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December 17th from 7:30 to 9:00pm at Temple Emek Shalom

The Hearth founder Mark Yaconelli will share some of his favorite stories at this special holiday fundraiser. Accompanied by musicians Kim Starkey, Daniel Sperry, and Duane Whitcomb, the evening promises to be a mixture of true, heartwarming tales set to live music. If you want to laugh from the belly and cry from the heart then you won’t want to miss our special Hearth Holiday Gathering. Suggested donation is $10-$20 at the door. This is our yearly fundraiser for The Hearth so bring your friends and your checkbook.  Mulled wine, spiced cider, and homemade holiday treats will be available. Doors open at 7pm

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The Hearth is hosting a special storytelling event in support of The Ashland Climate Challenge. The theme is “Rising to the Challenge” and we have 6 storytellers from Ashland and across the west coast who will share true, inspiring stories of facing difficult challenges. This is co-sponsored by Oregon Shakespeare Festival and will be held at the Thomas Theatre on Saturday, November 14th from 7 to 9pm. Cost is $5 and funds will support renewable energy projects for the Ashland school district. The event will be hosted by Mark Yaconelli, tellers include Tonya Graham, Lesley Adams, Shaun Franks, Jacob Lebel, Scott Denning, and Leslie Becknell Marx. Music by Mysha Caruso. Only 275 seats, so show up early and bring your neighbors. This will be an important event for mobilizing to reduce and prepare for climate change.

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The Hearth will present “real stories by regular folks” on October 29th from 7 to 9pm at Temple Emek Shalom in Ashland. The theme is “Down and Out” and proceeds from the event will benefit Uncle Food’s Diner–a weekly community meal for the homeless and economically disadvantaged. Tellers include Claudia Alick, Lucinda Weatherby, Kay Brooks, Leigh Madsen, Kelly Cruser, and Fred Grewe. Music by Mark Gostnell, Wendi Stanek, Duane Whitcomb and friends. Hosted by Mark Yaconelli. $5 suggested donation.

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Every seat (over 80) was filled at the Klamath County Library to hear six local members of the Klamath Falls community tell true stories on the theme Friends: Lost and Found. This was the inaugural event for The Klamath Falls Hearth, a program which seeks to help communities build relationships, eradicate shame, and support local non-profits through personal stories. Three community members from Klamath Falls received training from Mark Yaconelli, founder and director of The Hearth in Ashland, Oregon last spring as part of a grant from the Oregon Community Foundation and The Ford Family Foundation. The opening event presented a mix of heartfelt stories of friends found in Tibet, a birthing class, a hospital ward, and a car accident to friends lost in childhood. The music, by a series of local musicians, presented a beautiful mix of folk and classical pieces that matched the stories. The Klamath Falls Hearth will now be a regular storytelling series sponsored by the Klamath County Library. Congratulations to Charla Oppenlander, Ruth Chamberlin, and Debbie Plummer for all of their work in organizing this important community gathering.

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IMG_0394The Hearth received grants from the Oregon Community Foundation and The Ford Family Foundation to train three communities in The Hearth storytelling model. Last June, Scott Valley held their first pilot Hearth event on the theme “Summertime.” Last night, Grants Pass had over 150 people turn out for their first Hearth event on the theme “Treasured Objects.” It was a beautiful night of singing, sharing stories, and raising funds for the Josephine County Library. On October 9th, Klamath Falls will host its first Hearth event on the theme “Friends: Lost and Found.” The event will be held at the Klamath Public Library. Grateful to all the volunteers in Grants Pass, Klamath Falls, and Scott Valley, CA for working to create these events. We hope to offer future training events to interested communities in 2016.

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