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About this blog: I am a native of Alameda County, grew up in Pleasanton and currently live in the house I grew up in that is more than 100 years old. I spent 39 years in the daily newspaper business and wrote a column for more than 25 years in add...  (More)

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Next Step pivots quickly again

Uploaded: Sep 8, 2020
2020 has been a year of pivots for non-profit groups, many which rely on major fundraisers to support their programs.

These events in the Tri-Valley have largely been moved to online via Zoom or streamed live on Facebook or YouTube. Pleasanton-based Next Step had sent out invitations a different approach—a drive-in event at the Alameda County Fairgrounds later this month.

Now Executive Director Michelle Kelly and her team must quickly reverse course. The fairgrounds is the staging area for the firefighters and PG&E crews battling the massive SCU Lightening Complex blaze that stretches into portions of six counties. She received word the teams would be using the fairgrounds throughout the month so it was time to pivot again.

The drive-in movie night has become an at-home movie night fundraiser. The first 100 people who sign up for the Sept. 25-28 event will be delivered popcorn and a home movie kit on Sept. 24 (they must live in the valley).

As I’ve listened to many forums for leaders over the last few months two characteristics have been emphasized are being nimble and flexible.

Thinking of the fairgrounds over Labor Day weekend, it struck me just how different this year has been because of COVID-19. Not only was the fair cancelled, all the fairgrounds’ major events also have been cancelled. The last 10 days would have been the busiest time of the year with the Good Guys car show the last weekend in August and then the Scottish Games over Labor Day weekend. Of course, given the stunning heat that topped officially at 109 (it was hotter than that at our house), Scottish participants are probably delighted they weren’t competing in their plaid wool garments.

Changing gears, my dear friend Pastor Roger Lewis has decided that 27 years is long enough for his monthly newsletter that encourages pastors and other Christian leaders. His 8-page newsletter, copied in color, was mailed monthly. Thanks to technology, his oldest son who lives in Southern California joined him via Skype to proofread and edit his work. His final edition notes that to qualify for the non-profit bulk mailing rate, he must mail 200 copies and the circulation has fallen below that number.

Roger and I served together on the Shepherd’s Gate board starting 20 years ago and we’ve maintained our friendship through the years. With the newsletter off his plate, he can continue to encourage ministry leaders and others with his gentle spirit and deep faith in his sovereign Heavenly Father.




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