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Well Creative Juicers, today is a very special day here at Catalyst Ranch. Today is the 11 year anniversary of our very first meeting. On that fateful day 11 years ago the very first clients walked in the (freshly painted) doors of Catalyst Ranch. Back then we were only one floor and the staff was more or less just Eva. But for all that’s changed at the Ranch in 11 years, much has remained the same. The idea that disorientation and nostalgia are central to the formation of new ideas and creative thought still remains part of our core philosophy as does our dedication to  champagne customer service and to helping you achieve the most effective meeting possible.

So after 11 years in business, how do we feel? Well, mostly we feel thankful. Thankful that the local and international meetings industry has embraced Eva’s unique vision. Thankful to our clients, both the longtime clients who set foot in Catalyst Ranch for a meeting one day and never left, as well the new clients who find us every day. And thankful to our neighborhood, the West Loop, that has welcomed us, embraced us and blossomed around us. So to all of our friends and fans, clients, neighbors and creative thinkers, thank you, thank you, thank you.

At Catalyst Ranch we feel so grateful for where we are today that we love to give back to the community in numerous ways throughout the year. One way we love to give back is through our green meeting initiative. We work hard to be a green meeting venue and leave the smallest carbon footprint possible. We even compost to minimize waste and at the end of every day we donate any leftover food to the Pacific Garden Mission. Another is through our free or reduced pricing for not-for-profits.

project MUSICWe also sponsor and/or host some major Chicago philanthropic events throughout our year including:

LYDIA Home:

As a provider of housing and services to abused and neglected children LYDIA Home is one of the most important charities in Chicago. Every year we host one of LYDIA Home’s biggest events called “project MUSIC” which ultimately results in being able to send the 40 Lydia Home kids to camp each summer.

Kaleidoscope: 

Through their vision that every child gets the chance to lead an independent, self-sufficient, productive, and happy life, Kaleidoscope’s mission is to serve abused and neglected families unconditionally through individualized, family-centered, community-focused care. Catalyst Ranch was proud to host and sponsor Kaleidoscope’s major fundraiser “We’ve Got heART.” The kids that Kaleidoscope works with are wonderful and creative and the event showcased art made by these kids. Their pieces were professionally framed and hung throughout the Ranch. The event is simply amazing – the young artists receive commissions for their work and get to share their inspiration with their supporters throughout the evening.

bdclogo_red_sm_trans-3_copyThe Big Draw Chicago: 

Now in its 3rd year, the Big Draw Chicago is a month long, city wide arts festival aimed at engaging the entire Chicagoland community is drawing based activities all throughout the month of October. In addition to being a sponsor for the festival as a whole, Catalyst Ranch hosted Diane Durand’s Big Draw event, “Discovery Doodles.” With help from Catalyst Ranch, Big Draw is bringing art and creativity to the masses.

And that’s just a few of the many community groups that Catalyst Ranch supports! So on this day when those of us at Catalyst Ranch are so thankful, how can you join us in giving back? Easy! One great way that you can stand with us is through our yearly food drive to benefit The Greater Chicago Food Depository and the needy people in our community.

food-drive-2010Next time you come for a meeting simply bring non perishable-food items and drop them in the donation box next to the exit. Or, if you don’t have a meeting but find yourself in our neighborhood feel free to drop in anyway with your non-perishable items. We love meeting new faces just as much as we love seeing old friendly ones! You can also donate via this link.

Our first 11 years have been tremendous and with your help and continued support we can’t wait to see what the next 11 years and beyond have in store at Catalyst Ranch! Let us know your favorite Catalyst Ranch stories in the comments below and we’ll share them here on the blog and on Facebook!