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The late Virginia Brunini is pictured at a 49er Rotary work party in April 2015.

NEVADA CITY, Calif. June 13, 2017 – The 49er Breakfast Rotary Club of Nevada City will place a memorial bench at Empire Mine State Historic Park to honor the late Virginia Brunini, whose vision and dedication led to the creation of the state park.

Brunini, a longtime member of 49er Rotary, died last Oct. 11 at age 90. In the 1960s and 1970s while working as an administrative assistant to former California Assemblyman Bill Bagley, Brunini informed her boss that Newmont Mining Corp. planned to sell its Empire Mine property.

With great assistance from Brunini, Bagley went on to lead the 1975 state purchase of the property and eventual creation of the state park. Brunini went on to pursue a successful real estate career in Marin County before returning to Nevada County. In 2014 she led the local petition drive and campaign to save the state historic park when its sale was being considered by state legislators.

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49er Rotarians Dan Bibelheimer, Andy Wright and Mimi Simmons stained and sealed the bench prior to its dedication.

The memorial bench, developed under state park guidelines and through the leadership of past 49er Rotary president Andy Wright, is eight feet long and made of California redwood. It is inscribed with the words, “In Memory of Virginia Brunini Whose Passion Helped Create This Park.” The bench will be located adjacent to the Bourn Cottage.

49er Rotary and state officials will dedicate the bench in an after-hours ceremony planned for 5:30pm on Thursday, June 15.