Toast of the town: New event raises funds for library

April, 2012 Posted in Community

By Mary Owen

The Stayton Public Library Foundation is nearly $16,000 richer thanks to funds raised at an unusual toasting event in March.

Several years ago, Stephanie Jorgensen attended an Irish toast competition. She presented her idea for a toast competition as a fundraiser to Stayton City Manager Don Eubank and Mayor Scott Vigil.

Those conversations led to Jorgensen organizing The Toast of Stayton in March.

Jorgensen said the event accentuated the positive, highlighting the best in the Stayton community, and “even better, it gives a window into how each of us love our community for a variety of reasons!”

So after three brainstorming sessions with Library Director Louise Meyers, members of the library foundation, and two city administrators, Jorgensen’s idea became a reality.

On March 10, doors opened at the Stayton Community Center to nearly 300 people who came to celebrate – and toast – the city of Stayton.

“It was a great party, with food, music, local art and best of all, the great people from Stayton,” Jorgensen said of the Mayor’s Charity Celebration to benefit the Stayton Public Library Foundation.

“Santiam Memorial Hospital, a champagne-level sponsor, presented a short movie that spliced together photographs of their construction project, illustrating the hospital’s progress from demolition to construction,” she said.

SCTC, also a champagne-level sponsor, arranged for Ken Cartwright to film the event, and SCTC board president Bob Koenig delivered a toast to the community, praising the excellence of the Stayton Public Library.

“The guests were very social, danced to music by Joe Stoddard, enjoyed appetizers from Roth’s Fresh Market, Rob’s PanezaNellie Pizza Shoppe, Patti Cakes, Trexler Farm and Valley Family Roasters,” she wrote. “Guests enjoyed talking to Orville Roth about the Roth’s remodel and the expansion of the deli and organic produce section.”

Mayor Vigil and his band, After Hours, donated time and energy to set up the stage and sound system before playing rock ‘n roll, keeping the dance floor busy late into the night, Jorgensen said.

The highlight of the evening was the toast competition. Guests purchased vote tokens for $1 and $5 to be used to vote for their favorite of eight toasts.

“Two toast contestants were the warm up act, and wrote their toast on a napkin just minutes before the competition,” Jorgensen said.

The remaining six toasters were pre-selected after they competed in a qualifying toast competition the week prior to the actual event, she said.

Michael Jaeger won the competition, collecting $179 in votes. He immediately donated his $100 winnings back to the library, but kept an engraved beer mug, Jorgensen said.

Other participants were Tom Van Veen, Paul Toews, Catherine Cromer, Mary Albert, Carol Tabor, Jack Darley and Louise Meyers.

“So many people have encouraged us to do the event again!” Jorgensen said. “We will discuss the future of The Toast of Stayton at our next board meeting. An inside scoop … all our board members enjoyed the event and working together. We’re thrilled to earn money for our beloved library.”

Funds raised go to the Stayton Public Library Foundation’s endowment fund to help provide an income stream to support library services. “Fundraising has been challenging in our economy, and we’re excited that The Toast of Stayton delivered a positive experience,” Jorgensen said. “It was the most successful fundraising event since the Capital Campaign.”

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.