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Center mortgage down, challenge met, donations decline

By Rick Catlin, Islander Reporter

Newly appointed Anna Maria Island Community Center board of directors member Stewart Moon Jr., left, talks with board president Greg Ross Jan. 28 at the center. Islander Photo: Rick Catlin

Acting Anna Maria Island Community Center executive director Scott Dell told the board of directors that after 2012 revenues and expenses, the center’s $4.5 million mortgage was down to $1.5 million.

On the negative side, Dell said donations and revenue fell by $53,000 in 2012. However, he said, $30,000 of revenue was used to pay interest on the mortgage.

Dell said the center cut back operating expenses by more than $8,000 last year, mostly by staff assuming more duties and responsibilities in lieu of new hires.

He noted the costs of some adult programs were raised a few dollars, but the annual membership fee for teenagers and children remains $30. The fee has not increased in more than five years, he said.

Board member David Teitelbaum said he was disappointed that donations declined, but Dell said the center has seen worse years.

He noted the Lester Challenge to match $25,000 if the center raised $25,000 was met, with the center raising $27,000.

“The donations will come back,” Dell said.

Board president Greg Ross said he hoped so. A major goal of the board this year is to reduce the mortgage with more fundraising events.

Dell said he expects good attendance at an upcoming entertainment event. A Neil Diamond tribute concert was a success, and he expects a Frank Sinatra tribute in February and an Elvis Presley impersonator show in March to do as well or better.

Dell also noted the highly profitable fundraiser, the annual tour of homes, is March 16.

The largest fundraiser is the annual Island Affaire, which will be held in May. That event is expected to raise $200,000 or more, Dell said.

“If it’s good, we’re OK,” Ross said of the event and its potential proceeds. “If it’s not, we’re in trouble.”         Ross also reported that the center received a $90,000 grant toward the purchase of a new $100,000 bus. The center has to put up $10,000, but could then sell the old bus, which was originally donated by the Florida Department of Transportation.

In other business, Steward Moon Jr. and Cindy Thompson were elected to the board. Also, Thompson and Teitelbaum were named to the governance committee. Ross said the governance committee and board must review the center’s by-laws before other elections.

Newly appointed executive director Dawn Stiles, who is expected to assume her duties no later than April 1, joined the meeting via a teleconference call from Portland, Maine. She praised Dell and the board for their hard work and dedication, particularly in fundraising ideas.

The next board meeting will be 8 a.m., Monday, Feb. 25, at the center, 407 Magnolia Ave., Anna Maria.

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