Holiday Open House 2010 Recap
That it rained for most of December 18, the day of Christiana’s Annual Holiday Open House 2010, shouldn't surprise anyone. When I was commuting from the Poconos to Connecticut, folks in Connecticut would know I was coming because along with me would come the snow, hail, sleet and rain. Special events in the Poconos, like our fabulous Tarot Picnic and our Soup and Psychics fundraiser, were also often held in challenging weather. Nonetheless, our events were always successful.
It should therefore also surprise no one that Holiday Open House 2010 was an amazing success. No rain could dampen our spirits; no wind could extinguish our flame. What began more than a decade ago in Putnam, Connecticut with me giving free readings in celebration of the holidays has this year evolved into a 200+-person event.
We had no fewer than twenty-two volunteers posted on five floors of the Harvey Building in downtown West Palm Beach. Our attendees were just as generous, compassionate and spirited as were our volunteers.
Managing the lobby were our hosts, Galen, Lori and Jodie. Together, they greeted people, organized the food donations and the snack table, made sure each person knew what services were available, and traveled throughout the building to make sure everyone was comfortable. They were also on hand to move chairs and tables and keep everything running smoothly.
Services were available in rooms on four floors of the Harvey Building. Each room seemed to take on its own energy; its own feeling. I had private nicknames for each.
On the second floor, which I called the Room of Great Healing, we had Reverend Glo giving Theta Healing, Blue Evans giving palm readings, Lauren Bressler giving energy readings and Patricia Kelly giving tarot readings. Reverend Glo set the healing tone of the room. Patricia was tireless in giving helpful and healing tarot readings. Blue, who has studied palmistry for many years, amazed people with his insights. Lauren was with us for the first part of the day, and blew people away with her accuracy.
In my office and foyer on the sixth floor we had the incomparable Garnet* giving tarot readings. Garnet* is a very well known and respected professional reader in the area. Another well-regarded professional tarot reader in the Palm Beaches is Terris Collins. Terris has the distinction of being the only reader to volunteer at all three of my Holiday Open Houses so far in West Palm Beach.
Also reading in my office was Rhoda Jones, of Adohr Spirit. Rhoda is an amazing professional numerologist who also volunteered last year. She was a font of focused energy as she read for countless people throughout the day. In the foyer of the sixth floor, for the first half of the event, we were lucky to have Mystical Marcy, just back from her trip to Paris. Marcy is a gifted professional numerologist with many years of experience.
Completing our sixth floor group was Elena, who offered much-appreciated Reiki healing sessions.
You can see why I called the sixth floor the Room of Great Power!
On the ninth floor, we were grateful to have two small rooms donated for the event by the property owners, The David Associates. There, we had Mary Ellen Collins offering readings with her Toy Oracle and Crystal Oracle. Mary Ellen, a gifted tarotist, has developed these special personal oracles. She will be giving a workshop on creating a toy oracle at the Harvey Building on January 19.
Brenda Nickolaus is an artist, naturalist, Reiki healer, tarotist and astrologer. We were very grateful to have her reading tarot with us for the day.
Jo Ann Curry has become a regular volunteer at our events. She is a gifted professional tarot reader with an empowering style.
These three women created such a gentle and compassionate energy together that I called their room the Room of Inner Peace.
On the eleventh floor in the foyer was Laura Pittman doing breathwork. She is a gifted healer, and is offering classes through the Jupiter Metaphysical Meetup Group.
In the conference room, we had Integrated Divination with Saxz Stevens, tarot with Larry Cook, and tarot with Adrienne Percival. Saxz offers deep divinatory introspection with a number of tools and modalities. Adrienne uses the feminist tarot “Daughters of the Moon.” She was a tireless powerhouse of humor, compassion and insight. Larry Cook, who is also a real estate agent and a yoga instructor, gave readings that left many people weak in the knees. On the eleventh floor, each practitioner was a gifted spiritual professional, causing me to name that room the Room of Deep Thought.
James Lane, organizer of the Jupiter Metaphysical Meetup Group, wore many hats for this event. He was our photographer, he promoted the event, organized healers and even did a few readings himself.
My dear husband John was in charge of transporting the ocean of donated food from the Harvey Building to the Feeding South Florida site.
Of course, it takes more than great volunteers to create a great event. The many attendees who made generous donations, enjoyed readings and healing sessions and brought their energy to the event are just as valued and appreciated as the volunteers. If I could thank each of them by name, I would.
Another thing that made this event so successful was that so many people worked to promote it. People sent invitations to their email lists, called friends, shared the event on Facebook, and listed it on their Meetup sites. I did not have to spend even one dollar on advertising, except to print a few flyers.
Over the years, I have held Christiana’s Holiday Open House in Connecticut in Putnam, Central Village, New London and Niantic with such notable readers as Marcy Currier, Mike David, May Terry and Joanne Matthew. In the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania, our great readers included Bonny Peters, Regina Gambone, Katy Langsdorf, Irene Lopez and Sharon Transue. This event has always seemed to draw the best of the best, and here in South Florida I am happy to say that trend is without a doubt continuing.
On Monday morning, John and I brought the donations of food, and some cash, to the Feeding South Florida warehouse in West Palm Beach. All together, we raised 383 pounds of food and $60! That is considered the equivalent of 450 pounds of food. By comparison, we raised 300 pounds last year, and our first year in West Palm Beach our total was 100 pounds. With growth like that, I have already set our goal for 2011 at 600 pounds.
Christiana’s Holiday Open House is usually held the Saturday before Christmas. Mark your calendars now for December 17, 2011 and get ready to help us reach that 600-pound goal.
To everyone who volunteered, everyone who attended, and everyone who was unable to attend but kept us in their thoughts and prayers, I thank you for coming together to make a real difference for the hungry of our community. May your holidays be filled with the joy you so richly deserve.