Andy and I and our family want to wish everyone a safe and happy new year celebration and success in 2018 in all of your endeavors!
We are still working on building our clientele for the Bed & Breakfast but pretty much stay as busy as we want to. It is such a treat for us to meet new people, make new friends, and catch up with returning guests. All of our "advertising" is on social media or word-of-mouth, with TravelOK.com, TripAdvisor, and Google searches bringing us guests looking for a special experience. We have a great relationship with the Park Lodge staff and management and we each refer potential guests back and forth. There is a new Park manager and a new Park Ranger at Roman Nose State Park and we look forward to working with them, both in promoting their programs and attracting more people to this tucked-away treasure in rural Blaine County.
Our "Oklahoma House Concert series" has attracted many talented musicians to come out to the Chaparral Retreat to perform, and our audience is growing. We've been working with the owners of the Whirlwind Winery in downtown Watonga to "cross-promote" our businesses. They bring in lots of people from the OKC metro area through their wine & cheese pairing Groupons, and Brad and Don (owners) allow us to promote our B&B and the House Concerts at their storefront on Main St. We have even held a couple of house concerts at the winery, trying to get more visitors to the Watonga downtown area.
Brian Pounds and Grace Pettis
We haven't done any Liquid ART classes this year but did provide supplies and art instruction for two local fundraisers -- one for a woman's medical expenses and one for a Relay for Life team. Mainly, we have been focusing on the music series and renovating the building next to the Winery on Main St. Watonga in order to open an Art Gallery/Creative Space. Andy has made lots of progress this year with the help of Drew and several volunteers. Phoenix Circle Foundation received a small grant from Walmart and I've submitted several other grant applications that we hope to hear from in January. The space is coming together slowly but surely, and we want to have it ready for some children's art projects and to use as a live music venue by Mid-March. In order to do that, I do a lot of "begging"/fundraising, and praying for that special "angel" -- a local business person or corporation who can see our vision for Main Street to become a year-around tourist destination and is willing to invest in the community with a significant philanthropic gift to Phoenix Circle Foundation.
We are thankful for the individuals who support our efforts and support the arts with their donations and attendance at activities and events we have held over the year, including the house concerts. This past year we had at least one house concert a month, held a sidewalk chalk art activity for children in town, and gave away free school supplies to local children/families. PIONEER TELEPHONE and Geary resident Kaye Base donated to our effort to encourage youth to pursue art experiences with a $250 scholarship to a high school student in May. I've worked with the high school counselors and art teachers in the schools in Blaine County that have some kind of arts program -- music or visual arts -- to raise awareness about Phoenix Circle Foundation's mission.
This summer we held an art auction and house concert as a fundraiser, featuring Brian Pounds and Grace Pettis from Austin providing some awesome music, and works of art donated by several Oklahoma artists for us to sell. Both the Whirlwind Winery and K&R Liquor provided some adult beverages, and we had Bedre' chocolate for our guests. We cannot say "thank you" enough to everyone who helped make this small event a success. I've posted our thanks on all of our facebook pages, but we can never thank these awesome and generous people enough!
This is all I have strength to write today -- I may edit later, but for now, I hope everyone is able to stay healthy, warm, and safe at the start of the new year!!