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General News · 18th December 2008
Hollyhock
It’s been a fantastic year. We’ve recently said farewell to our last guests of the season, and our island campus has eased into over-wintering mode. The land is beginning to enjoy its season of quiet and renewal.

It is also the time of year we say farewell to our exceptional seasonal staff. We give a very big thanks to this tremendous community of people who work so hard throughout the season. What they do is beyond measure, and their energy and contributions make Hollyhock what it is. Our dedicated year-round staff continues to work their magic right through the winter. We’ve completed the 2009 Cortes and Vancouver programs, are preparing the catalogue, and are working steadily to upgrade to our guest rooms and facilities.

It’s fun to share some of the praise that our guests sing about Hollyhock staff. Here are some words from 2008 program participants…

“What a stellar group of committed, kind people.“

“Genuine fresh hospitality.”

“Thank you to all the Hollyhock staffers for creating such a utopian space in which to recharge!”

“Every staff person I interacted with engaged me with an attitude of service, from the front desk to the gift store to the host… People made genuine eye contact, I felt welcomed and cared for.”

“Excellent food, excellent service, excellent kindness.”

Some of the things we’re pleased about this season:

* $998,000 in compensation paid to more than 75 Hollyhock staff
* $97,000 in scholarships granted along with our partners to support diversity and accessibility
* 32 presenter evenings open to Cortes Island residents and visitors

While we’re in over-wintering mode on Cortes, we’re running a full offering of programs in Vancouver. Our 2008 Leadership Lecture Series in Vancouver, sponsored by Vancity and the Hollyhock Leadership Institute, has been very successful, and podcasts of these speakers are available.

While the gardeners will wait to plant seeds next spring, we’ve sown the seeds of the 2009 program. Some of the highlight presenters include:

* Kim Eng
*Natalie Goldberg
* Krishna Das
* Starhawk

Locally and globally, people are talking about climate change, petroleum prices, and the world’s economies. Here at home, we’re focusing on being a campus that can provide experiences that give people tools for change, hope and optimism. We’re encouraging people to enjoy the special places in their own back yard.

It is often said the best is saved for last. To the many unique folks, local businesses, artists, gardeners, residents, musicians and quirky souls who make this dynamic community, a very big thanks. When you come to walk through the garden, attend an open evening, take a meal, participate in our scholarship program, bring your friends, buy a gift in the store, or enjoy fabulous bodywork, you support us. Thanks for who you are and what you do. Now more than ever your engagement and support mean so much to us and our community.

We wish you and your loved ones happy holidays.

Warmly,

Dana Bass Solomon, on Behalf of All of Us at Hollyhock