Group conversing

Group conversing

Over ninety friends of Easton Mountain Retreat Center made the pilgrimage this Memorial Day weekend to celebrate our sixteenth anniversary during our Sweet 16 Extravaganza! It was a delightful weekend sharing stories, fellowship, and laughter with members of the Easton tribe, both new and old.

Opening dinner circle

Opening dinner circle

As always, transformational workshops with lots of opportunity for exploration and discovery were offered by a talented assemblage of facilitators. Highlights included workshops on Okido Yoga, Japanese calligraphy as meditation, Thai massage, artistic development through drawing, kirtan chanting, loving our bare bodies, and chakra bodywork with essential oils.

Harry Faddis leads a ceremony of remembrance in our Memorial Garden.

Harry Faddis leads a ceremony of remembrance in our Memorial Garden.

The weather was full of sunshine 90% of the time, and with temperatures in the upper 80ies during the day, many men took the opportunity to enjoy Easton’s new swimming pool.

Men on pool deck

Men on pool deck

Jonathan Comisar and Adam Shapiro joined forces and enchanted all in attendance during their Broadway-based musical tribute for our Saturday night entertainment.

Man at piano

Man at piano

Audience listening to the Saturday evenng performance

Audience listening to the Saturday evenng performance

Other thrilling moments during the celebration featured a talented group of acapella doo-op singers belting out 50ies themed favorites, fabulous “farm-to-table” meals using the freshest most seasonal products, a silent (and not so silent) auction, and opportunities to listen to speeches and testimonies from people in positions of leadership within our community.

Table set for Sunday evening gala dinner.

Table set for Sunday evening gala dinner.

At the gala dinner - with items for the silent auction in the background

At the gala dinner - with items for the silent auction in the background

Bidding on the silent auction

Bidding on the silent auction

The weekend culminated with an adventurous town-hall meeting where we explored together what has made Easton Mountain so great and transformative. We were then invited to bring our hearts and imaginations together to contemplate where Easton Mountain will be in the future and what part we see ourselves playing in that future. It was a lively and hope filled conversation full of ideas, possibilities, and mission driven service.

As a fundraiser for Easton Mountain, our Sweet 16 Celebration exceeded expectations. When all pledges are in, together with the income from guests' participation in the extravaganza, we raised over $30K. The great success of our Sweet 16 is in large part due to the excellent collaboration of the event’s planning team. Wil Fisher and Freddy Freeman worked very closely with me during the months preceding this event. A super generous Host Committee gave time & talent, as well as financial donations, to ensure everyone’s needs were more than taken care of.

Upon the group’s departure, many attendees commented that their favorite Easton moments occur during these celebratory gatherings when they’ve immersed themselves such a rich and diverse community as ours. Be sure to spread the word: Easton Mountain is Sweet 16 and looks forward to many more wonderful mission driven years!

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