Preschool seeks new location for programs

Heather Nyberg-Schlotzhauer

Beacon Correspondent

Hot Brew restaurant in Fortuna will be holding a fundraising dinner to help raise the necessary funds to move the Great Beginnings Preschool program to another location. The event will take place on February 7th from 5 to 9 p.m. All proceeds after food costs and tips will go to the program.

"The preschool has been in Fortuna since 1986," Great Beginnings Preschool Director Karen Johnson said, "providing a strong academic program with a Christian emphasis in a positive, loving atmosphere for ages 3 through kindergarten."

Great Beginnings has recently made an offer on property that will provide a permanent facility for their preschool. "The proposed building is in need of remodeling updates to meet California State Licensing and City of Fortuna requirements," Johnson said.

Cherie Anaya, owner and operator of Hot Brew, said she wants to help the school. New Beginnings came into Anaya's life when she was searching for a preschool for her son.

"My son was a late talker," she said. "I found New Beginnings through my bookkeeper, Rachel, who had her child attend for preschool and Kindergarten."

Like many preschools there is an interview process to make sure it is a good fit not only for the child, but for the preschool.

"I found the teachers to be educated and most importantly kind and loving," said Anaya. "I knew this was the place for my son. It was going to be his new beginning!"

The Hot Brew crew has come up with a mix of plans to accommodate staff receiving some pay, but all of the after food costs will go to the school for relocation.

Hot Brew will not be serving breakfast at the event, but will have the rest of its full menu, including burgers, salads, soups, sandwiches, items from the sea and south of the border, and wraps. Beverages include soda, tea, coffee, water, juice, beer and wine.

The school has many talented teachers including Sharon Edgmon and reading specialist Tara Chown. Anaya is especially grateful for effect Chown's work has had on her child, saying, "In the four months he has been there he is now speaking more and reading over a first grade level."

If you attend the event and would like to make a monetary donation above your meal and tip there will be a donation jar available, Johnson said.

All donations are tax-deductible and can be made at the event, on the website at or mailed to New Life Christian School at 1202 Ross Hill Road, Fortuna, 95540.

If you have any questions about the school contact Karen Johnson at 725-9136. If you would like to find out more about the Hot Brew event, contact Cherie Anaya at 725-2361.