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In which we lay out the Plan, with all the brevity and detail we can muster for you, dear readers. 

Miss the first chapters?  Here ya go!
Chapter 1: The Reason for the Journey
Chapter 2: Where We're Going

~Yours truly, the Saddle Up! trail bosses. 

Chapter 3: The Trail Map: Our route through the wilderness of a Capital Campaign, and landmarks pointing the way.

We have officially launched a five year, $2million capital campaign, known as Saddle Up, to ensure a long future for Ekone Ranch!  Saddle Up, because even though we LOVE to ride bareback at Ekone, for a journey like this you really just gotta have a good saddle.  Saddle Up, because the after all the trust-building and groundwork, the horses are ready.  Saddle Up, because love is an action, we have somewhere to go, and the time is now!
And we have already achieved some landmark victories!

For starters—in February 2018, Sacred Earth Foundation was awarded the Conditional Use Permit that is required to operate a summer camp in this location!!!  (After 32 years of doing so…when Ray started camp in 1986 with 8 kids, he apparently wasn’t thinking about zoning.  More about that in Chapter 6!) 

Klickitat County has been awesome to work with, and the process thus far has been smooth and encouraging.  We spelled out a clear plan for meeting all of the conditions of this permit, and are well on our way.  This is a monumental step towards legitimizing and stabilizing Ekone’s work for the long future.  
We’re also delighted to announce that we’re over $600,000 into our ambitious goal!  Yahooooo!  This is due to the exceptional belief of a handful of early donors (more about them in Chapter 8), the sale of the 40-acre Hacienda parcel, and the fiscal strength of Sacred Earth Foundation that allowed us to allocate some unrestricted reserves to launch this project. 
And we’ve already gotten to work.  We replaced the entire foundation under the Lodge and embarked on rewiring the whole structure.  We increased staffing levels to accommodate this massive undertaking.  We invested in design, engineering, and planning.  We hired some awesome consultants.  And we had many, many conversations with donors and advisors, testing our plans, gathering feedback, and revising accordingly.
Next up is the first “September Stampede”—a month-long fundraising blitz culminating in the Barbed Wire Ball, in which we plan to raise the funds needed to stay on track and on plan for the next year.  Bottom line--we need to raise $100,000 by the end of September to fund this year's urgent priorities.  Stretch goal--$200,000 would also set the stage for 2019 projects.  Ultimately--$500,000 will fully fund Phase 1.
With the funds raised this year, we’ll tackle these Phase 1 projects:
  • Purchase the “Gateway 5 Acres”, which Ekone’s driveway crosses, to secure the proper easements and ensure a lovely approach to Ekone forever.  
  • Upgrade the driveway to county standards for emergency vehicle access, required for future building permits and just a smart thing to do. 
This car, just above the rope swings?  Actually not on Ekone land. 
Nor could it squeeze by a fire truck on this driveway. 
Phase 1 continues in 2019, with some gratifyingly tangible products:
  • Construction of the new and improved bunkhouse, built in the familiar A-frame style but with space for ALL our campers and other programs, year round.  
  • Lodge renovations continue, with upgraded electrical wiring, structural reinforcements, and wings added for shear strength.  
In Phase 2, 2020-2021, we’ll build the new Yummy Tummy Café and wheelchair-accessible bathhouse, and finish renovations on the Lodge. 
Phase 3, 2022, will address the needs of the shop and employee housing.  

(If you’re the kind of person who enjoys spreadsheets, Click Here to see our gorgeous budget.  The teaser below is just to show you that we have one!)
This trail map has been diligently researched, reviewed and tested, and while there are certainly hazards, mysteries, and challenging terrain ahead, we believe it’s a good map that will get us to the destination.  And all the signs are pointing up and onward…giddyup! 
Watch in the coming days for these upcoming chapters of Straight from the Saddle!
Chapter 4: Provisioning for the Journey:  What we need and how you can help.
Chapter 5: Truth-Checking:  Do we really gotta do this??  The stakes.
Chapter 6: The Dusty Trail Behind Us:  A brief history of Ekone’s facilities and how we arrived at this crossroads.
Chapter 7: How many cowpokes does it take to Saddle Up?  Our team.
Chapter 8: Route Scouts:  The early donors who believed in this journey before we even knew the destination.
"Um, wait a minute.  There's no "click here to donate" button."

You're right.  We are not asking for your donation today--but we both know that we will.  And soon.  We'll be asking everyone we know to   s t  r   e   t    c     h     on behalf of Ekone.

But it's not a decision we want you to make impulsively.  We want you to have all the information, talk to your family and financial advisors, think about who you know, and consider carefully how you might be able to help Ekone Ranch survive and thrive long into the future.

And ideally, we'd love to have a personal conversation with you to talk about your gift, your connections, and other ways you might be able to help.  Ready to schedule that conversation?  We'd love to hear from you!

Sacred Earth Foundation stewards 1,133 acres in the upper Rock Creek watershed, and is the home of Ekone Summer Camps and White Eagle Memorial Preserve.

www.ekone.org  ~  www.naturalburialground.org
509-773-4536 ~ sacredearth@ekone.org


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