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Friday, November 27, 2009

For your pre-New-Year's-Eve tax-planning

You probably already support one or several of the 1,200 arts and culture groups in Oregon that, collectively, look to the Oregon Cultural Trust for support. Thanks to a unique law, you can turn your support for those groups into a zero-cost-to-you donation to the Oregon Cultural Trust.

It works like this. Say you gave ten $100 gifts to arts and cultural organizations in Salem, such as
That means you gave a total of $1000 to supported groups -- now, give another $1,000 to the Oregon Cultural Trust and it costs you nothing because you get a $1,000 Cultural Trust Tax Credit. Thus, you can give a total of $2000 to support arts and culture in Salem and your net cash outlay, after tax deductions and credits will be range from only $210 to $410, depending on your federal tax bracket -- so you get to support arts and culture in Salem with real dollars that only cost you dimes. It's the best deal in town. Check it out.

Celebrate the IKE BOX's 5th Anniversary

One of the unsung gems in Salem is the Isaac's Room program and its coffee house, music room, and video production studio known as the IKE BOX. If you get downtown much you will have noticed the amazing transformation of this beautifully restored and spiffed up icon at Chemeketa and Cottage where they help directionless or struggling youth "Get a Life."

Isaac was our first son. Born in October 1998 with a heart problem, he only lived for two months before we lost him on December 29 of that year.

Isaac's Room is our effort to extend the family love and support that we would eagerly have given Isaac throughout his life to the young people in our community who have suffered from a shortage of it throughout theirs. Just as the room that Isaac was supposed to live in is physically empty and therefore available, the space we make in our lives for our own kids is now available through Isaac's Room.

So IKE is a nickname for Isaac, and the IKE Box is the street name and "storefront" of Isaac's Room in the community. The IKE Box is a place where we look after each other and encourage each other to pursue our best life possible, just like we would have done for Isaac. It is, appropriately, like a family.

Our family tree has a lot of branches - we do concerts and coffee and event hospitality, we offer a life-development program called IKE Quest, and we are home to many other interesting groups and cool projects - but bringing it all together is this place in town called the IKE Box, named after this space in our lives, a creatively devoted space for fellowship and belonging one to another, a space we call Isaac's Room.

We hope that when you walk into the IKE Box, you can feel that you’re walking into a story. And we hope you walk in sometime soon.

Mark and Tiffany Bulgin
They are having a 5th Anniversary party on Wednesday, December 16, with desserts and coffee at 6:30 and a video and some speakers at 7:30. Join them and help this unsung gem find a few more fans.