By Mary Leighton, Chair, Venue Committee; and Marti Ravits, Chair, Development Committee
The Development Committee held its first annual campaign last summer, in hopes of modernizing our website and preparing for a year that would rely heavily on new technology during the pandemic. With generous support from donors who put up matching funds of $10,000, we appealed to our community and made our goal of $20,000. The development funds went to update features online, celebrate with podcasts, and create a new website that is user friendly and 21st-century ready. We hope that members will explore and enjoy these new features for disseminating information and broadcasting our messages. Our sponsors in all categories have been wonderfully loyal, making this year of the pandemic one of continued strength for CCE.
Nothing succeeds like success, so we are preparing to launch another campaign this July to help City Club be ready for a return to in-person meetings and forums. The University has plans for the Baker Center that will require us to find another place to meet in-person. We are excited about moving to a new site with the old friends and new members who reflect the success of our new media. Of course we will have rent and new costs, but we are rolling up our sleeves to bring our story to supporters who value the fair-minded community discussions of crucial issues.
The Venue Committee is exploring options for a site. We need a space that can seat about 30 people eating lunch at tables and up to 70 more auditorium style. We normally offer lunch for $15 or less, which for most places means we get it catered rather than use in-house sources (which are usually more elaborate and expensive). We meet 40-45 times a year at noon on Fridays, using in-house projection but bringing our own sound and other equipment.
Right now the team is exploring these venue possibilities: The Graduate, Gordon Tavern and Eugene Hotel; LCC downtown; The Shedd; First United Methodist Church; St. Mary’s Episcopal Church; DAC; Lane Events Center; Actors Cabaret; Venue 252; Oregon Contemporary Theater; and Cosmic.
City rec spaces (eg, Campbell Center) are already programmed tightly (yay Parks & Rec!) and the Garden Club, while pleasant and affordable, has little nearby parking. Most of the commercial spaces have a price point above our budget, but we are checking them anyway. New suggestions are welcome! Contact our club’s administrator, Silver Mogart.
As the political world seems increasingly acrimonious, people appreciate our cordial, informative discussion of issues and reward our efforts with their financial backing at many levels. Stay tuned, as we will need everyone’s help again.