Over the years a lot of movies and books I have read changed how I think or look at things in life. For example the classic book The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair, detailing how the immigrants in the stockyards of Chicago were exploited to films like Food, Inc., which highlights the unethical practices of Monsanto. The arts have a way of delivering the message and making sure it really hits home.
The latest title to add to that group would have to be Northern Grease by Beyond Boarding. Two things really stuck with me after watching the film… First, if we don’t make changes immediately, the beautiful wild places we live and play won’t be around for future generations. Second, together as a community we can make big changes and anything is possible.
It was the second statement that fueled our fire. It inspired us to do something…to get involved. So the question was how. Since we aren’t the authorities on the environment or conservation we knew we needed help. Two can make a difference, but we wanted to go bigger, so we enlisted help from the local experts – the League to Save Lake Tahoe.
The plan was coming together. The film, the experts and now the only thing missing was the task force. What better way to rally the troops than to invite the whole Lake Tahoe community out to socialize, hang out and have fun.
Himmel Haus – Opening Night
Our first stop on the tour was an intimate gathering at the Himmel Haus. Located just across the street from the California Lodge for Heavenly Ski Resort this was a perfect location. On a cold evening which reminded us winter was fast approaching, the Northern Grease – Tahoe Film Tour began. Their staff made sure everything was in order as we began presenting to the crowd. The support from Himmel Haus couldn’t have been better. They even put on a beer special so every featured beer purchased were funds to be donated to the League to Save Lake Tahoe and Beyond Boarding. The crew from Shoreline of Tahoe even came out to show their support along with providing swag like fresh t-shirts hot off the press! After a brief introduction, we turned it over to Seth from the League to Save Lake Tahoe to talk about environmental impacts around the lake, community involvement and how to give back.
Next, a quick story of local legend Mike Basich on how he made personal changes in his life to live more in harmony with the environment. To follow up his intro we rolled Mike’s segment from last years hit snow sport environmental awareness film the Little Things by Darcy Turenne. He takes us inside his life for a personal and emotional look at going of the grid and living in a tiny house. Finally, the feature. After researching the movie and seeing all the awards this film needs no further praise and it definitely lives up to the hype. It delves deep into the emotional and environmental aspects which affect the societies that surround natural resource extraction. I have to say after seeing what lies we are being sold on and what is happening to communities and natural resources was really awakening. If it hadn’t been for the crowd of like minded people in attendance to get onboard for the cause, I might have lost hope in humanity. Throughout the movie the Beyond Boarding crew showed tremendous bravery and in the end good trumped evil…my faith was restored!
Overall the first leg of the tour was a success! All in attendance gained knowledge, swag, a new friend (or two) and some even won a prize!
The Chateau at Incline Village
No rest for the righteous! The next night we headed north to Incline Village. On this stop, we got huge support from Alibi Ale Works as they donated two kegs of the their delicious beer and for everyone purchased funds went directly to the cause.
Incline Village was in full effect! Diamond Peak was represented which got the locals amped for the season. A true all ages show from the young at heart to the youth it was a packed house. I was great to see so many people willing to learn and ready to make a difference. By the end of the film it was evident, Northern Grease had made the same impact on the crowd that it had on us. After closing comments, many approached us asking how to get involved. It was refreshing to see the youth on hand so full of energy and so eager to take part. We got them started right away by drawing and announcing the raffle prize winners! It was a blast.
Incline Village was really onboard. The chance to spread awareness and engage people for the cause didn’t stop at the Chateau. After the show Dr. Ben Solomon offered us a chance to tour his “net zero” home and show the film to his environmental science students at Sierra Nevada College. This group of bright young people really absorb the message and gave it some thought. I am sure some day we will see one of their faces providing new and ground breaking techniques on the road to creating a sustainable future.
Tahoe Art Haus & Cinema
For anyone that has put on an event or played sports the last stop is always bitter sweet. It’s great to see all this blood, sweat, and tears come to fruition but it also means the end. You are excited that it is finished but at the same time there is a little bit of melancholy feeling that it is over. Since it was the end, we had to go out in style. It was only fitting to have the last stop in Tahoe City at the Tahoe Art Haus & Cinema. At the final leg, Northern Grease would be playing on the silver screen in a movie theater. We had to go out big and our sponsors really went that extra mile to draw a crowd and get our message out there. Sierra-at-Tahoe made sure everyone in the crowd received an early season lift ticket. Even given short notice, Nature’s Bakery really delivered as well. Each patron was treated to one their blueberry and one mango fig bars.
As the crowd filed into the auditorium everyone began to mingle and checkout the raffle items. Chris and Sherry from the League to Save Lake Tahoe set their display up front and center to great and educate all as they arrived. We weren’t done yet though. What better way to kick off a grand finale than with a local legend? Mike Basich came out in person to share how he was able to go off the grid and live environmentally inspired. He even brought out copies of his newest book the Frozen Chase. This is a guy not only talking the talk, but walking the walk.
Finally, one last time, the lights dimmed and the feature rolled. As the glow from the screen illuminated their faces I could see the aw. The message was being received. This all meant something. Looking back you second guess the organization or arrangement in hopes thing could have gone better or differently, but at that moment it felt like mission accomplished. We were actually bringing awareness and becoming part of the solution.
To close out the night the grand prize raffle announcements were made. The stoke was super high as those who participated were anxious to see if they would be selected as a winner.
After the event was a wrap and all began to exit the building there was almost an electric aura oozing from everyone. Their batteries were recharged and ready to go out and make a difference.
We thank all who were involved and if you have further questions or want to get involved, contact us at [email protected] to learn more.
In closing I will have to say, the U.S. premiere of Northern Grease with the support of the League to Save Lake Tahoe was a success!
Special thanks to our partners.
Beyond Boarding, The League to Save Lake Tahoe, Himmel Haus, The Chateau at Incline Village and The Tahoe Art Haus & Cinema
Much appreciation goes out to all our sponsors! Without them the event wouldn’t have been possible. Be sure to show your support!
Mary’s About Face
Village Ski Loft
Last but not least, huge thanks to Doug Jones…
for taking time out of his busy schedule to photograph our tour. As they always say a picture is worth a thousand words… and so Doug has a lot to say below. Please be sure to check out his Flickr account here and all the wonderful photos he has taken. Thanks Doug!