October 28, 2021

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Online fundraising concert benefits Big Brothers Big Sisters of the North Coast – Times-Standard

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the North Coast will present an online fundraising concert, “The Big Humboldt Jam,” on Jan. 23 at 7 p.m.

Participating local and national talent include The Duet with Bobby Vega, Pato Banton, George Porter Jr., Object Heavy, Lyndsey Battle, David Starfire and others. This streaming event will be filmed at the historic Eagle House in Eureka.

Tickets start at $15 and raffle tickets are also for sale. Tickets — valid for one week — are available on the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the North Coast website at http://www.ncbbbs.org/events/specialevent.php or through “The Big Humboldt Jam” on Eventbrite.

In addition to raising funds for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the North Coast, the show — presented by FatböL Farms — wraps up National Mentoring Month.

“National Mentoring Month is a month dedicated to celebrating mentoring everywhere,” said Alli Trice, enrollment match support specialist at Big Brothers Big Sisters of the North Coast. “We are so grateful for our mentors and mentees, and mentoring is so essential. It is a month to promote mentoring for our youth.”

“The Big Humboldt Jam” also helps to launch Big Brothers Big Sisters of the North Coast’s annual “Bowl for Kids’ Sake” campaign. The 2021 event, like so many, will be entirely virtual amid the ongoing pandemic.

“With COVID, we have had to get a little creative with fundraising, so we had to step back and think of what we can do to give the community a fun event while also raise money for our agency, all during COVID,” said Trice.

“We have a team of people who are really into music and music events,” she said, “and we have admired how so many festivals and musicians are putting on virtual shows that we can all enjoy from the comfort of our homes.”

She added: “We partnered up with FatböL Farms, and they are talented in many ways — they are musicians as well. Jeromy Lord and Brian Swislow were very eager to support us, and they got us all the musicians through connections and they are sponsoring the event, too. Jeromy is performing with Bobby Vega and Brian is part of Object Heavy, a very fun local band. We received a lot of support from all the musicians, and it has just been so fun.”

David Starfire is known as the “pioneer of the Global Bass genre.” He’ll be part of the upcoming “Big Humboldt Jam” fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the North Coast. (Photo by Jules Kueffer)

Right now, Trice says that most of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the North Coast’s “small but mighty team” is working from home during the COVID-19 health crisis. There have other changes, too, in the past months.

“Outreach for recruitment also looks a lot different since events are not happening and the schools are all closed,” Trice said. “All of our matches have been discouraged from hanging out in person from the very start, so our ‘Bigs’ and ‘Littles’ have been using technology to keep in contact. We developed a Mentoring 2.0 program, which is a virtual mentoring program, too. We have hosted virtual activities for all our matches since the start, too. We know how challenging this time is, so we are just trying to keep everyone entertained and support them the best we could.”

Brian Swislow, an owner/partner with FatböL Farms, says it’s an honor to help out an “ace organization” like Big Brothers Big Sisters of the North Coast.

FatböL Farms, he said, is an extension of the local lifestyle clothing brand, FatböL Clothing Co., and is focused on multiple facets of cannabis — from consultation, to branding, processing and more.

“FatböL Farms has an opportunity to assist in event production, as well as show a positive aspect of cannabis considering the BBBS is dedicated to mentoring children,” he said. “Healing and positivity are crucial to events such as these and to be setting a positive example with this connection feels really good inside.”

He added: “We got involved with ‘The Big Humboldt Jam’ as one of my partners, Jeromy Lord, made the connection after hearing about this upcoming event. We knew we wanted to be involved as soon as we met on this subject. Personally, I enjoy being part of events which include uplifting our community. As a local musician, owner of a locally owned and operated lifestyle clothing brand and no stranger to putting on events, I knew we were a good fit for this event.”

Swislow and the band he’s part of, Object Heavy, are also performing for “The Big Humboldt Jam.”

“Object Heavy is a six-piece band specializing in hard-hitting, uplifting and heartfelt soul music,” he said. “We are based here in Humboldt County and are a regional touring act. We are at the finish line with a new record to be released in the coming months of 2021.”
Object Heavy got involved with the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the North Coast fundraiser because the band “takes great pride in our community,” Swislow said.

“… It was an easy fit,” he said. “We have the opportunity to share our new music with the community at large while finding that it’s extremely important to spread the word about mentoring as we have learned how crucial it is to the development of children.”

Also involved with “The Big Humboldt Jam” is David Starfire, known as the “pioneer of the Global Bass genre.” Starfire has shared the stage with many artists, including direct support for Bassnectar and Skrillex. He has performed at many prominent festivals, including the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and Burning Man. He’s released four albums and eight EPs as well as various singles and remixes. His “Ascend” album reached No. 7 on the iTunes World Music chart.

“I try to support worthy causes and give back whenever I can,” Starfire said. “I’ve worked with several nonprofits in the past with benefit concerts and releases. I’ve been aware of BBBS for years and the work that they do. I feel that one-on-one mentorship is really important and much needed now more than ever.”

For more information about Big Brothers Big Sisters of the North Coast, go to ncbbbs.org.



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