Heron Creek Community Foundation

Board Meeting April 20, 2022

The meeting was called to order by Holly at 10:00 a.m. and a quorum was declared.

Present: Holly Loos, Pete Cunningham, Nick Cippola, Bill Bach, Dave Sobecki, Maria Rinaldo, Roy Munnelly, Bill Bay, Mary Bowersock, Joe O’Connor

Minutes of the March Meeting were approved with a correction on the date of the golf tournament being October 21 rather than the 22nd.

Financial Report: Pete reported the following balances:

Admin and Holding: $8459.66

Gulf Coat Endowment: $503,279.86 (through February)

Pete indicated the endowment fund is down approximately $13,000 this year through realized and unrealized gains and losses.

The annual Food Drive raised $15,365 and a check will be written to All Faiths’ Food Bank.   This amount is down approximately $5,000 from last year.   Holly will arrange the check presentation and will invite the service committee that headed the fund raising.

Membership Report: Joe O’Connor indicated he has sent out e-mails and continues to follow up with new residents about joining the Foundation. There was a discussion about possibly mailing or putting a brochure in mailboxes of nonmember residents. This would have to be done later in the fall when residents have returned.

Mary summarized the new resident reception that was held at her home in March. Nine new residents from five households attended as well as 11 Directors and spouses.   Lexi McKenney the director of First Tee attended and thanked the Foundation for the grant and explained how their program is getting established in North Port.   It was agreed that the evening was a success and that another reception would be beneficial.   Tying the Foundation information to the grant recipients should be emphasized as that would highlight what the Foundation is accomplishing.

Grants Report: Bill Bay reported that he has reached out to Jennifer Strieby, the previous grant chairperson.   The current grant application form was reviewed by Roy’s daughter who writes grants, for her suggestions on improvements that could be made.   Roy will edit the Foundation’s grant application form incorporating the recommendations and present the new one to the Board for review and approval. Bill indicated he has a good amount of qualified people on the committee.

It was decided to publish the requests for grants both in the newspaper and on the website.

Grant Site Visits:

Holly and Bill Bay reported on their visit to SPARCC’s housing facility in Sarasota.   It is a secure site for victims of domestic violence. They were impressed with how clean and welcoming it is. It can house approximately 30 residents and there are separate wings for families and singles.   There are on site resources for additional needs of the residents. SPARCC received a grant of $5,100 to cover operational expenses of the North Port Office and a small percentage of the emergency shelter.

Maria and Mary visited the new Children’s Protection Center just off Sumter near US-41. CPC was able to purchase the building and surrounding land from the church and is in the process of remodeling to meet their needs.   The facility will have spaces for forensic exams and interviews, non-custodial parental visitation, counseling rooms, group therapy rooms and staff facilities. CPC received a $5,000 grant to support the therapy program that provided mental health treatment to children and families.

Roy and Bill Bach visited Meals on Wheels and were impressed with the facility and the efficiency of the staff preparing and delivering meals. All staff is volunteer, and each site must raise their own funds. The North Port site prepares over 700 meals each week. Of those 40% are free, 10% are discounted and 50% are fully paid for by the recipient at $5 per meal. The $6400 grant is to cover water and utility bills at the site. They need volunteers to cover the summer months while the snowbird volunteers are away.

Joe is scheduled to visit Loveland and Nick and Bill Bach will follow up with Good Samaritan.

Holly reported that she and Mary attended a ceremony awarding Take Stock in Children scholarships to high school students. The foundation grant of $4000 purchases a 4-year college plan scholarship. Two students from North Port received scholarships from HCCF. Holly and Mary were able to escort them on the stage and present them with a medal. The students were very thankful, well poised, and impressive in their demeanor. Take Stock in Children is also in need of volunteers to mentor the students through high school.

Lexi McKenney from First Tee attended the new resident open house and reported how they are getting established in North Port.   It was noted that she talked more about the golf lessons and little on the child development program. There needs to be follow up on this area so it can be reported back to the membership.

Golf Tournament: Bill Bach reported that the committee is getting organized and had been researching Dixon golf which has a platform for hosting golf tournaments. There is a template and resources that can be utilized to handle the many facets of planning a tournament. It was felt that for the nominal fee, it would be beneficial to both sponsors and participants, plus would be a benefit for future tournament chairs. The committee will research further and bring a recommendation to the board.

Pete commented that getting sponsors for the tournament would be easier if we were a 501(c) 3 organization. Currently the relationship with Gulf Coast must be explained to sponsors. Nick indicated he wondered why the foundation was not a 501(c)3 organization until he researched the requirements to becoming one.   There is a lot of documentation and reporting that must be done for the IRS and we most likely would be audited soon. Gulf Coast Community Foundation now takes on this responsibility.

Road to Heron Creek – Holly reported on a proposal by Frank Goldschmidt for an idea to go to the schools with speakers who have been successful in life. The individuals would talk how they worked hard, the struggles they faced, how those were overcome etc. He was hoping the Foundation would take on this initiative. There was some discussion, and it was decided that this is not in keeping with the goals of the Foundation.

Holiday Home Tour: Holly reported there are two new individuals interested in adding their home to the home tour. Nick indicated he and his wife are also interested and Joe O’Connor as well. It is scheduled for December 4 and current plans are to ask for donations for the “Giving Tree” rather than an admission.

Pete moved to adjourn the meeting and Roy seconded the motion.