Friends of the Port O’Connor Library Annual Report

Archived in the category: General Info, Organizations
Posted by Joyce Rhyne on 17 Jul 14 - 0 Comments

The first Friends of the Port O’Connor Library board meeting for 2014-2015 was held at the Community Center at 10:00 am, Monday, July 14. Pictured are Paula McCauley, Barbara Crouch, Roxanne Ochoa, Jerry Lichac, Judy Whitworth, Joanie Morgan, Ginnie Lichac, Ursula Price, Vera Wiatt, and Lynn Luster. Not pictured: Carl Ray and Melissa Doggett.

End of the year already? Yes, July 1 starts a new year for the “ Friends of Port O’Connor Library, Inc. The past 12 months have been extremely busy! As in any big successful project, creating a firm foundation and taking care of the basics was very important, so we set out to re-write our By-Laws, reapply for our non-profit status and re-file our articles of incorporation with the Texas Secretary of State. Our Treasurer developed an Accounting Policies and Procedures Manual insuring that our organization would work within accepted general accounting procedures and be totally transparent. In March of 2014, we received our long awaited non-profit 501 C (3) designation, so all donations are tax deductible.

In April of 2013 and March of 2014 newsletters and membership solicitations went out to the community via email and regular mail. Many people responded by joining and donating. A third newsletter is planned mid-August or early September 2014.

Other milestones include obtaining the property for the new library/learning center donated by the Stofer-McNeil Trust and acquiring the approval of County Commissioners Court for use of the land on the corner of 6th and Main for the building site. In addition, Calhoun County has agreed to maintain the building and staff when it is finished and donated to the county by the “Friends”. Of major importance was a gift from Burch Group Architects of Branham, Texas who volunteered their services to develop a concept drawing and site plan for the project.

A spaghetti dinner was held on Friday night, April 25, 2014, as an informational kickoff event to give the POC community a heads-up on the exciting goal ahead. A video was made to get everybody revved up, energized, and thinking “yes, this can happen!” “Friends” was very encouraged by the turnout and the donations were way beyond what we had anticipated. BLESS THE FOLKS THAT GAVE GENEROUSLY!!

Other organizational steps have been put in place by setting up our accounting on QuickBooks and by subscribing to DonorSnap software which will help with record keeping and will facilitate online donations. Another essential communication tool to guarantee success of this project and keep in touch with the community has been setting up a website accomplished by a NOVUS WEB, designed by Cindy and Brett Williams who have donated their services. Sherri Judice set up a “Friends” Facebook page and we invite everyone to Like Us on FaceBook.

“Friends” believes that the library complex can be the focal point for bringing people together to learn new skills and discuss common interests in the meeting room. Synergy would be created to bring people to the library with a half-court basketball, outdoor movie area, native plant garden and walking trail. A wide shaded porch will add to the ambiance of a welcoming structure that we can all enjoy and use.

Our annual meeting was held on June 28 and new members of the Board of Directors and officers were elected. New Board members are Jerry Lichac, Lynn Luster, Joanie Morgan, Roxanne Ochoa, and Judy Whitworth. Also an Advisory Board has been formed and the following have joined that Board: Kimberly Bennett, Mary Ann Claiborne, Susan Cohen, Jim Hooper, Sherri Judice, Tiffany O’Donnell, Nancy Pomykal, Vidal Ramirez, Joyce Rhyne, Bill Tigrett, Joanne Ward, and Dell Weathersby. 2014-2015 promises to be an exciting one as we kick off serious fundraising and our Capital Construction Fundraising Campaign. Let’s build a new Library Learning Center!

Virginia Dell Lichac, President, Friends of POC Library, Inc.

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