How Cool is This? - Kriste

A few months back I ended up on the Corvallis Advocate’s list of the most impactful folks in the community - how cool is that?

Jay Sharpe wrote the piece on me, inspired by the Summer Games event that Rebecka Weinsteiger and I started last summer. Our new board member, Jennie Hartsock, was a Summer Games pioneer. Here’s the great commercial that her team (The Fit ’N’ Greens) made for items on the Summer Games list:

I’ll include the text of the article below. Thank you Jay Sharpe and Jennie Hartsock, for making me look good! Thanks also to Rebecka and the folks who went for it and got in on the inaugural Summer Games. And we’re doing it again - follow us on Instagram to stay in the know about the Summer Games 2019!


Kriste York is on a mission to connect us to one another. She’s an English teacher by trade, recently at LBCC and now teaching high school in Siletz, and in her free time, she’s the creative director at the Resilience Project. In August, she helped the project launch an ambitious week-long event aimed at forging personal connections: The Summer Games.

For the games, teams of five assembled and were given a list of about 100 activities to complete for points by posting pictures or short videos of the results online. These tasks largely focused on two of York’s favorite things, telling stories and talking to strangers. If a stranger handed you a poem or asked you to teach them how to play Canasta last August, congratulations. You were a participant in her grand design.

his all may seem unconventionally goofy, but unconventional goofiness is York’s superpower, and she uses it to change people’s lives.

Jennifer Hartsock wanted to participate in the games, but was having trouble putting together a team. She ended up assembling a ragtag group of people she barely knew (as well as her mom) and ended up forging unexpectedly powerful connections.

“These Games, the challenge to do new stuff and invite strangers to play along, interact with and learn about our environment, the people, and the history of our town and community, all lit a fire in me,” wrote Hartsock in her blog. “I walked out of my house every day to meet these acquaintances to complete more challenges, telling myself, ‘This is life. This is truly living.’”

Hartsock ended up becoming close with this group of new friends over the course of the games (they won first place), and they’re still playing to this day. They continue to meet periodically and complete more resilience-building tasks from the list.

For York, strength comes from our ability to connect with others, and we build resilience to negativity through having those connections. Through her work at the Resilience Project, she continues to make Corvallis a more connected and friendlier place. To use her unofficial catch phrase: “How cool is that?”

— Jay Sharpe