The Beginnings of Esprit
A few months prior to this event a few Emerald City members (Michelle Lee, her s.o. Jan, and Janice Van Cleve) had met with Johanna Bolton and myself at my then residence in Maple Ridge. Sitting around my backyard pool Michelle mentioned the success of “The Texas T Party” – then a very popular community event. We then wondered if a similar event in the Pacific Northwest would be as popular (little did we know) as their event. After kicking the idea around for a while we wondered what to name it and Jan came up with the ESPRIT name. We all agreed it was a good name for such an event. We went on to subtitle it “90 in 90”, which was to represent the year it was to be held and the amount of participants we hoped to persuade to attend from the three Northwest groups: Cornbury, Emerald City and NWGA. Given that the three groups had combined memberships of over two hundred our goal did not seem unreasonable. We concluded our get together with the intention of going back to our various group executives to see if the idea would fly. The NWGA group still had to be contacted to get their approval.
For the next couple of weeks the phone lines burned red hot as we made our plans. The Cornbury membership were enthusiastic with their approval. Emerald City’s Michelle Lee and Janice Van Cleve had recruited Debra Darling, Judy Osborne, and others to their team but were battling with Mikki and her group who were opposed to the idea. Down in Portland Ellen Summers and Dana McDonald were having very little trouble in persuading their group to participate.
After a few weeks of fierce in-fighting Michelle and Janis had won the approval of the majority of the Emerald City membership and the event was on.
A committee was formed consisting of Janice Van Cleve and Michelle Lee (Emerald City), Dana McDonald & Ellen Summers (NWGA) and Johanna Bolton & myself from Cornbury.
The next problem was where to hold the event?