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General News · 18th November 2009
Dear Friends,

As the color in our sight moves from the garden to the leaves on the trees, we at Hollyhock and in the community are reconnecting with the calming, balancing forces inherent in autumn and reflecting on the year’s harvest.

We have a tremendous amount to be thankful for in 2009:

* Hollyhock and its partners awarded 229 scholarships worth a total of $79,791.

* 17 Islanders received scholarships to attend programs as diverse as Rachelle Lamb’s Non-Violent Communication and Paul Stamet’s Mycillium Running.

* 37 presenter evenings expanded our collective mind, body and spirit. Krishna Das opened our hearts. Caroline Casey and Andy Weil inspired our inner-tricksters. Starhawk gave tribute to the Earth. Banafsheh Sayyad and Andrew Harvey left us speechless.

* Locally targeted marketing efforts decreased our ecological footprint. More than ever, the majority of our guests came from closer-to-home BC communities, reducing the environmental impact of traveling to our island campus.

* The installation of a new state of the art composting system has increased the efficiency by which we recycle our organic wastes. Fundraising campaigns to build a grey water recycling system and install composting toilets are underway.

* New partnerships increase our impact in the world. Hollyhock was a co-sponsor of the Vancouver Peace Summit: Nobel Laureates in Dialogue in September, hosted by the Dalai Lama Centre for Peace.

As always, we are incredibly grateful to our phenomenal staff. In the face of economic challenge they have stepped up in countless ways to work with less time and fewer resources, to volunteer, promote programs, and to uplift one another. Your loyalty and kindness is the heart of Hollyhock.

We are grateful to you, the Cortes Community, for your support as staff members, presenters, donors, volunteers, guests and friends. Your energy and good will mean so much to us, and you contribute immeasurably to the potency of the Hollyhock experience.

Your continued support is vital. In 2009, Hollyhock was behind in business by 11%. 2010 presents new and heightened challenges as many of our partners struggle financially and the sustainability of our social change conferencing is compromised. The new Harmonized Sales Tax will put an even greater financial expense on our guests.

We believe that what Hollyhock offers has never been more needed on the planet. We are doing everything we can to keep Hollyhock strong, and to take advantage of the opportunities that this time offers, keeping ever present and open to the waves of change all around us.

We hope that you consider using our programs to acquire practical skills and tools for building personal and community resilience. 2010’s program line-up is as dynamic and leading-edge as ever. Some spotlight presenters include:

* Ruth Ozeki
* Ingrid Bauer
* Robert Bateman
* Stephen Jenkinson
* Caroline Casey
* Joseph Boyden

Stay tuned for our new and improved catalogue hitting the shelves in mid-January. Designed with the environment in mind – significantly smaller and carbon neutral – and intended to be used in conjunction with our website.

Until then, Cortes, thank you for all you are and do. Your support of the Hollyhock vision is our inspiration for 2010 and beyond.

Yours truly,

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