Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a day to reflect, renew, and recommit. I was a young child when Dr. King was murdered. We lived in Washington, D.C. I remember being so completely shocked and so saddened that someone would commit such a horrible act and silence a voice that was so vital and critical. The city erupted, and the pain and sorrow spilled out into the streets accompanied by fear and anger. The loss was heartbreaking and remains so.

Fortunately, Dr.King’s voice was not silenced by that bullet. It is carried forward by many, who speak his words, teach his values, and provide opportunities to build on his legacy. This year, there is a local collaborative effort by Woman in the Woods Productions, Orcas Center, the Orcas PTSA, and the Orcas Island School District (OISD) who are hosting a program for the middle and high school students at OISD. They are also supporting a program for the elementary students that will be provided by the teachers in each classroom.

For the broader community, there is a program on Sunday, January 15 from 3-4:30 at Emmanuel Episcopal Church hosted by Irthlingz. I hope to see you there.

Our effort to purchase the McPeake Property on Enchanted Forest Lane is moving forward. We signed a purchase agreement and deposited earnest money this week — big steps and the first of many. We have until June to complete the necessary studies to ensure the property can support the development we are hoping it can, involving the Food Bank, Orcas Community Resource Center and new OPAL low income rentals. We also need to secure commitments for the funds needed to complete the purchase. I am very grateful to the Coates Foundation who provided unrestricted funds to OICF, which we are using to fund the initial studies and earnest money. Feel free to reach out if you would like more information on this exciting project.

I hope that however you spend this weekend, you have time for reflection and renewal.

Best —