Twenty-five years ago, a fledgling social services agency set up shop in Room One of the Methow Valley Community Center in Twisp. In time the organization outgrew its original space and moved to a building on Lincoln Street near the TwispWorks campus — and kept the name of its previous address. Now Room One is about to add a new building to accommodate its expanded reach and mission.
It’s challenging to adequately describe Room One in a manageable sentence. On its website, we are told that “Room One is a nonprofit community-centered organization working in partnership towards a rural valley where all can thrive.” That only begins to describe Room One’s role in this community. After a quarter of a century, the agency is at the center of a web of vital services that the valley might otherwise lack.
Again, according to the website, “In 1998, Room One organized to prevent domestic violence and teen pregnancy in our rural community. … Since that time, we have built strong partnerships, networks, and collaborations in the Methow Valley and across the state. … Today, we use our core foundation and learnings from the domestic violence movement to provide a broad and critical safety net for our most vulnerable neighbors, including marginalized youth and girls, new mothers, families living in poverty, those struggling with mental illness or addiction, youth without safe or stable homes, and vulnerable aging adults.”
That kind of ambition encompasses a lot of territory, which requires resources, leadership and passion. It’s a great story to tell, and for its 25th anniversary, Room One decided on a way to tell it.
Several months ago, Managing Director Kelly Edwards approached the Methow Valley News on behalf of Room One to talk about developing a publication that would not only celebrate the organization, but also provide more insight into its origins and evolution. From an initial rough outline that contemplated a 16-page, magazine-style insert in the newspaper, the project grew to the 44-page, glossy-covered publication that you will find in this week’s newspaper.
The magazine kept growing because Room One indeed has a lot to talk about, and just as important there a lot of people who are eager to talk about the organization and its role in our community. There was an abundance of material.
Not only will you find a copy of the anniversary publication in this edition, but Room One also will have hundreds of extra copies for distribution around the valley and beyond. It’s a keepsake that we are proud to be associated with, and one you may want to hang on to.
The magazine definitely required organization, teamwork, coordination and untold hours of effort to ensure that it would arrive at the Wenatchee World press room by last week’s deadline (and we worked up until the last minute making adjustments).
Room One generated the content and provided graphics and photography, gathered from a universe of sources who were happy to contribute. It was a lot to process. They were assisted in an editing capacity by Marcy Stamper, who worked on the project through a contract with Room One, separate from her work here.
Our designer, MyKenzie Bennett, worked at her typically efficient pace to put it all together — and unless you’ve done that, you have no idea what a complicated jigsaw puzzle it can be. The folks in the Wenatchee World press room were, as usual, responsive and helpful whenever we needed information or guidance.
“It has been a true gift to talk with founding members, clients, youth, and seniors who have all been part of what has made Room One what it is today,” according to information about the publication on the organization’s website. “The purpose of this collection of stories and writings is to: honor our roots, share stories, and envision the future. It has been a rich summer of envisioning where our community will be 25 years from now and starting to think about who our community will need us to be.”
Something to add to your calendar: Room One will host a free community block party in front of its buildings on Oct. 14 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., including music, food, activities and more. By then, you’ll have had some time to read the 25th anniversary magazine and have a true sense of what the celebrating is all about.