Sunday, November 3, 2013

Thankful #3 - This Project is DONE!

Two years ago, I was accepted into the Ford Institute Leadership Program. It's a series of training classes based on the belief that vital rural communities develop from a broad base of knowledgeable, skilled, and motivated leaders, a diversity of effective organizations, and productive collaborations among organizations.

A little background: the leadership program is run by the Ford Family Foundation. In 1936, Kenneth Ford started a single sawmill in tiny Roseburg, Oregon that would later become Roseburg Lumber. Interesting enough, it's also where my grandpa worked most of his life and eventually retired from. The Foundation was started in 1957 and has grown. They give grants, help create vital rural communities, and offer scholarship assistance.

As part of our program, your "cohort" chooses a project. Our group chose to help add to the beauty of our downtown by installing twinkle lights in the trees on Main Street. Truth be told, we've argued over the lights, selected deadlines/missed deadlines, and so on and so forth.

But this morning, a group of those of us most dedicated installed the lights on 4 city blocks.
My friend Mike Angeli helps hang lights downtown

Klamath Falls' downtown is beautiful. An earthquake in the 90s actually revitalized it. Folks turned the buildings back to the original state, preserving many architectural features. Our sidewalks are geothermally heated. There are great restaurants, wonderful little shops, and the Ross Ragland Theater. Some of my personal favorites:
  • Basin Martini Bar - beautifully decorated, great martinis, and great owners.
  • Blue Dot Kids - a kids clothing consignment store
  • Crave - the best cupcakes you'll ever eat
  • Indigo Beads - The owner Angie calls me by name and I don't even shop there all that often. Great selection, great service.
  • The Ledge - an outdoor store and climbing gym run by my friend Mike Angeli (who makes an appearance in the photo above AND taught me the basics of kayaking)
  • Periwinkle - The only place I really shop these days. Linda and her staff run the best consignment store ever. Picky, selective, great products....and great for someone like me who's been going through clothes every month.

I know I've forgotten quite a few but suffice it to say, our downtown is worth visiting!

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