"The Country Dance & Song Society has made a huge difference in my community. Read the story of our transformative journey and join me in contributing generously to this appeal." ~ Gail Elber, Coos Bay, Oregon

Dear Friends of CDSS:

2015 appealI’m writing to you from Coos Bay, Oregon, where the South Coast Folk Society is about to throw the party of the century. We call it South Coast Folk Week; you know it as one of the six stops on the CDSS Centennial Tour.

This event has been two years in the making. With guidance from Nils Fredland, CDSS Tour Manager, we brainstormed what we could accomplish with this amazing gift from CDSS. With Bob Dalsemer and Firefly, our tour staff, we decided to focus our daytime events on bringing contra dance and music to high school and college students, while crafting evening workshops for dancers, musicians, budding callers, and song leaders.

Then came community-building – calling on existing relationships with local groups and forging new ones. We reached out to youth leaders. We convinced teachers to make time for our programs during the school day. We drew on CDSS materials to successfully make our case to grantors and business donors. We’ve mobilized 55 volunteers, many of whom are stepping up to help for the first time. Our community is abuzz with new awareness of and excitement about what we do!

Before the Centennial Tour, I thought of CDSS as a distant office that didn’t have much to do with me. Every year, I sent them a check for event insurance, and they sent me a catalog of camps I never went to. Now I’ve learned that CDSS is truly dedicated to strengthening the greater community of traditional dance and music. That’s something I want to be a part of.

CDSS is gearing up for its second century. It still runs amazing summer camps, awards grants and scholarships, trains leaders, and provides services and resources, as it has for many, many years. Now CDSS is also going out into communities like ours, and making a difference in their future. I want every folk community to have the chance to get a boost of inspiration and connection like this, and I won’t think twice about donating what I can to help make that happen. Let’s all make that commitment! Please join me in making a generous year-end gift in support of this wonderful organization.

Yours in dance and song,

Gail Elber
Coos Bay, Oregon
October 2015


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