Dear friends and fellow community members,
Tom’s health has been faltering over the past decade. First prostate, then bone cancer, congestive heart failure, diabetes and various associated ills have wreaked havoc. He doesn’t have the same energy he once had, to say the least. Sara’s time and energy goes to managing our businesses and Tom’s health issues, household chores and maintenance. The result is that we have far less income—and more costs.
You may be close friends, you may have been touched by our art , or you may be someone we have passed on the street, but we are, because it is the option that is left to us, asking for your help.
We have lived on the Olympic Peninsula for over four decades, and much of our time and energy has gone to engaging with this place. With other passionate—and at the time, youthful—members of the community, we organized several salmon festivals, worked to restore salmon habitat, and always, we have made art.
We have given our lives to engaging artistically to share what is present in this place. Our sculptures, Tom's poetry, Sara's coordinated community quests like the Dragon Tracking game or Watershed Trading Cards—all have been the product of thousands of hours of hard work investing in the preservation and celebration of what we most love about this place.
We have lived modestly, and have few regrets, but our choices have had consequences. As we reach the end of our productive lives, these consequences are humbling.
We are living a crisis of health, time, energy and finances. Very recently, Tom’s cancer pain has escalated to unprecedented levels. New meds aren’t keeping it well-managed, so the immediate future is unclear. Next steps will most likely include heavier-duty chemo, with unknown results.
Tom is keen to finish a currently ongoing commission while he still can. It’s an impressive large bronze meditation bell destined for the new Meditation Center in Fort Worden, a nearby state park. The bell is due to be installed in April 2020. Casting the bell into bronze and finishing the details work once it is cast is a major physical challenge for us both. Former students from our casting class have generously offered their help. But months of work remain.
What we are seeking is dignity and the ability to finish some important work in our final years.
As younger, idealistic community organizers, we dedicated what resources we had to finance the creation and support of environmental community and decades of salmon restoration. This was a choice that we made, and some might call it youthful impertinence. But surely positive results remain and linger in the local and regional community. It is on this basis that we ask for your solidarity.
To put a dent our debt and finish our lives with dignity, we need to raise $50,000. This will help us with crushing medical bills, allow us to live and work independently as long as we possibly can, and help pay for some urgent maintenance on the foundry
Any contribution that you feel moved and able to make is welcome.
You have our gratitude.
Tom and Sara