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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Paradise launches community building Top Pop event series – Chico Enterprise-Record

PARADISE — In light of beginning its fifth year after the Camp Fire, the town of Paradise is launching a year-long series of pop up events called Top Pop in collaboration with local businesses with a goal of fostering community involvement.

Businesses from around town will be hosting free, family-friendly events over the span of 12 months which began Tuesday with an event hosted at the Equilibrium Wellness Center by Paradise Stronger.

Paradise Recovery and Economic Development Director Colette Curtis said the idea of Top Pop came from the desire to come together in a positive way after the community had been through so much.

“Now that we’re in our fifth year since the Camp Fire, our community has come together in ways we never thought possible,” Curtis said in an email. “As we think about what it means to be 5 years on from a major disaster, we wanted to give even more opportunities for our community to come together, celebrate our bond, and have some fun while we recognize how far we’ve come.”

For the first event of the Top Pop series, local nonprofit Paradise Stronger hosted “Submit your 2023 Resolutions for Paradise” with one session that began Tuesday and another that will be held from 6-8 p.m. Saturday at 6848 Skyway, Suite P.

Paradise Stronger organizer Jess Mercer said the Equilibrium Wellness Center was opened in November 2022 to create a community center space for Paradise residents for people to feel welcomed and at home.

“I do this because I want to breed hope and I want to role model hope. But more importantly, I want to make my community a better place for any kind of oddball kid like myself to feel like we finally fit in,” Mercer said.

The center features a yoga room, a full kitchen, a conference room and a lounge with games, musical instruments and other family activities. There’s even a sensory room designed for people with autism or sensory processing issues.

Mercer said she wanted to host an open house art show for the Paradise Top Pop event to give people space to dream big in the process of their rebuild.

“I’m inviting people to come and fill out a little piece of paper about what resolution they have for the year or what they would like to see resolved and grow in our community,” Mercer said, with examples like “‘I’d love to see an arcade open’ all the way to ‘This year I hope my house is finally built.’”

For future Paradise Top Pop events, updates will be posted to the Make it Paradise page on Facebook.

For news and future planned events at Paradise Stronger, visit https://www.paradisestronger.org.

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