Fall Convention Announcement

From: Chuck B.
Sent on: Wednesday, July 18, 2012 4:14 PM
Hi - -

First, sorry if you receive two or even three copies of this ... feel free to delete the duplicates (or even all of them if you're not interested or not free then).

It may be premature (10 weeks early), as all the plans are not set yet, but I want to give you a heads-up on some things coming up
September 28 to October 2 in Harrisburg.  If you attended our Dan Barker Weekend here in April, you'll remember that down-state people gave us tremendous support, and it would be nice to repay them.  Plus, the events that are shaping up sound great.  I plan to be there all five nights.

I compiled the first message below from info Brian Fields sent recently.  He's the President of PAN (Pennsylvania Non-believers), but many other groups are also involved.  The second from Carl Silverman (PAN Treasurer) gives details about the hotel and additional events.  I'll
highlight some items in both.

Please consider joining me for some or all.  Thanks!  - - Chuck

 * * * * *

Hello all,

It's my pleasure to announce that we will be having a convention at the
Crowne Plaza Hotel in Harrisburg, PA.  I'll have more details coming
soon, but what we really could use is an idea of the
attendance we can
[Please tell Brian directly ... he probably has a distribution he can add you to.]

It's our expectation that a general admission ticket will be $50, but we
are not quite ready for ticket sales yet.  We have arranged a group rate
for rooms at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, but there's a limited number of
rooms, so PLEASE, reserve your space early if you will be staying in the
hotel.  If you are interested in helping us out physically, or
financially, we could use that as well.

If you would like to donate additional funds to help turn this into a
fantastic convention, please donate on our website here:
http://www.panonbelievers.org. I will be making a convention website
over the next week or so to sell tickets for the convention itself.  In
the meantime, we would love to have donations to help us with the
convention directly, and there is a drop down on the right side of our
website that will allow you to signify that your donation is to help
support the convention.  We ARE a 501c3, and all
donations are tax deductible as permitted by

We have already confirmed
Dan Barker, Dave Silverman, Herb Silverman,
and Sharon Hill and Justin Vacula.  We are also working on other
speakers, I will be able to announce some more over the next few weeks. 
The more donations we have, the more and better speakers we can have.

We are working with other organizations to arrange volunteers and
attendees - we aren't going this one alone, and I want to thank Scott
Rhoades of the Lancaster Freethought Society for helping to put this
together, as well as Carl Silverman and all the other members of the
board of directors.  We also are working with American Atheists and the
Coalition of Reason right now to work out assistance from them in
certain areas.

I suggest you also reserve a room on Friday night - If there's enough
pre-registrations, we will also have a small reception that night.  The
primary events will be on Saturday and Sunday.

Crowne Plaza Harrisburg
23 South 2nd Street
Harrisburg, PA 17101

When you call, mention that you are part of the PA State
Atheist/Humanist Conference, and the room rate should be $105/night.

If you have any questions at all, please contact me.

Brian Fields
[address removed]

PA Nonbelievers, Inc.

 * * * * *

For those of you coming in from out of town and wanting to stay at the Crowne Plaza Harrisburg, the official hotel of the PA State Atheist/Agnostic Convention, ....
1.  We urge you to make your reservation now, because you can cancel up until 3 days prior to your scheduled date of arrival without penalty.  So, it's best to book now and cancel later than to wait until later and possibly be disappointed.  The rate per room is $105 plus taxes.  Two-bedded rooms hold 4 people (max. 5, but rollaways are not available).
2.  You can book a room by calling the hotel directly at[masked] or the central reservations number, [masked]CROWNE, making sure you tell them you are with the PA Nonbelievers group.  We have rooms blocked for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights, Sept. 28-Oct. 1.
3.  If you book a room, it is YOUR responsibility to cancel your own reservation and pay any cancellation fee if you miss the 3-day deadline.  The penalty will be equal to the number of room nights cancelled, at the $105 room rate.
4.  There are several parking options, ranging from free on-street parking on weekends, to valet parking in the hotel for $18 per night with unlimited in/out privileges.  Full parking options will be communicated at a later date.  We will also be providing train and bus information.  Amtrak and Greyhound are both very convenient to the hotel.
5.  It is likely we will have some kind of evening event on Friday night for those who want to arrive on Friday---a reception, a pub crawl, or something else to welcome our main speakers and our early attendees.  We'll let you know when we nail that down.
6.  If you are politically oriented and wish to stay Sunday night, we will be having an informational table at the PA State Capitol all day Monday, when the legislature is in session.  Interacting with the politicians and their staffs is always a hoot.
If you are part of another atheist/humanist group that wishes to have a table (and you have a banner or sign identifying the group), contact me, and I can put you in touch with the Capitol officials who can arrange space for your table (the Capitol supplies the table and chairs free).  We will also be having a
press conference around midday, and some of us will go to the visitors' galleries of the House and Senate to witness the opening prayer and Pledge of Allegiance at 1pm.
7.  And if you want to make a major vacation out of this, you should know that Dan Barker will be debating Dinesh D'Souza at nearby Messiah College on Tuesday night.  There is a separate admission fee for this event, which is not sponsored by PA Nonbelievers.  http://ravi.eventbrite.com/
If you are willing to drive a few miles to/from the Crowne Plaza, there are plenty of other motels/hotels you can stay at if you are on a more limited budget.  You can also try your luck on Priceline, Hotwire, etc., and if you are lucky or skilled at bidding,
you might be able obtain a room at the Crowne Plaza or other hotel for a bargain-basement rate.  But remember, those reservations are not cancellable or refundable, and you could end up with a hotel several miles away.
We are going to try to schedule the major Saturday and Sunday events so that, if you are driving from Philly or Pittsburgh, you will be able to depart those cities in daylight Saturday morning and arrive in Harrisburg without missing anything of substance, and you
will be able to depart Harrisburg while it is still daylight on Sunday.
Carl Silverman
Treasurer and Capital Area Director
PA Nonbelievers

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