Non-profit radio station KVMR 89.5 FM's annual Music Sale is shaping up as quite the downtown Grass Valley party this weekend, but it's got a real good cause in mind.
That's because 50% of all sales will be donated to fire relief causes.
"We all know that we live in a fire risk area and when the unthinkable happens, there's the desire to help our community members in every way possible," according to KVMR General Manager Julie Chiarelli.
"Whether we're providing emergency information on air or manning office phones to answer questions or sharing the proceeds of a fundraising event, we're all committed to helping our neighbors," she adds. "KVMR's mission is focused on community and it just plain makes sense to share what we can with those in need."
But wait, it's a downtown Grass Valley party for a Nevada City radio station?
"It's a music sale that's grown so large we had to move it to the heart of a bigger city," quips the station's Program Director Steve Baker.
In fact, it'll be taking place both Saturday and Sunday at 138 Mill Street at Bank Street, downtown Grass Valley, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. That's the former location of
Future Generations with the old Owl Grill nearby.
"We decided to look for an empty storefront this year so we could have higher visibility the day of the sale and have more time and space to sort through all those boxes and bags of donations," explains Chiarelli. "We looked in both Nevada City and Grass Valley and were grateful to find a perfect space on Mill Street for us to peddle our abundant collection."
And then they turned to KVMR's 28-year-old Music Director, Sean Dooley-Miller, to make it fun. Of course, he was all smiles just thinking of making his office again an office, instead of a music storage space.
That's because dozens and dozens of listeners and community members dropped off box after box of donated albums for the sale. Thousands and thousands of CDs, LPs, 45s, collectibles and rarities are among the offering..
KVMR will use part of its share of the sale to supplement its music library with new or rare albums not supplied by music companies, replacement albums for those gone missing and some classic albums the station simply does not have in its 35,000 CD and digital libraries.
"I see it (the music sale location) as a pop-up record store," Dooley-Miller says. "It's like we're there for two days and then we're gone."
In his youth, Dooley-Miller was a fan of record stores -- just a few like Ron's Records and Clocktower Records survive locally.
"I really feel sad about the demise of actually going out and buying physical media," he notes. "The atmosphere and culture that surrounded record and CD stores , well, that kind of comraderie can't be generated by streaming media."
WHAT HE MISSES
Sean misses simply asking a record store employe for recommendations "making more of a time investment in discovering, in our case both new and classic albums."
"So our music sale is an annual gathering for our listeners and our community to share their love for music together"
He's adding a few wrinkles to make the two-day experience more fun, including:
--Anyone who comes in costume gets a discount.
--Trick-or-treaters will get treated to candy.
--KVMR and KVMRx show hosts will "be spinning" vinyl throughout the day
--By maybe 3 p.m. Sunday, remaining vinyl may be going for literally pennies each.
"This year, we're raising awareness of fire relief and raising money for it with each customer and sale," according to Dooley-Miller. "You see, music in a whole lot of ways heals us."
KNOW & GO
WHO: KVMR 89.5 FM Radio
WHAT: Annual Record Sale benefiting Fire Relief
WHEN: Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 28-29
WHERE: 138 Mill Street at Bank Street (former home of Future Generations), downtown Grass Valley
ADMISSION: Free, with 50% of all sales going to Fire Relief
INFO: 265-9073 or kvmr.org
DRIVE NETS $74K
KVMR's on-air fall membership drive drew 600 pledges totaling over $74,000, the largest on-air total since 2011.
The final figure was fueled by last Saturday's total of nearly $22,400. It was the strongest Saturday, usually the Nevada City station's top fundraising day, in 10 years, according to station officials.
"I think last week's rain invigorated people and made them feel better about donating," notes KVMR Membership Coordinator Adriana Kelly.
Over 100 new members -- or 17% of those donating -- joined the station during its "Keeping It Real"-themed drive.