Ukiah Farmers Market. Ukiah Ca
Ukiah Farmers Market
August 1, 2016
Conifers In Your Garden. Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens. Fort Bragg CA.
Conifers In Your Garden
August 1, 2016

Beer, Bison & Bluegrass

Beer, Bison and Blugrass. will be the go-to event for coastal residents and visitors, combining top-quality, local brews, eats, entertainment and an added bonus: the event supports one of the Mendocino County’s most important and beloved non-profits, Parents and Friends, Inc. Mendocino CA.

Beer, Bison and Blugrass. will be the go-to event for coastal residents and visitors, combining top-quality, local brews, eats, entertainment and an added bonus: the event supports one of the Mendocino County’s most important and beloved non-profits, Parents and Friends, Inc. Mendocino CA.

Beer Bison & Bluegrass: What Else Could You Want?

The Fourth Annual “Beer, Bison and Bluegrass” in Fort Bragg will be the go-to event for coastal residents and visitors, combining top-quality, local brews, eats, entertainment and an added bonus: the event supports one of the Mendocino County’s most important and beloved non-profits, Parents and Friends, Inc.

Kristy Tanguay, the agency’s Development and Technology Manager, is coordinating the event. “This year, we’re expanding by moving to Eagle Hall in Fort Bragg. The acoustics are wonderful and the Hall offers built-in staging and a wonderful dance floor,” Tanguay explains.

Parents and Friends provides opportunities for people with developmental challenges and similar needs to fully participate in the community. The organization was founded in 1955, when children with developmental disabilities were not regularly enrolled in school. “We started the Paul Bunyan School because Paul could do anything, and continued that theme when we opened our Paul Bunyan Thrift Store,” Tanguay said. Today, Parents and Friends serves approximately 100 individuals and is one of the county’s larger employers, with 125 staff. “We began serving some of our clients as children, and we are still serving them today, 60 years later.”

Multiple programs address unique challenges for disabled clients, and are tailored to their particular aspirations and needs, with the goal of helping people live the life they choose to live. Some folks work for individual employers or in group work settings, with the support of many local businesses including Safeway, Harvest Market and Rite-Aid. Staff work with employers and clients to help enhance client skills—everything from résumé writing to social development.

The majority of individuals served work toward community integration, acquisition of living skills and meeting specific personal goals. The agency’s supported living program enables clients to live in their own homes, shop and attend to social and medical needs. Some clients need minimal support and others require 24-hour care.

The organization’s Learning Garden gives clients opportunities to grow and sell produce at the Fort Bragg Farmer’s Market, underscoring healthy nutrition and employment training. The Paul Bunyan Thrift Store and Furniture Annex provide the public with gently used goods and furniture while providing another client employment site.

“Today, because we know more, medically and as a society, we can do more: helping individuals participate in Special Olympics or other activities, assessing if adaptive technology could improve communication skills, or transitioning someone from a cane to a walker. We now know dementia goes hand-and-hand with Down Syndrome—that our aging clients change as a result of this inevitability, so we’re poised to recognize and respond to their needs. Just like all of us, our clients don’t fit into a single box, so we will never be a ‘cookie cutter’ agency,” Tanguay said.

Program managers have autonomy to run their programs as if they were their own business. Tanguay credits Executive Director Rick Moon for the agency’s success. “Along with Rick’s heart and leadership, we have such a generous, open-minded, inclusive community of donors, employers and volunteer supporters.”

Beer, Bison and Bluegrass features local and regional microbrews from Lagunitas Brewing, Mad River Brewing Company, Mendocino Brewing Company, Lost Coast Brewery and the North Coast Brewing Company.

Mendocino County’s J-Bar-S Ranch is arguably the premiere bison ranch in California. Exclusively grass-fed bison graze on expansive ranchland, are fed no hormones or other additives and are handled and bred far above California livestock standards. “Our fundraiser’s bison burgers use brisket processed at Roundman’s Smoke House to add an extra bit of fat,” says Tanguay. Bison burgers and veggie entrée options are served with all the fixings, locally-grown salad, soft drinks, Cowlick’s Ice Cream and Thanksgiving Coffee.

Two amazing bands will help dance away the calories. The Mendocino Quartet is a group of gifted, veteran musicians who share a deep love of music and a joyous performance style. Prepare to enjoy world-class vocal harmonies and instrumental blends.

David Hayes, acoustic upright bass player and vocalist was a member of the Van Morrison Band for most of the last four decades. He also plays with Jesse Colin Young’s band and Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes. He has played with Ray Charles, Tom Waits, Sheryl Crow, John Lee Hooker, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Solomon Burke, Country Joe McDonald and dozens more, with over 250 recordings to his credit.

Gene Parsons, guitarist, banjo player and vocalist, acclaimed for his work with the Byrds and the Flying Burrito Brothers is also veteran of hundreds of stage and studio performances, playing with Arlo Guthrie, The Rolling Stones, The Everly Brothers, Randy Newman, Sheryl Crow, Vassar Clements and many more well-known artists.

Gwyneth Moreland plays accordion, guitars and vocals. The singer/songwriter has toured the country, featured on shows such as NPR’s Music City Roots. The single on Moreland’s third full-length album, Ceilings Floors and Open Doors debuted on folk charts at #3. Rounding out the quartet, Steven Bates, guitarist, mandolin player and vocalist also fronts the Steven Bates Band, a favorite from Hollywood to Mendocino. He is a veteran of countless studio sessions with producers such as Bill Bottrell and numerous musicians all along the West Coast.

Homegrown bluegrass group Green Fields will open the afternoon with fierce, energetic, original bluegrass, featuring Pook Nation, Paul, Diggler Yañez, Duncan Rossum, Ed “Delights” Welter, Gabe Buddy Yañez and Ranger Steve Jahelka, who sing and play banjo, guitar, mandolin, washboard, bass, drums and fiddle.

Major sponsors for the event include KOZT “The Coast” Radio, J-Bar S Ranch and the North Coast Brewing Company. “Enjoy delicious local food, beer and music, and expect a good time for everyone. We so appreciate seeing the community come out and support this wonderful event,” Tanguay concludes.

The festival will be held from 12:00 to 4:00
at the Eagles Hall,
210 N. Corry Street in Fort Bragg. Discounted designated driver tickets will be available. Tickets will be available online at www.brownpapertickets.com, and locally at Out of this World, Harvest Market and the Paul Bunyan Thrift Store.

For more information visit  www.parentsandfriends.org or phone (707) 357-4927.