Officially Not Profiting

As of Valentine’s Day, Story Night officially became a non-profit organization. I’ll address what that means to you. First, though, I want to thank Rob McDermid, an attorney, CK school board member and friend to Story Night, for his assistance in helping me incorporate. The state makes it easy, but there were a couple of spots where Rob’s expertise came in handy. He did it for free, so he deserves many thanks.

How this affects you depends on you, really. For many it will have no impact at all. Story Night will go on as it has.

The difference this makes for Story Night is it increases the ability to raise money. This isn’t a terribly expensive undertaking, but there are expenses. There are the medals, the copying of paper for judge sheets and anonymous questions, pens and website hosting. The last two months I advertised on Facebook, which seems to have drawn new people.

In the past I have made small requests for donations. For example, if you do your Amazon shopping by going through the link posted on StoryNight.org, Story Night gets a cut. You don’t pay any more, but the event benefits. But I’ve felt a little sheepish about making any big pitches for money without accounting for how it’s spent. There is also a “contribute” button on the site. Between the two ways of contributing, Story Night has received no more than $50 total.

I will continue to donate monthly to the event, but in the future you may see more pitches asking you to pitch in a little as well. I’m still figuring out how that will happen, and I will probably post a survey here asking whether and how people would be willing to contribute. One thing I’m still considering is whether it’s worth it to file as a federal 501(c)3 corporation. My understanding is it’s necessary in order to be able to tell people their contributions are tax deductible. If you know of a CPA who’d be willing to do offer pro bono advice and other assistance, I’m all ears.

The first goal of fundraising is to create a sustainable source to keep the event going. The added benefit is having people care enough about the event to invest in it. The second goal is to improve the quality of the event, such as buying equipment so people don’t have to use the lavalier mic to get recorded. The third goal is to expand Story Night’s reach into other communities, such as Poulsbo and Port Orchard, or even to help in Ocean Shores, if asked. It would also be fun and valuable to have school kids doing this.

So, in the next few days look here for a survey that will help me guess what we could reasonably hope for should we request your help. In the meantime, we look forward to hearing your story. See you Thursday!

20: Corinne Nichol — Literally Falling in Love

Corinne Nichol took flight in her life after her divorce. She realized something else in her life after a brief moment that could have ended differently.

Corinne told this story at the January 5, 2017 Story Night. The theme that night was “Life After.”

She was the night’s winner. In fact, on the three occasions she has spoken, she has walked away with the night’s medal. She’ll be back on February 2, 2017.

Thank you for listening, we look forward to hearing your story.

18: Genavieve Scott — On the Rails to Seattle

railsGenavieve Scott was going nowhere, not even home, in Minneapolis. She ran into a group that for a short time became friends. They suggested Seattle, but getting there would be an adventure. Spoiler alert: She didn’t make it to Seattle then, but given her telling this story in Bremerton and coming back to Story Night the next month, she made it eventually.

We can’t wait to hear that story.

Genavieve told this story at our July 7, 2016 Story Night event when the theme was “Great Escapes.”

Go to our “Events” page to find out when our next Story Night will be.

Thank you for listening. We look forward to hearing your story.

15: Story Night of Champions 2015

SNtrophy2015Every Story Night is a night to remember, but this one was extra special. We took our winners and a couple of others who had done well in the past year and put on a “Story Night of Champions.”

At the end we not only crowned the monthly winner, Josh Farley, we handed out a trophy to our “Storyteller of the Year,” Alison Loris. The night’s stories played a hand in creating the overall award winner, but Alison went into the night with a pretty big lead, based on her three wins and her participation at 11 different Story Night events.

The Kitsap Regional Library Friends of the Sylvan Way branch provided gift cards to our seven storytellers. Library staff also recorded the night’s evening. As soon as that becomes available we’ll post it here.

Thank you all for taking part in the Story Night events and for listening here. Thank you to my friends at the library, particularly Sarah Jaffa and Megan May, for all the work you’ve done to help us succeed. When we started we were drawing between 20 and 30 people a night. Now we’re getting 50 or more most nights, and I owe the library crew for most of that. Thanks again to Josh Farley for giving me the push to get this started and for getting the momentum going at first. Thanks to Diana Gardner, my wife, for the photographs from the events, for helping get friends and family to the event and for not resenting my wish to do this in the first place. Thanks to the Cloverleaf for providing a great venue even during football season. Thanks to the Manette Saloon for giving us our first home. Thanks to Mike Bishop for being our most frequent math wiz. Thank you to Alison Loris, for believing in Story Night enough to speak every month. She told me she feels a little obliged to speak, because she wants to make sure Story Night continues. I’d love for her to not feel obligated, but I appreciate that commitment.

This has been a blast. And it continues next month. On Jan. 7, 2016 we are back. The theme will be “Fear of …” We look forward to hearing your story.

14: Adam Lennon — When Life was ‘Over’

SNhallwayThis is a story about waking up, but believing your life is over.

Adam Lennon attempted suicide less than a year ago and soon found himself in a psychiatric facility. There he heard stories, including some he didn’t believe.

By the end of his stay he changed his mind about a lot of things, some because he had to, but others because he began to see things in a new way. A big part of that was trusting that once he left he would be able to find purpose in post psychiatric hospital life.

He did. You can see the evidence at SeaTreadStudios.com.

Adam told this story at the Nov. 5, 2015 Story Night. The theme was “Breaking Bread.”

The Story Night Podcast can also be found on iTunes and SoundCloud.

11: Steven Gardner — Swimming to a Different Conclusion

water-103817_1920In 2009 I jumped into a pool after my 2-year-old had fallen in. Between the time I jumped and the time I got to him, I had time to wonder if he would need CPR, if I knew CPR and time to have a quick memory of a family I knew growing up.

This story was part of our Oct. 1, 2015 Story Night. The night’s themes were those that could be found in Jonathan Evison’s book, The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving. The book was the featured title in Kitsap Regional Library’s “One Book, One Community” program for 2015.

10: Megan May — Confronting an American demon

piano-640334_1280How tragic is it to go to one of your favorite places on earth and there learn that some of life’s ugliness can make an appearance. Just because we don’t see it doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Megan May saw racism for the first time and learned that while she hadn’t noticed it before, it had been present.

Megan is a Kitsap Regional Library employee and frequent storyteller at Story Night. This story comes from the Sept. 2, 2015 Story Night event. The theme was “offended.”

9: Lorinda Esposito gives a hand

SNimpossibleDespite being born missing one hand, there didn’t seem to be much of anything Lorinda Esposito could not do. That included executing justice on fellow second-graders who doubted her abilities and taunted her.

The real hero of this story was Lorinda’s mother.

The schoolyard is home to many of our outdoor memories. On August 6, 2015, Esposito won the Story Night event themed, “The Great Outdoors.” At 11 minutes, she showed that a longer story doesn’t have to feel longer.

8: Two thirds a tough job

osaka-castle-183446_1280Two stories about work make it to this podcast, one that requires long sleeves and another out of Osaka, Japan that shows just how tough a job it can be to laugh.

Rosi Farley makes a return appearance on the podcast in the second story. Scott Park, the first storyteller, used the July 2, 2015 event to make his Story Night debut. The two participants tied for third.. The theme of the night was “Summer jobs or temporary jobs.”