With just a few months left until YES 2017, we wanted to take the time to tell you more about this year's activities so far, to share our excitement as we sprint towards this year’s conference.
At the very start of the year, we held our annual REUNION at the First Parish in Canton! We had a blast: even though a snowstorm kept us inside, the flame of community kept us warm and toasty J we shared amazing meals courtesy of Bryar and family: Island-style Mac ‘n’ Cheese for lunch, and a wonderful Shepherd’s Pie for dinner! In the mid-afternoon, we joined forces with the young adults from the Sharon UU Young Adult Conference for a combined Social Action Workshop that focused on taking action in the wake of the 2016 elections: we shared stories of past social justice activities and discussed different organizations we could join up with. Later that evening, we swapped our clothes at the YES Thrift Shop/Clothing Swap in preparation for our Evening with the Stars fashion show to be held On-Island! Our Saturday evening coffeehouse featured both new and old faces performing favorites like Grok Me Mama and Say It Ain’t So. In the morning, before closing circle, we tag-teamed a shovel-line to make sure the church driveway was all cleared out. We said our good-byes, but we knew we would be seeing each-other soon!
A few months later, Jordan Paul and I helped to coordinate a YES COFFEEHOUSE at Jordan’s congregation, First Church of Rockland. We thought it would be great to give ourselves an excuse to get together, and to give our musically-inclined conferees the chance to prepare for our on-island coffeehouse. We got to hear great music from a number of conferees, including some impromptu combinations! Jordan’s family brought snacks – and they were amazing! Multi-layered brownies, fruit-tart treats… mmm.
Finally, as an appeal to springtime, I decided to shave my beard. I asked the audience for their style advice (and their donation – higher donations would fetch more “groundbreaking” designs). The winning recommendation was to shave “YES” onto my jawline, and I was only too happy to oblige! The whole event helped us raise over $300 for the scholarship fund – not bad for a first-time event!
The staff has also been working to raise money in other ways. We ran a TeeSpring event with a great design from Kieran Teare-Thomas! A big thank-you to everyone who purchased a shirt. If you missed it, you’ll be able to find a few shirts at the Star Island Gift Shop this summer. We’re also gearing up for our big annual IndieGoGo FUNDRAISER! We expect to be launching our fundraiser in the next couple weeks – stay tuned for more updates!
Now, all this blogging has gotten me really excited – I can’t wait to spend a week on the island with all of my YES family. Do you feel the same? Then, if you’re one of our esteemed alumni, stay tuned for our upcoming ALUMNI COOKOUT! And if you’re one of our YES Youth, if you haven’t done it already, REGISTER!
YES 2017 GUIDING LIGHTS
Thanks to Lillian Santo for the wonderful pictures of Star Island in this and the previous updates. And thank you for reading -- we hope to see you soon!
In light and love,
YES 2017 Co-Chair