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Fruitvale School fundraiser old-fashioned fun

By: Stephanie Dumm, News Messenger Reporter
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Children and adults alike enjoyed fresh country air and entertainment Sunday night as they helped support Fruitvale School by raising $7,500 during the annual barbecue fundraiser. “I find it remarkable given the economy that we were so successful,” Fruitvale Lyndell Grey said Tuesday. “We’re thrilled.” Grey is the Fruitvale School Association president and the after-school program director. Money raised during Sunday’s school fundraiser “will more than cover insurance for the schoolhouse,” according to Grey. The building was originally used as a schoolhouse and is now used as a meeting place, event venue and after-school program. At least 200 attendees were at the barbecue. Before dinner, students were in the “Busy as Bees” play. Lincoln Mayor Tom Cosgrove played himself. “I consider it quite an honor to be in the play and it demonstrates that our community is larger than the city limits,” Cosgrove said about the fundraiser’s large attendance. The play centered around the school in 1890, with Cosgrove telling the students about a regional spelling bee and encouraging the students to practice for it. “It was really fun and we all got to speak in the play,” said Mark McDonald, 9. Mark “loves everything” about being in the after-school program offered at Fruitvale. “I especially like climbing trees.” Austin Walls, 7, said he likes Fruitvale Village the most. Juliana Walls, his mom and a teacher at the school, said Fruitvale Village is when the kids pretend the school is a village, and each child picks a role like police officer or teacher. “You get to be whatever kind of people you want to be, like one day I was a wrestling coach,” Austin said. After the play, community members tucked into a barbecue dinner of tri-tip, salad, potato salad and dessert, while musicians from the Lincoln area serenaded diners, one of which was William Morebeck. “It’s a community event and we thought we’d provide support for the community,” said William Morebeck, who organized the music. “We love the hall and we wanted to give something back to the community so I invited some of Lincoln’s most talented musicians in Lincoln.” Those musicians included John Bush, Billy Buckman, Kally Pile and Becca Danielson. A number of community leaders were at the fundraiser, including Cosgrove, Diana Burke from Simple Pleasures and Placer County District 2 Supervisor Robert Weygandt. “Lyndell Grey has done a great job with the organization and it’s fun and good to help the Fruitvale Association,” Weygandt said. “The county has changed so much since the time I’ve grown up here so I think it’s important to build on the history. When you see folks trying to hold onto that history, it’s important.” The benefit ended with a celebrity dessert auction, which was led by lively auctioneer Don Derobertis, whose digs at certain audience members had the crowd laughing. “I know how much money is in those pockets but the question is how hard do I want to work to get it,” Derobertis said to Cosgrove while auctioning Weygandt’s lemon-meringue pie. “You have a hole in your pocket. You may want to sew that up because I can see the money sticking out.” Burke’s four-layer chocolate cake was the leader of the pack, netting $1,200 for the school. Second highest dessert were pies by Kim Strong of Kim’s Country Kitchen, which sold for $500.