was made possible by the generous donations of the following sponsors: Karmere Winery; Ned and Emily Taylor; Lucy’s Spice Box; Shute, Mihaly and Weinberger LLP; East Bay Municipal Utility District; Bob and Paula Leitzell; Lynn Morgan and Pat Minyard; Restaurant Taste and Hotel Rest; Adventure Connection; Bob Hartmann and Mel Welsh; Friends of the River; West-haven Longhorn Ranch; Denise Schank of Village Real Estate; The Garvey Family; Kit Carson Lodge; Hotel Leger; Randy Kanouse; and Richard Weiss. Please thank them and let them know you appreciate their support.