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Biz Beat 1-31-2013

Biz Beat has been running nearly every week for more than a year now. It’s a humble effort to give some attention to small businesses, nonprofits and the people behind them who are vitally important to our community but don’t always get media attention. Our thanks to the many people who have sent us suggestions. Keep ’em coming.

A Togo’s sandwich and salad shop has opened in Eugene. We hear John Anderson, the local entrepreneur whose family owns a truck stop center in Coburg, has opened Eugene’s first Togo’s at 954 Pearl St. and may do more of the West Coast franchises at the truck stop and elsewhere. Call 868-2891 or visit togoseugene.com 

A fun new toy store has opened in Eugene. The Dancing Weasel is located at 30 E. 17th Ave. Founders and owners of this independent store are Aya Lyddon and Danita Reynolds, two moms with an appreciation of “fantastic, creative, imaginative and educational toys that help improve a child’s quality of life.” The store specializes in high quality toys, books, games, puzzles and other kid-friendly products that cannot be found in big box stores. See dancingweaseltoystore.com or call 246-8781. 

2nd Saturday classes are now available to “help women deal with the legal, financial, family and emotional issues of divorce in a logical, yet compassionate way,” says Deb Daniels who is organizing the weekly classes and workshops which are affiliated with a national program. Cost is $25 for four sessions, which includes written materials. See 2ndsaturdayeugene.org or call 239-3504 or 953-4740 or email deb.daniels57@gmail.com

Congrats to Nir Pearlson Architect Inc., celebrating 10 years of local commercial and residential design. Pearlson founded the Eugene firm after eight years of work on large-scale government and commercial projects. His designers include Rachel Auerbach, Roger Ota and Christopher Deel. Find the firm’s new website at green-building.com

Emerald FEAST (Financing Eugene Area Sustainable Talent) will be back from 6 to 8 pm Thursday, Jan. 31, at the First United Methodist Church, 13th and Olive. Dinner guests will hear short presentations by local very small businesses and projects and vote for their favorites, who will be awarded funding from the proceeds of the dinner. Cost for dinner is sliding scale, $15 to $25. So far about $1,900 has been awarded in four events, says Cary Thompson of the Helios Network, one of the organizers. See emeraldfeast.weebly.com for more information, email emeraldfeast@gmail.com or call 463-4619. 

United Way of Lane County is looking for volunteers to set up for the Eugene Polar Plunge that will be from 10 am to 3 pm Friday, Feb. 1, at Maurie Jacobs Park. Volunteers are also being recruited for Sponsors, Inc., Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Senior Meals Program. Call the volunteer connection line at 741-6000, ext. 159.

Cultural opportunity grants ranging from $500 to $2,500 are available through the Lane County Cultural Coalition for nonprofits and individuals working on projects involving arts, heritage and humanities. Free local workshops to assist in grant applications will be held from 4 to 6 pm Tuesday, Feb. 5, at Lane County Historical Society, and at 10:30 am Saturday, Feb. 9, at the Florence Library. See http://laneculture.net/wp/ or email kuriator@msn.com

A “Breakfast of Champions” benefit for the Pearl Buck Center is being planned for 7:30 am Thursday, Feb. 14, at LCC’s Center for Meeting and Learning, Building 19. Matt Coleman, assistant superintendent of Springfield Public Schools, will be keynote speaker. Registration deadline is Feb. 6. Call 484-4666 or email dena.amend@pearlbuckcenter.com