It had only been a week or so since the deadly Camp Fire had swept through Pulga, Concow, Paradise and Magalia. My family had already found out days ago all of our homes were completely destroyed. The same went for most family, friends and the rest of the community. We were in a neighboring town at my grandmothers house which was the only close family member that still had a home in the area. Four families were now staying there with nowhere else to go. I had pulled out a game of monopoly to see if anyone wanted to play and get our minds off the current affairs. Reluctantly, my neices opted to play and soon my sister and mom joined in as well. It wasn't long before we were trading properties, vying for board space and having our typical monopoly fun. In the midst of that joy my mind drifted back to Paradise and I thought how cool it would be to have a Monopoly game detailed after our beautiful town that now needed memorializing. Something done right. From the heart. I knew this would be something people would need.
There were several reasons why I ultimately decided to do this project. With most of the towns buildings and trees destroyed it was very apparent that some kind of special memoir was needed to pass down the memories and traditions of the community. Something that came from the heart of Paradise itself. It was clear very early that even though we knew Paradise would rise once again it would never be the same. This game and representation of Paradise was never meant to be a story of the fire or what we lost, but to preserve the spirit of Paradise as we all knew it. Playing Paradise-Opoly is like getting a quaint tour through town and dipping your toes into all the fine traditions a small town has to offer. The second reason I am making this game is because I know Paradise and neighboring communities need help. The recovery will be going on for years. The horrific close call many had with the fire storm will stay with them forever. Many people and families are still struggling to get back on their feet after losing everything they worked their entire lives for. It breaks my heart to see this. I saw first hand the limited and delayed responeses from the government to assist in California's deadliest and most destructive fire in history. I also witnessed the remarkable nature of humans to help one another during their lowest points. They would give when they had nothing to give. I aim, with every dollar of net-profits from this project, to help my fellow humans in recovery from this unprecedented tragedy. I will be working with local non-profit organizations and construction companies to monetarily aid those most in need.
During the development of this game I relyed heavily on the help of the people of Paradise through the form of a facebook group. I created a group to share and gather ideas and it quickly grew to over 1000 people. I would solicite ideas of favorite things and aspects about the town and take notes on every single suggestion. Then a public vote was created so the most favorable suggestions were put into the game. I had never created a board game before, so this was all a huge learning experience for me at the same time. The gorgeous artwork and design was done by Traci Van Wagoner and Kurt Keller of Imagine That! Design in New York. They reached out with interest in the project and the cause and immediately got started bringing the project to life. With a successful Kickstarter campaign, including limited edition versions of the game and additional playing pieces, the game will finally be finished and off to the manufacturer.
It is my deepest hope that this game will be enjoyed for many years by many smiling faces. I was born and raised in Paradise, and I want to see it come back. This game will remind us of what Paradise was and help create what it will become. I sincerely hope you enjoy.
Paradise-Opoly was originally thought up as an emotional response to an incalculable loss. In the wake of that loss there are incredible amounts of love, generosity and need. In 2018 California’s most destructive wildfire ripped through Paradise, California leaving almost nothing in its path. With over 14,000 homes destroyed, and far too many precious lives lost, Paradise would sadly never be the same again. Residents were displaced all over the country. This tight knit community that nestled under the trees was now spread far and wide. It slowly became clear that it would take years for most people to return home, if ever at all, again. With many households uninsured or under insured coupled with the rising cost of lumber, contractors and California infrastructure it is simply not an option to rebuild for so many.
Paradise-Opoly LLC has been formed to operate an online e-commerce store out of California. Once the Kickstarter has been successfully funded, all raised funds from the Kickstarter will be used towards the entire development, design, production, shipping, marketing and keeping inventory up to fulfill the expected high initial number of sales in the first year or more. To be clear, no funds raised from Kickstarter will be used for charity or be donated. with the success of fully funding the kickstarter in time, the game will be able to be finalized and put into mass production. Paradise-opoly llc will then resume pre-orders and eventually sales of the games, additional accessories and replacement parts. 100% of those net-profits from company sales will be donated to local non-profit organizations focused on fire recovery and rebuilding. more specifically, projects aimed at low income housing for fire survivors looking to move back to paradise and ground level immediate needs assistance.
These wonderful organizations will be some of the non-profit beneficiaries of Paradise-Opoly LLC net-profits:
The Coral Apple Foundation is a non-profit that was formed by Paradise resident Stephen Murray. Stephen helped saved nearly 100 senior residents from the mobile home park where he worked. Since that day he has been helping survivors with basic living needs assistance, large donation events and other direct monetary and physical assistance with rebuilding needs. Stephen loves nothing more than his family and community and will provide the help and empathy it needs to get through this recovery.
Regenerating Paradise is a nonprofit organization formed in the wake of the Camp Fire with a mission “to weave the social fabric that regenerates us.” We define ‘regenerating’ as a process of rebuilding and recovery that, as in regenerative agriculture, replenishes rather than depletes. We look to the residents of The Ridge, our community, for our resources, with the intention “to co-create and cultivate communities that make use of our abundant gifts and that work for all life.”
The Butte Strong Fund has been the largest funder in Camp Fire relief and recovery efforts. The Butte Strong Fund continues to fund multiple affordable housing projects, providing capital for groups like Habitat for Humanity, CHIP, VROC (Volunteers Rebuilding Our Community) and many more. The Butte Strong Fund is operated by North Valley Community Foundation in partnership with Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. and Aaron Rodgers. NVCF has issued more than $40 million in Camp Fire grants and expects to be helping with housing and more for at least two to three years, until all donations are exhausted.
Starting with the successful funding of our Kickstarter campaign and subsequent success of continued sales online, storefront retailers and event sales, Paradise-Opoly LLC has the potential to make a substantial impact on Butte County's recovery from wildfires.