Thursday, January 18, 2018

Orlando Story Club Concluded Its Season With “Best Of 2017.”

Orlando Story Club is held quarterly at The Abbey, 100 South Eola Drive, Orlando, FL 32801. The December 2017 edition of Orlando Story Club featured the  2017 winners who shared their best personal narratives in hopes of being crowned the best storyteller of the year. All qualifying storytellers are given the opportunity to put their name in a hat, and chosen individuals are selected randomly to share their stories for the enjoyment of the local community. The December event theme was “Best Day Ever” and the benefiting organization was ArtReach Orlando.

All storytellers who placed in the top three during one of the 2017 events were invited to compete in the finale. Three randomly selected judges scored the storytellers. First, Second, and Third place winners received a prize. Drinks, refreshments and laughter were available in abundance. Each event throughout the year had a different theme and all proceeds raised support different Orlando philanthropic causes.

Jack Graham told a story of a road trip to see the total eclipse of the sun. The eclipse totality could be seen in a 500 mile wide stripe that ran cross the united states. It crossed over Charleston South Carolina which is where I went to see the once in a lifetime event. Jacks road trip was filled with laugh out loud suspense and a rouge police radar tracking device. Clouds threatened to hid the sun but at the last moment the clouds parted to allow for a clear view. The world grew dark and the birds became silent and creatures of the night began their songs. The real magic of it all however was sharing the experience with friends.

Jesse James story of "The Impossible Dream" garnered a higher score from the judges. He spoke of his longing to start a family but realizing that he could not father a child. He met a woman who shared his dream and together they started the long arduous process of adopting a child. When he spoke of his trip to Korea to finally pick up the child his voice choked up as he recalled the incredible moment when he saw his daughter for the first time. Hearing such inspiring stories is what Story Club is all about.

Janessa Gursky explained the focus of the December charity partner which was ArtReach Orlando, which promotes creativity and art projects that in return develop a positive platform and chance for self-expression for children in underprivileged areas of Orange County. The grant program, ArtReach Orlando Artist-in-Residence, supplies teachers with additional content and learning material that fosters comprehension among children, while encouraging and supporting the teachers and students involved. The organization aims to empower its participants and children as it maintains a focus of improving youth’s self-esteem, self of being and belonging in the community. These lofty goals are the reason I tend to sketch each and every day.

Here is the schedule for 2018:
January 17: This is Orlando - benefiting Zebra Coalition
April 4: Make My Day - benefiting Summer of Dreams
May: Fringe TBD
July 18: What a Mess! - benefiting Pet Alliance
Oct 10: Down to the Wire - benefiting Homeless Coalition
2018 Championship Dec 12: My Favorite Things - benefiting ArtReach Orlando

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

No comments: