Holiday Event Celebrates Community, Good Work and Good Food

Ben Gorgon
Tue, 12/07/2010 - 10:00am

Over the course of three hours, a continual feast was served. Each course was paired with a presentation by 1000 Friends staff, accompanied by local wines from Maraga’s, the first and only vineyard to produce wine made by grapes grown in Central Oregon.

The first course, locally grown butternut squash soup, was served with a presentation by Staff Attorney Mary Kyle McCurdy. Mary Kyle shared an overview of our history, from passage of Senate Bill 100 to the policy work that 1000 Friends does around the state today.

During our next course, a delicious arugula and blue cheese salad, Central Oregon advocate Pam Hardy outlined the work we are currently doing in Central and Eastern Oregon - from the siting of large-scale renewable energy projects to the Deschutes County comprehensive plan revision.

As entrees were served (wild caught Columbian River salmon, grass fed- local beef, or quinoa and sweet potatoes served over spinach), 1000 Friends board member Lou Pepper shared why he volunteers his time for the organization. Among his reasons: a strong belief that land use planning has kept small towns such as Tumalo from being converted to strip malls and rural subdivisions.

Pepper then invited 1000 Friends Executive Director Jason Miner to talk about the future of the organization. Miner’s speech was so captivating that you could hear a pin drop when he paused. He painted a beautiful picture of Oregon, one where urban activities take place on urban lands and rural activities take place on rural lands. His speech was greeted with an uproar of cheers and celebration.

1000 Friends Central Oregon Outreach Coordinator Ben Gordon took the opportunity between dinner and dessert to thank and introduce Eric Power, owner of Bend's only commuter bicycle shop, Bend Velo. The shop donated a custom built bicycle as the evening's raffle prize.

Power explained that his business is getting people onto bicycles to run all of the errands that they once used their car for. He believes that a comfortable and easy to ride bicycle helps people forget why they ever needed a car in the first place.

The winner of the J. Livingston custom built bicycle was Tom Rodhouse, but his wife Casey appeared eager to borrow it. The couple is already making plans to design their dream commuter bike.

As the evening began to wind down, coffee and dessert were served (flourless chocolate cake with a raspberry on top) and local singer-songwriter  Erin Cole-Baker played an intimate set of original songs...the perfect cap to a wonderful evening.

Thanks to the generosity of Chow, Bend Velo, Erin Cole-Baker, and our supporters in Central Oregon, 1000 Friends was able to raise over $2800 dollars and add 15 new and 20 renewed supporters.

Our pallets are still reeling from this incredible dinner! The countdown to next year’s feast has begun. Register early for next year’s Winter Harvest Feast as the 2010 event sold in a matter of minutes.