The accolades accorded several of LaVelle Vineyards' wines in the pages of Wine Enthusiast magazine serves as evidence of the diligent work of founder Doug LaVelle and his son, Matthew, who tends the vines today. After taking over the winery?then one of the oldest in Southern Willamette Valley?in 1994, Doug took it upon himself to make a number of improvements to its antiquated technology and distribution network. He started the wine club in 1995, and just recently opened a brand new wine bar and tap room off of International Way in Springfield called the LaVelle Tap Room. The tap room serves as an in-town location for wine club members, but also to provide a new wine-bar-meets-tap-room experience with more than 30 wines to choose from and several local beers on tap.
Doug's investments paid off. Today, with Matthew as lead winemaker, the winery ferments grapes both from its original Willamette Valley location and another site in the Columbia Valley in eastern Washington. At the rustic Elmira winery, visitors can recline on the sunny deck, tour the winemaking facilities, or outsmart tipsy minotaurs in the garden's labyrinth.
On Saturday, May 5, and Sunday, May 6, a sea of vendors and spa technicians transform the Lane Events Center into an escape for women of all ages. The Just for Women Expo's two days of sensory indulgence and shopping benefit visitors twice over, as 50% of ticket-sale profits are donated to organizations dedicated to women's health. This year, comedienne, stress-management expert, and author Leigh Anne Jasheway sets the expo's tone with a keynote speech and by filtering the audience's laughter through auto-tune, which then harmonizes with a number of personal-enrichment seminars. Winetasting and fashion shows punctuate hours of bargain hunting, and raffle tickets given to each guest offer a chance to win a Girlfriends Getaway for four.
Girls Night Out caps Saturday's events with four hours of catered spa pampering and revelry for those 21 and older. Gentlemen servers swing past makeover stations carrying trays of hors d'oeuvres, and 15-minute massages and bites from a chocolate buffet revive guests after belly-dance lessons. Guests to this event also take home goodies and enjoy two free drinks apiece to toast their superior toasting skills.
A former three-sport standout at the University of Oregon and current Oregon sports commentator, Jordan Kent employs his athletic experience to lead kids' day camps filled with football, basketball, and soccer drills and competitions. Part of the nonprofit Jordan Kent Foundation, Jordan Kent Skill Camps seek to build self-confidence and discipline in young athletes of all ability levels. For one week, campers train under Jordan and his team of coaches comprised of local high-school athletes, former college athletes, and adult volunteers. The camps aim to teach boys and girls ages 7–13 the value of character and hard work as they engage in a series of scrimmages and contests. A nutritious lunch is provided each day to keep energy levels high, and coaches also build nutrition education into the camps to jumpstart healthy eating habits. On the last day, campers leave with a cookbook full of good snack and meal ideas, as well as a SportHill T-shirt, helping kids remember their time at camp without having to create elaborate cave paintings on the walls of their forts.
At BowTech Archery Academy, certified trainers instruct pupils in one of the world's oldest sports with expert insight. They guide students of almost any age and skill level through lessons in range etiquette, safety, basic technique, and advanced competition level, which helps students develop upper body strength, social skills, and camaraderie. Archery-range birthday parties keep kiddies focused and engaged, and corporate team-building events help grown-ups hone their hand-eye coordination and achieve active lifestyles.
Captain Tim Abraham has spent more than 30 years fishing, both in fresh water (the Umpqua River) and salt water (the Pacific Ocean). So he knows his way around his 25-foot heated Alumaweld boat. On charter trips, he shares his expertise with his passengers, taking them on quests for fish that include everything from Chinook salmon and small-mouthed bass to perch. He's not intimidated by sturgeon's size, either. He'll help passengers catch those too.
Hoping to get in shape, start kickboxing, or learn the most effective methods of self-defense, visitors to Peaceful Fighter will enjoy the benefit of one-on-one attention from its personal trainers. The classes ranges from mixed martial arts to meditation and even include a Pay It Forward class on Saturday designed for young, at-risk kids in the community to get involved.