East Kentucky chapters celebrate the holidays together!
Across the state, our chapters are using the holidays to celebrate an amazing year of work and are building excitement for the coming year of action for justice! Our four eastern Kentucky chapters did this together in Whitesburg this week. Over forty people turned out to celebrate each other, raise a little money together, and look forward to 2013.
East Kentucky members planned for weeks, phonebanked and facebooked for turnout, carpooled over snowy mountains, cooked food, brought friends, helped decorate with garland and lights, made glittery signs, donated their handmade art, played music, bought posters, raffle tickets, and t-shirts, wrote personal "love letters" to remind friends to renew their memberships, contributed to a slide show of over 100 pictures from 2012 that rolled all night, and shared ideas about the coming year, including a Transition Conference planned for April in Harlan County.
From the potluck and art raffle to a “dot democracy” activity that had members allocating stickers onto signs displaying the issues they are most excited about, new and old friends alike were talking, laughing, and growing closer all evening. Throughout the night, a slide show of over 100 pictures of east Kentucky members in action in 2012 rolled on a big screen to the tune of live fiddle, guitar, and an occasional dulcimer. The art raffle featured a half dozen painted prints by longtime members Pam Meade of West Liberty and Jeff Chapman-Crane of Eolia, as well as beautiful hand-woven table runners from Loneli Polly of Mayking. Everyone gathered around the art table at 8 pm to celebrate the winner of each piece (and wait for their own names!) while 8-year-old Chase Gladson, of Cumberland, drew the winning ticket from each mason jar.
Between eating and talking, folks wrote personal letters to their friends and fellow chapter members with messages of love and asks of membership renewals. Several members renewed their own memberships that night as well as purchased posters, prints, t-shirts and other gifts for themselves and others. The chapters raised over $350 together and wrote over a dozen personal renewal “love letters” to be mailed. An east Kentucky holiday newsletter is set to be mailed out very soon featuring highlights and photos from the entire year, as well as pictures from this terrific night. Harlan County member, Carl Shoupe, said of the party, “Getting to meet new members, as well as see older ones, was such a blast. I must admit the entire event was well organized and FUN! Hey, we even got some important work done, also!”
Check out the slideshow below for more pictures of the party!