Center budget needs successful fundraiser

Members of the Anna Maria Island Community Center board of directors learned the cancellation of the Anna Maria Oyster Bar golf tournament to benefit the center has put anticipated revenues behind about $60,000.

Interim executive director Scott Dell said the tournament was expected to raise $66,000 for the center.

“The expenses are under control. It’s just our revenues that need fixing,” he said.

That means, Dell said, that Affaire to Remember in May is going to be the most critical fundraiser of the year.

“It’s 25 percent of our budget,” he said.

This year’s theme is “An Island Affaire,” and Dell expects the event to raise about $200,000 and balance the budget.

It’s the center’s No. 1 fundraiser each year, he said, and there will be a special entertainer this year, although he did not name the performer.

He said the year Lee Greenwood performed was the best year ever for the event and he expects the new entertainment will draw as well as Greenwood.

The center has a number of other fundraising events planned in March and April.

On March 17 — St. Patrick’s Day — the center will host the Sham Rockin’ Island Fest at the Holmes Beach field by city hall, to include local entertainment, food and adult beverages 11 a.m.-10 p.m. The day-long festival will coincide with the 4 p.m. Beach Bistro St. Patrick’s Day parade departing from city hall. Dell said he anticipates the center could do “very good” on revenue from the event.

Plans for the parade include the sale of VIP seating using the center’s portable bleachers at a strategic location on the parade route.

Another fundraiser will be the April 6 Parrothead Dance at the center with Mike Sales, Dan Mobley and other entertainers, all playing Jimmy Buffett-style music.

“This has always been a sellout,” Dell said, “and Mike Sales really does a good job of supporting this event.”

Dell said he expects help from a college tennis player/coach on writing grants for the center. There are three grants available from Manatee County this year, Dell said.

Joan Pettigrew of the tour of homes committee said tickets for the annual tour of homes quilt raffle are on sale. At $1 per ticket, she hopes at least 4,000 tickets will be sold. The quilt is handmade and has been a popular drawing, she said.

The annual tour of homes is Saturday, March 16.

Dell also noted that thanks to a recent donation, the center plans to sell its old 24-seat bus and put the money into revenues.

Scott Rudacille was named the new chair of the board of directors at the meeting, replacing Greg Ross. Ross will remain on the board as a member-at-large. Cindy Thompson was elected vice chair, Steward Moon Jr. is treasurer and Monica Simpson is secretary. Blair Schlossberg was named an at-large board member.

Dell thanked Ross for guiding the center during the past year, including during some difficult times.

“It’s a thankless job, but you righted the ship and got things done,” Dell said.

The next board meeting is scheduled for 8 a.m. Monday, March 25, at the Anna Maria Island Community Center, 407 Magnolia Ave., Anna Maria.