By Nathaniel A. Lopez
After many years of service in the Oracle, and surrounding communities, OWN-Oracle Women’s Network, doing business as OWN Oracle, will be disbanding its non-profit organization. OWN Oracle has been a non-profit since 2014, but had been a loose organization that promoted women in business since 2004. The group started out as the Oracle Women’s Network, a more women-in-business-oriented organization. When they became a non-profit, they switched the name to OWN Oracle, with a bigger vision of connecting with and helping all organizations and businesses of the area.
This disbanding of OWN Oracle comes after a long time of conversations within the organization. Many of the members are older, and with some moving away, and some moving on into new stages of their lives, they have found it best to bring the non-profit to a close. Since the pandemic in 2020, they have been searching to bring on new members, but have found it difficult to find those willing to give their time to the community, who aren’t already doing it in one way or the other.
Alicia Bristow, OWN Oracle president for the past 10 years, commented, “When you take on volunteers, and you train them, you have to be ready to let them go as well. You can’t expect them to stay forever. There is a season for things, and eventually the season runs out.”
OWN Oracle has done many things in its many years of service to the community. They pushed for the county to inspect the cemetery, because of a hillside that was washing out, with concern it would disrupt the graves. The problem was tended to and a road was paved. OWN Oracle set the former skate park up to be a community garden, and then found a group to take it over. They hosted numerous seminars, and courses designed to help local people understand and learn business tactics, tools, and skills. OWN Oracle was also responsible for maintaining and operating the Oracle Visitors Center, which was designed to be a hub for tourism info. Unfortunately, since it was run by OWN Oracle, and no other non-profit has decided to take on the upkeep and operation costs, the Oracle Visitors Center will be closing its doors. The Oracle Community Center will be taking over and continuing the Oracle Tourism web page.
“It makes me sad that it’s not going to exist any longer, but I keep reminding myself that there’s a season for everything,” added Alicia Bristow, who wanted to thank the Copper Corridor Economic Development Coalition, SaddleBrooke Ranch, Oracle Community Center, Founder and past president Sue Parra, and all of the members for their help.
On Jan. 25, members that could attend, had a final group dinner at Nonna Maria’s. The night carried many mixed emotions for all who were in attendance.