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Reflections on the 3rd Annual Common Grounds Coffee Festival: A Resounding Success

Reflections on the 3rd Annual Common Grounds Coffee Festival: A Resounding Success

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The 3rd Annual Common Grounds Coffee Festival, held at the Cleveland County Fairgrounds in Norman, was a remarkable event that left an indelible mark on the hearts of over 1,100 attendees. The festival, celebrated on a sunny Saturday in early March was not just a day of enjoying the rich tapestry of coffee culture but also a powerful demonstration of community solidarity and support for affordable housing initiatives. The event raised an impressive sum of over $40,000, significantly contributing to the noble cause of building homes and hope within our community.

The festival promised—and delivered—an immersive experience that catered to a wide audience, featuring over 60 vendor booths. These included a mix of coffee culture aficionados, local artists, musicians, and an array of family-friendly STEAM activities, notably presented by the Pioneer Library System. Among the many highlights was the Not Your Average Joe’s VW Van Photo Booth, which captured the joyful moments of festival-goers, creating lasting memories of a day filled with community spirit and shared passion.

In a move to make the festival more accessible to families, the introduction of family packs, with free admission for those 5 and under, was a welcome addition. This initiative not only made the event more affordable but also encouraged families to spend a quality day out, engaging in the varied activities the festival had to offer.

Elle Shroyer, Vice President of Donor and Community Engagement, reflected on the festival's impact, stating, "The Common Grounds Coffee Festival brings our community together in a unique and impactful way. It's an opportunity to celebrate our shared commitment to creating positive change and supporting families in need." Her enthusiasm was a testament to the festival's role in not just celebrating coffee culture but fostering a sense of community and shared purpose.

Attendees had the chance to win fantastic prizes through raffle tickets and a unique coffee pull experience, which added an element of excitement to the day. Furthermore, the festival creatively engaged its audience by hiding construction rubber duckies around the grounds, offering free raffle tickets to those who found them, thereby adding a playful scavenger hunt aspect to the event.

One of the festival's core highlights was the opportunity for attendees to meet with Habitat staff, board members, volunteers, and homeowners. This interaction provided invaluable insights into the ongoing projects and the transformative impact of Rose Rock Habitat for Humanity on the community. In 2023, the funds raised were pivotal in completing two home builds, providing emergency home repairs, community revitalizations, constructing accessibility ramps, and offering support to families in need.

Reflecting on the organization's journey and growth, Shroyer emphasized, "Our journey from a small community organization to a regional force in south-central Oklahoma is a testament to the strength of our community. Together, with the support of local businesses and organizations, we aim to create a better, fairer, and more inclusive community for all our friends and neighbors."

The proceeds from this year's festival will continue to fuel the mission of Rose Rock Habitat for Humanity, supporting ongoing and new home builds, revitalizing homes, and constructing wheelchair ramps for veterans and individuals in need. The 3rd Annual Common Grounds Coffee Festival was not just an event but a powerful expression of community, culture, and commerce coming together for a cause that touches the very foundation of what makes Oklahoma unique and vibrant.

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