Benefits support the power of sharing stories
Speakers for The Fig Tree’s 2015 Benefit Breakfast and Benefit Lunch will tell how the newspaper, resource directory and online media empower people by sharing stories that “inform, inspire and involve” people.
The Fig Tree is celebrating its 31st year of publication, covering stories of people who make a difference because of their faith and values. Its print and online media connect people to work together to serve individuals in need and to promote justice. Its annual Resource Directory is a comprehensive guide to congregations and community resources, helping people network and find services they need.
The breakfast buffet begins at 7:15 a.m. and the program at 7:30 a.m., Wednesday, March 11, in Cataldo Hall at Gonzaga University.
The lunch buffet begins at 11:45 a.m. and the program at noon, Friday, March 13, also in Cataldo Hall at Gonzaga University.
Breakfast speakers include the Rev. Happy Watkins, pastor of New Hope Baptist Church and advocate for civil rights and racial equality; Dawn Bayman, director of member services at Friends of KSPS Public Television and member of the Northwest Alliance for Responsible Media Board; Fr. Michael Savelesky, administrator for the Catholic Diocese of Spokane and long-time Fig Tree advocate; Diane Sanderson, member of the Spokane Valley Tri-Parish ecumenical partnership of St. Mary’s Catholic, Resurrection Episcopal and Advent Lutheran churches.
The lunch speakers are Happy Watkins, who is also a Fig Tree Board Member; Pia Hallenberg, Spokesman-Review writer; Bob Lawrence of KSPS-TV, who prepared the Northwest Profiles program on The Fig Tree, and Norm Gissel, a Coeur d’Alene attorney active in the Kootenai County Task Force for Human Relations and the Human Rights Education Institute.
The Northwest Profiles (KSPS) video on The Fig Tree from last May will be shown as part of the program. A slide show reviewing stories of the past year will run before the event. Editor and founder Mary Stamp will also offer an overview of The Fig Tree’s media approach.
“Like public broadcasting, The Fig Tree is available free but is supported by the sponsorships of readers and by the support of advertisers/underwriters,” Mary said. “Our benefits are like public broadcasting pledge drives, opportunities to celebrate our model of journalism and invite support.
“As people are informed, they are inspired and become involved in direct service and advocacy to care for others and explore policies that improve their lives,” she said. “For example, whenever media focus attention on disasters, projects or issues, readers and viewers are motivated to give and to help. As general media attention wanes, our media continue to tell stories of how faith and nonprofit communities work over the long-term to restore lives, reach out in creative ways and overcome divisions to bring reconciliation.
“People who live their faith and values provide a plethora of stories to share,” Mary said.
The Sisters of Providence Mother Joseph Province in Renton and Advent Lutheran Church in Spokane Valley each recently donated $1,000 to help underwrite the events. The Fig Tree seeks other underwriters to help cover the costs, along with table hosts who donate to cover the costs of meals for their seven guests.
“Last year, we raised nearly $30,000. To meet expenses and move into the future, we need to grow to raise $48,000 at these events,” said Mary.
Copyright © March 2015 - The Fig Tree