Web Letters – WOW Hall edition


I am responding to recent items printed in Eugene Weekly regarding the WOW Hall/ CCPA. A sub-group of members have formed an organization claiming to be trying to “save” the WOW Hall and attacking the current board and staff members. What’s left of the board, after many resignations due to these attacks, has been trying to take the high road and not stoop to the mis-information, name-calling and personal attacks that have been coming our direction for months.

Enough is enough, and I must stand up for the staff, only a few of whom are currently working, that have been diligently doing everything they can to get the hall through this lengthy shutdown. Pre-COVID, the spring line-up was looking great, and new classes were ready to begin. The pandemic shot that all down, but the staff and board responded, keeping the bare essentials to care for the building, fundraise and track the books.

If you’re not a current member, please consider joining for a minimum donation of $15 at wowhall.org. Being a member gives you voting rights at the board elections. The board needs people with skills that can lead the organization through these difficult times. We have worked to build a great working relationship with the staff and that needs to continue in order to move forward. Please don’t let a group of propagandists pollute your view of a valued community organization.

 Robyn Kelly

Junction City


Re: Trisha Driscoll’s letter (“WOW Us With New Leaders,” EW 8/27): Driscoll is running for the board of directors of the WOW Hall, so I question her motives in drawing attention to the election.

She claims outrage. Friends of the WOW Hall insists it has a right to members’ personal information. That was the “outrageous” election controversy. Protecting database information. The WOW Hall has successfully conducted elections for years and protected members’ privacy with staff and board counting the ballots. Only this year, when FOWH are running for the board, do they question the process. I’ve heard twice now from FOWH that staff is motivated by financial gain and cannot be trusted. Obviously FOWH are privy to salary information that the staff are not, since as the furloughed office manager, no one has mentioned a raise to me.

There is outrageous behavior happening. It is not from the staff or Board of the WOW Hall. The attacks by the special interest groups coming together as Friends of the WOW Hall to destabilize the Community Center for the Performing Arts (CCPA) during a pandemic with financially crippling consequences are outrageous. 

Quit making things up. The WOW Hall has successfully conducted elections for years and protected members’ privacy. Quit interfering for your own advantage.

Danette Lamson

Member/staff of CCPA



There have been several letters and an article recently published regarding the WOW Hall. I would like to address concerns that the WOW Hall is having financial problems. Like most nonprofits and businesses in the entertainment industry, the WOW Hall struggles financially at times. However, the WOW Hall has always paid the bills on time and has been debt free for over a decade.

In the two months following the closure due to the pandemic, the WOW Hall’s dedicated membership stepped up to help by donating thousands of dollars through different fundraising drives led by staff and volunteers.

The board of directors also applied for the Paycheck Protection Program through the SBA. It appears that 100 percent of the funds will be forgiven, and the WOW Hall will not be required to repay the funds. However, some members disagreed with the decision to accept the PPP funds and started writing letters to local newspapers.

Most recently, a letter about the election’s failed process was published. The letter questioned staff’s motives and said they had a financial stake in the outcome of the election, so staff couldn’t be trusted to oversee the election process. Are these candidates planning to fire staff if they are elected?

We need to stay united in our love for the WOW Hall. The WOW Hall has been part of this community for 45 years and it will be here for another 45 years for future generations.

Melissa Swan

CCPA/WOW Hall board member, treasurer and former bookkeeper



In response to Trisha Driscoll’s “WOW us with New Leaders” (EW letters 8/27): I have always thought of a friend as an ally or someone that I could trust. The WOW Hall has been a very special part of my life for over 20 years. When I received a letter at my home from a group calling themselves “Friends of the WOW Hall” I naturally thought that I’d missed something. I know what a friend is and I have been one to lots of people in my life and especially at the WOW Hall. I’ve worked side by side with the WOW Hall staff as well as the board of directors for more than a dozen years and never have I felt anything but love and compassion. I never have felt threatened or the need for a lawyer to be present during any conversation. In my opinion the WOW Hall needs a board of directors that is compassionate and passionate about serving our community, not one that has other motivations that seem to be seeking financial gain.

Mike Franklin

WOW Hall member and volunteer