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A Message from Shary Van

Anne Stadler

Last month, we lost someone very dear to our organization. Anne Stadler was many things. A mother, a wife, a friend, a local leader, an award-winning TV producer, a consultant who traveled the world, and a dedicated advocate for peace. The list goes on. She, along with her husband Dave, was also the visionary founder of the Friends of Third Place Commons, or simply Third Place Commons as we’re commonly known today.

For the last two years, I’ve had the honor of witnessing Anne’s legacy up close and personal as Chair of the Third Place Commons board of directors. And I’m so proud of the many ways we honor her legacy when we work with you – our supporters, partners, and friends – to create real community in real space.

Will you join me in making a tax-deductible gift to support this important work both now and into the future?

When we talk about real community in real space, it’s not just a slogan. It’s both our mission and our vision. We foster real community in a safe, welcoming gathering space for you, your friends, family, colleagues, and neighbors. We bring real community to life through hundreds of free, public events that serve everyone from school kids performing onstage to seniors spinning on the dance floor.

We nourish real community by providing access to a wide array of farm-fresh, organic, and locally made foods, fresh flowers, and handmade goods at the Lake Forest Park Farmers Market. And of course, we ensure that our low-income neighbors can also access healthy foods through vital nutrition support programs including our own locally funded Market Bucks food assistance program.

Your support provides the backbone to our Commons community. From weekly live music, to monthly book and movie clubs, to high profile stand-alone events like our recent LFP City Council Candidate Forum and our upcoming Holiday Crafts Fair on December 17th – not to mention our biggest program, the LFP Farmers Market – it’s your generous support that makes it possible.

When Anne rallied a group of likeminded individuals who shared her passion and dedication to become our founding board, they formed a vision of what Third Place Commons could be. Now, 23 years later, Third Place Commons has become a magnet for community, attracting friends old and new from not only Lake Forest Park, but neighborhoods far and wide.

Shary pictured at a holiday crafts fair

As we look ahead, we’re exploring ideas about how we can make our space even more welcoming and how we can strengthen partnerships across our community to serve you even better. These possibilities, combined with all that we do every day, excite me about the future we can make together, a future that honors our past and fulfills the promise of the rich, vital community our founders envisioned.

I hope you will join me in investing in our vibrant Commons community of today, while laying a foundation for an even brighter future.

We’ve worked hard to ensure our vision remains true, and your support will help bring it to life. Thank you!


Shary Van
2023 Chair, Board of Directors

P.S. There’s no better example of our thriving community than our wonderful farmers market. So I hope you’ll join us on December 17th from 10 AM to 2 PM for our special LFP Holiday Farmers Market and Crafts Fair. These events are always a blast, and you know we’ll have a terrific roster of food and crafts/artisan vendors for all your last-minute gift and holiday dinner needs.

P.P.S. Just a reminder that Third Place Commons is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, which means that your donation is 100% tax-deductible to the full extent permitted by law. So please make your gift today to help secure our shared vision for the future. Thank you!