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As part of my fundraising efforts for our local broadband advocacy group, the Redwood Technology Consortium, I coordinated public relations activities. The following newspaper announcement was published to raise awareness of our scholarship fundraising event, Humboldt Wired.

Humboldt Wired:
A delicious way to support our youth

Fundraising events seem to be a way of life in Humboldt County, thanks to our generous and community-minded residents. And now, for the second year in a row, the Redwood Technology Consortium is pleased to continue with its own unique, free fundraiser, “Humboldt Wired” a coffee brew-off and silent auction which will take place on Saturday May 1st from 10 am to 3 pm., during the group’s annual Technology Expo at Redwood Acres.

Bringing together coffee, art and technology, this event is how RTC raises money for its scholarship fund. All proceeds from Wired will benefit one or more local graduating high school seniors who will study at College of the Redwoods or Humboldt State University in the fall, depending on the amount of cash we raise. Last year, we had a wonderful response and we hope to do even better this year.

What do coffee and technology have to do with each other? Well, everything! Coffee is a way of life for most tech workers. Just ask any programmer how she or he gets through writing hundreds of lines of code, and they’ll almost certainly reply, “caffeine!”

At Wired, you don’t have to be a techie to sample over 21 different types of coffees from local roasters. Volunteers will be handing out samples to attendees, and a blind taste test will determine what local companies brew the best “Light or Medium Roast,” “Dark Roast” and “Blend” coffees. Companies participating include: Ramones, Humboldt Bay Coffee, Signature, Pip’s, Has Beans and Muddy Waters. Winners will be announced at 2pm.

And what goes best with coffee, but chocolate? Thanks to Old Town Coffee and Chocolates, you can sample a variety of treats and other snacks in between sips. While munching, you can browse and place your bid on a variety of unique auction items ranging from a gift certificate from Arcata’s Simply Macintosh, to artwork by local artists.

Last year Humboldt Wired benefited a local student, Amy Brewer, who was active in Eureka High’s EAST Lab and the first member of her family to attend college. EAST (Environmental and Spatial Technology) is a cutting-edge, unique academic program that gives students like Amy the opportunity to develop the technology tools they need to compete in the real world. Working with local businesses and governments, students utilize the latest technologies to solve problems around Humboldt County. RTC hopes that its “Wired” scholarship fund will encourage more students to continue working with the latest technology tools in their studies and careers.

Scholarship applicants are required to write an essay about how they envision technology benefiting the North Coast in their lifetimes. This year’s winner will be announced at Tech Expo, and their winning essay will be published in this column in the coming weeks. Stay tuned to find out who won by read their winning essay!

And in a last minute appeal to generous readers, although “Humboldt Wired” is just under two weeks away, it’s not too late to donate cash or auction items. Any amounts or items will do! If you are interested, please visit the TECH EXPO page, and click on the Humboldt Wired banner ad.

Rene Agredano is this year’s Humboldt Wired organizer and principal of Agreda Communications, a local provider of promotional, retail, exhibit and presentation solutions.

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