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General News · 23rd April 2009
Dear Neighbours,

Amidst the buzz about these being challenging times, the realness of everyday island life still goes on. Spring unfolds around us. Bulbs and shoots of new growth have broken through the earth’s surface. Tender green plant life everywhere is hardening off in the still-chilly temperatures.

We’re thinking a lot about resilience these days. We want Hollyhock to be here for future generations, as a place that inspires, nurtures diversity, celebrates and feeds whole people. Our former Shareholders have officially donated the ownership of the land and buildings to Hollyhock, which is now a not-for-profit entity, laying the groundwork for long-term organizational stability.

We’re also thinking about resilience within our own island community, what that means and how to grow it. Like nearly every business we are noticing the global economic downturn that continues to reach out in some way and affect everyone. To survive, even thrive, in unpredictable times we’re making careful decisions, managing expenses and staffing conservatively. We are cautiously optimistic, confident that demand for the type of experience Hollyhock offers is becoming more important than ever. Plus we have our best ever, incredibly skilled staff team bringing their creativity, passion and dedication to work every day.

Some of the things we’re feeling great about this spring:

Hollyhock Night at Manson’s Hall – Join me, Hollyhock CEO, and Board Chair Joel Solomon and some of our management team for an open gathering in the Pioneer Room, Monday, May 18th, 7:00pm. We’ll share our thoughts about the state of Hollyhock in 2009, as well as answer any questions you bring.

May 10th Mothers Day Brunch – Bring a Mom you love for a Swedish pancake feast with berry sauce, fruit platter, baked eggs & roasted potatoes. Reservations recommended (250-935-6576) for this 8:30-10am brunch. Adults $15, kids $7.50. Make sure you make time before or after for a stroll in the garden.

May 15th Oyster Fest Seafood Dinner – Celebrate the start of Cortes Island Oyster Fest with a sumptuous seafood dinner. Cioppino (traditional Italian seafood stew), crusty French bread, garden greens, divine dessert. Reservations recommended (250-935-6576). Adults $29.

Metta-Vipassana Retreat – Our first residential program of the season, we have currently have 35 people on the land deepening their spiritual practice in silence and contemplation.

Karma Yoga Program – This four-week program offers an opportunity for people to step out of the flow of their everyday lives, live and work in a community setting in this island paradise we call home. Check out HollyhockLive to read how they describe in their own words their Hollyhock experiences.

Campus Greening Projects – We’ve installed solar hot water tanks at our beach cottage. Our maintenance team is being infused with new skills and experience with the arrival of a new Sustainability Manager, John McQuaid.

Scholarship Fund – We’re receiving donations from people far and wide who believe in benefits of participating in a Hollyhock program. We encourage Cortes Islanders to apply. For Kirtan enthusiasts, we have one 50% tuition scholarship available for Krishna Das’s “Heart of Devotion” workshop, May 31-June 5.

Supporting Local Teachers – We continue this year to offer 50% workshop tuition discounts to both Public and Linnaea School teachers, supporting them to feed their existing skills and to grow new ones.

More Local Veggies in our Meals – We’re engaging with more local growers who will supply us with fresh, local produce for our fabulous chefs to feed our guests.

We are excited to be welcoming our staff over these next few weeks. Stay tuned to the Tideline for the usual postings announcing travel days, open evenings, concerts and weekly meal themes.

Celebrate spring and visit us soon. Come linger in our gorgeous garden, with the tulips just unfurling and the magnolia nearly bursting into flower. Remember your 10% islander discount for meals and bodywork. Bring a friend for lunch, treat yourself to a hot tub and massage, or browse in the store.

Hollyhock only exists because of the strength of the commitment and vision of years of islanders’ energy that have been put into this project and place.

You are always welcome, and your support means so much to us.

Warmest regards,

Dana Bass Solomon