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Center board learns funding, donations critical

By Rick Catlin, Islander Reporter

The Anna Maria Island Community Center board of directors held its monthly meeting, while awaiting the April 1 arrival of new executive director Dawn Stiles.

Acting executive director Scott Dell delivered the financial report and said income was down $35,000 through February. However, he quickly explained that revenues from Island Affaire had been entered for February, although the event date changed to May.

“So we’re really not in that bad of shape,” Dell said. However, everyone needs to start concentrating on sales and donations for Island Affaire, he said.

It’s the center’s major fundraising event every year and Dell said it’s projected to bring in about $200,000. He said it’s going to take 600-800 more donations or table sales to make the event a financial success, but he and board chair Scott Rudacille were confident everyone would get behind the sale of tickets to the affaire, including tables for sponsors.

Dell also was pleased with sales for the Parrothead Party scheduled for April 6.

Dan Mobley will perform Jimmy Buffett-style music before the dinner and Mike Sales will entertain after dinner. Tickets are available for $30 per person and the event is BYOB, Dell said.

The March 16 Tour of Homes brought in $34,000 to the center, Dell said, but $42,000 had been projected in the budget.

However, the Shamrockin’ event on St. Patrick’s Day went extremely well, Dell said, and the center grossed more than $13,000.

For the next Shamrockin’ event, Dell said he would order a bigger beer truck because they actually ran out of beer.

“And we’ve still got some money coming in” from the event, he said.

Board secretary Monica Simpson praised Dell’s efforts in getting the Shamrockin’ event together.

“He really organized it well,” she said. “He’s an organizing machine and everything really came together,” Simpson said.

Dell also reported an anonymous donor gave the center $25,000 to go toward counseling services. With that funding, the center can offer full-time counseling and can have counselors go to area schools more frequently.

Simpson said the center’s website needs to be updated and modernized and Rudacille agreed.

Board member David Teitelbaum said he would look into the issue. He said the site should look modern and take advantage of social media. He suggested the site could support advertising.

Board members agreed to discuss arrangements for a bingo night at their next meeting.

Simpson suggested the board consider changing the meeting schedule and Rudacille agreed.

The board will meet at 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 17, and discuss a permanent change to the meeting dates and times schedule.

Stiles, who joined the meeting via a conference call, said she was looking forward to seeing everyone and she would try to come to the center a few days before April 1, to learn her way around.

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