By Jennifer Raiser, Drew Altizer Photography
When the nonprofit Amazon Watch co-hosted a fundraiser with Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance on Friday night, they read the bumper sticker. By thinking global, acting local, and sharing resources, two small nonprofits were able to complement each other's work and reach out to mutually sympathetic donors. With help from Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance 2011 Visionary Award-winner Willie Nelson, they drew much-needed attention to the rainforest and climate change. With Nelson on board, the nonprofits attracted a lineup of enthusiastic performers to pay tribute, and assured the Bently Reserve would be filled with like-minded souls committed to the planet.
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The case for alignment was simple: Amazon Watch is working to ensure the planet's health by preserving the lungs of the planet and the indigenous peoples who live there--people who understand the operating manual for the earth. Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance is working to convert local cooking oil, seed oil or industrial grease into local biofuel, keeping oil production in the neighborhood and being part of the solution to the wars we fight, global warming, and local economic revival.
Inspired conversation was lubricated by Frey biodynamic wines, Sorado Estate Wines, Eel River Brewing Company beer, and the delectable Veev Acai Berry Spirits (which tastes like vodka but is way better for you). And after a dinner by Melons organic catering, a collector's auction, and performances by Sara Wasserman, Glide Memorial Church Choir Trio, Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks, and Tommy Castro, there was Willie Nelson. First biofuel spokeswoman Annie Nelson took the stage with Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance Director and Founder Kelly King to share her impassioned message of decentralized, local energy with to the equally impassioned audience. And finally, the man she referred to as "our little biofuel Yoda," her husband Willie, appeared. Surprisingly small, utterly recognizable, and happy to be playing his famous guitar named Trigger, he had the crowd at hello. By then, everyone was on their feet and up front, a sustainable mosh pit of planetary passion.
Check out photos from the evening in our slideshow below: