Over 320 people showed up to Temple Emek Shalom last Thursday night for our summer Hearth event. Many walked, biked, and carpooled in order to reduce our carbon footprint.  There were homemade cookies, brownies, and congo bars made by eight different volunteers and wine, ice tea, and lemonade provided by the Ashland Co-op (our sponsor for the evening). Over $1500 was collected at the door for Community Works and their crisis helpline. Generous audience members also gave $400 directly in support of The Hearth.

The evening began with a “Ain’t We Crazy” by blues duo Joe Seamons and Ben Hunter. Then Mary Landberg took the stage and told a strange tale of trying to find a man dying of AIDs in a train car, surrounded by bikers. Mary was followed by Steve Scholl who found himself stuck in a demilitarized zone between Canada and the United States with a buick full of 800 books. Kevin Carr shared the Alice-and-Wonderland tale of  living in an abandoned office complex in Santa Monica with Deaf Pete, Dr. White, and the Blue Man. Tedi Tate finally found home after hopping a fence and riding a horse bare back between nude modeling gigs on the outskirts of Los Angeles.  Before our break Ava DeRosier and Kim Starkey performed a powerful vocal and piano duo that left the audience speechless. The second half of the show included Renee Miereanu finding freedom in a men’s maximum security prison, Fred Grewe discovering his frailty in a hospital morgue, and the dynamic Eduardo Placer closed the show with a raucous tale of seeking to live life as a musical. The highlight of the evening may have been when all 320 audience members joined Eduardo in singing “Tomorrow” from Annie

We are so lucky to be in such a gifted, honest, and generous community. Next Hearth event is in October. The theme is “Change” and proceeds will benefit Rogue Climate.