FFRF Mini-Convention Meets in San Francisco July 30-31 (May 1999)

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is pleased to announce it will be hosting a long-deferred regional “mini-convention” for the convenience of its Northern California membership, at the Holiday Inn Civic Center, 50 Eighth St., San Francisco, on the weekend of July 30-31, 1999.

Board member Dick Hewetson, of San Francisco, has taken the initiative in helping to arrange the gathering, which will convene for an evening social reception on Friday, July 30 with complimentary refreshments, and feature an all-day slate of speakers and activities on Saturday, July 31.

The Saturday program will begin with a freethought ritual: a nonprayer breakfast. A group banquet dinner will also be offered.

Final program details, a list of speakers and other information will be mailed directly to Foundation members in central and Northern California. Members from other regions are also welcome to attend, and should contact the national office at (608)256-8900 during weekday work hours if they wish to be sent updated details.

Current speakers include:

Eugenie C. Scott, Executive Director of the National Center for Science Education
George H. Smith, author, Atheism: The Case Against God
Dan Barker, FFRF staff member and former minister, will perform a freethought concert and talk about freethinker Luther Burbank
Annie Laurie Gaylor, editor of Freethought Today and Women Without Superstition: No Gods – No Masters
Dick Hewetson, former Episcopal priest who is now an atheist activist
Ken Dunn, a former U.S. Marine who was an “atheist in a foxhole.”
Meg Bowman, Ph.D., will speak as an “Atheist Go-Gooder.”
Nora Cusack, Cleo Kocol, Hank Kocol, and Don Havis will participate in a Freethought Activist Panel
Those interested in attending are encouraged to make their room reservations now directly with Holiday Inn Civic Center by calling 1-800-243-1135 (local 626-6103). (Beware: there are four Holiday Inns in San Francisco so be sure you are speaking with the Civic Center on Eighth St.)

Rooms at the hotel were just remodeled. Convention hotel rates are $99 single/double ($15 for any additional persons) plus tax. Check-in is 3 p.m. and check-out is 12 noon. There is an outdoor heated pool. Parking for guests is $14 per day. The hotel is offering a special day rate of $8 a day for commuters. The convention rate and block of rooms will only be held through June 30, so reserve your room now, identifying the Freedom From Religion Foundation mini-convention for the special rate.

The hotel is located in the heart of San Francisco, next to Market Street, a shopping area, the new public library, the Civic Center and BART.

FFRF Mini-Convention registration is $35 per Foundation member ($5 extra for nonmembers). Register by July 16. Registration plus both group meals on Saturday totals $75.

The nonprayer breakfast, $15, will feature a fruit platter with a selection of breakfast rolls, pastry and muffins, juices and hot beverages. The banquet dinner, $25, will feature chef’s-choice chicken, green salad, dessert, iced tea and hot beverages (vegetarian option available). The two group meals must be ordered in advance by June 30.

Lunch is on your own. A two-hour noon recess will give those inclined a chance to explore some of the city and its varied restaurants. Registrants will receive a list of nearby restaurants.

The program will include Foundation staffer Dan Barker, who will entertain at the piano with a freethought concert, and speak about freethought botanist Luther Burbank, of Santa Rosa fame. Freethought Today editor Annie Laurie Gaylor will speak about “Women Without Superstition” based on the anthology of women freethinkers she edited. Also speaking will be Dick Hewetson, a freethought activist who used to be an Episcopal priest!

A mini-convention was held in Southern California several years ago, prompting requests for one in the north. California is one of the Foundation’s top membership states.

Freedom From Religion Foundation