By Dinny Evans
For Goodness Sake closed last month, and I want to offer some recollections of how this wonderful place got started. The story says a lot about our town’s desire for spiritual depth — and about philanthropy.
Saturday, Sept. 30, 2006 was the grand opening of For Goodness Sake. As I remember, it was the weekend of the Truckee Wine, Walk, and Shop Festival. The old popcorn machine was cranking out popcorn, we had a lemonade fountain, and David Griswold was on the sidewalk inviting people to come in and have a tour of this new business offering. The opening of For Goodness Sake had been years in the making. The building had been totally remodeled, decorated, and furnished, and a library had been stocked. There had been a team working on the mission statement, and on this day, they were ready to bring people inside.
David was a successful businessman and entrepreneur. He was in no way ready to retire, and so Dave and his wife, Margie, had come up with the concept of For Goodness Sake, a nondenominational spiritual center for Margie to take the lead on. It was her baby to develop and grow. They brought together many of their friends from around the country to help with the design and the concept. The first week of the opening, there were special speakers to show the community what For Goodness Sake had in store for the future.
For the first 15 months, no one but those of us honored to work with the founders knew who they were. Suddenly, in downtown Truckee was this amazing resource put together by an entity choosing to remain anonymous. And then at a holiday gathering in December 2007, Margie stood up and identified herself and her husband as not only the founders, but also the full benefactors. It was quite an evening. Until December of 2017, everything that For Goodness Sake hosted was a gift to the community, no fees charged.
In the year before the opening, I was contacted by a good friend, Gretchen, who had just designed the For Goodness Sake logo. Yes, she was behind the beautiful child with uplifted arms. She thought it would be something that I would be interested in — and was she ever correct. That was the beginning for me, 17 years ago, of a most incredible spiritual journey that has undoubtedly changed my life. The Griswolds offered a space, a platform for classes and workshops, and opportunities to learn about living a spiritual path. Our offerings included weekly meditation groups, attitudinal healing, yoga nidra meditations, a wisdom circle, Tai Chi, the fundamentals of ascension, the Buddhist path, and various recovery groups.
Andy Hill, the director for so many years, assisted me in acquiring my certification as a Radical Forgiveness Coach. He was an anchor at the center for such a long time and had a smile for anyone. I know he recorded many offerings and did an amazing job satisfying his desire to be a major part of For Goodness Sake with his IT skills. Andy passed away in 2018.
Margie was a pure and beautiful light at For Goodness Sake. I would smile every time I went to there and saw her car in the parking lot. She loved what she and her team had created, and stayed active for many years.
David passed away in June 2020, leaving behind the incredible legacy of For Goodness Sake, and Margie moved back to Virginia to live with her daughter’s family. Her health was declining, and sweet Margie passed away in May.
Many of its members have expressed sadness that For Goodness Sake has now come to an end. But please remember 16 years of having the ability to participate in this incredible experience.
As our dear friend and facilitator DeeDee Boies offered: “Don’t cry because it’s over; smile because it happened.” These are wise words from none other than Dr. Seuss.
To the staff, facilitators, and guests who shared wisdom, inspiration, and opportunities to learn and grow, we all say thank you. You are the heart and soul of For Goodness Sake that live on.
And for those looking to continue through a physical space, the Center for Spiritual Living Tahoe-Truckee in Carnelian Bay (tahoecsl.org) has offered their facility for meetings, events, and workshops, and is eager to pick up the needs of the For Goodness Sake community seeking another place to call home. They support many paths to God with their vision, “Embracing all and serving with love while awakening to the One.” Due to recent Covid restrictions, the Center for Spiritual Living hasn’t been as able to reach out to the community until now, and they are anxious to be available, so please follow up on this offering.
To anyone who reads this, I honor and acknowledge our very deep connection and let us all move forward together for the greater good of our world.
~ Dinny Evans moved to Truckee in 1987. She was a real estate agent for 26 years, a volunteer facilitator with For Goodness Sake since 2006, and a substitute executive director and the president of the For Goodness Sake Foundation from April 2020 until its closing.