huebnerJuly 18, 2017: Dear Heron Creek Community Foundation Members:

Thank you for your ongoing support of the ​Foundation.  When I first moved here, I looked for a non-profit organization to ​which I could ​volunteer my time. When I found out there was a ​F​oundation in my own development, creating positive and sustainable change in my community, I signed up immediately.  I hope each one of you felt the same way when you joined.  It is an honor and a privilege to serve the foundation as a Director, Vice President and now President.

Click <Read More> to see our goals and accomplishments

This year we had several goals in mind:

1. Grow Membership – membership is the heartblood of our organization.   While we increased our membership with seven new households this year, overall total membership has been flat given the turnover within Heron Creek.  

2. Meet or exceed 2016 grant level $39,370 – I am pleased to report ​due to ​successful fundraisers and good investment returns, we will likely surpass last​ year​’​s grants ​awards​.

3. Explore pros and cons of an alternative structure – “Donor advised fund” membership organization, or 501(c​)(3)​? 

4. Strengthen communication - continue to reinforce website and “story telling” of successes.

We created two ad hoc committees that worked hard during the first 6 months of the year.  The first ad hoc committee was for “Growing Membership”, and the team came up with several innovative ideas​ on how we can better​ reach new and current residents (non-members), and grow our membership.  I am pleased to report at our last​ B​oard meeting on June 27, the ​B​oard approved the following “Growing Membership” initiatives:

● Board member​s​ as “Ambassadors” for new residents in neighborhoods.

● Building upon the Board Ambassador theme, a membership drive aimed at encouraging current, non-member residents to join the​ F​oundation.

● As a thank you to current and new members​, we will offer a 10% discount to members for our major fund-raising events​.  This would include our Wine Tasting, scheduled for November 1, 2017, and our annual golf tournament, scheduled for April 13, 2018 with an afternoon shotgun and dinner. This discount will be offered for the balance of 2017, and for any fund-raising events in 2018. 

Additionally, the ad hoc committee which reviewed our structure, conducted significant research and met with similar organizations at Plantation Golf & Country Club and Venice Yacht Club.  As a result, the committee concluded that it was in the​ F​oundation’s best business interest to remain a donor advised fund under Gulf Coast Community Foundation.  We can maximize your donations by keeping our expenses and the complexity to an absolute minimum, and becoming a 501​(c)(3) organization would have added annual expenses and further complexity.

I hope you have seen some of our recent communications in the ​Heron Creek Golf & Country Club ​newsletter and on our website ​​.  We will continue to share success stories from some of our grant recipients.  As we have all become more computer savvy, we hope that you increasingly access our website for up-to-date information about the​ F​oundation.  This is another way for us to be more efficient with your donation dollars.

The Service Committee is already thinking ahead to the fall, when they will run our annual Food Drive and our Holiday Giving Tree.  Since inception, we have donated over ​14​ tons of food and impacted the lives of hundreds of children and families during the holidays.  Last year, the​​ ​Service Committee ​received the 2016 All Faith’s Food Bank Award for the most food donated in Sarasota County. ​ This is another part of the ​Foundation that cares about creating positive change and is strong in delivering it. 

We are excited to introduce what we hope to be the first annual “Pets of Heron Creek” Calendar.  Many of your favorite Heron Creek pets will be starring in the calendar.  Sales will begin on October 1, and will make great holiday gifts for family and friends. 

Finally, speaking on behalf of the Board of Directors and the Community Service Committee, we are proud to be part of an organization which is committed to helping our community.  We have been blessed. 

I would like to leave you with a couple of my favorite quotes:

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” Winston Churchill

If you haven't any charity in your heart, you have the worst kind of heart trouble.” Bob Hope

Happy summer to all.


Laurie Huebner, President
Heron Creek Community Foundation