The Amherst Club
June 7,2011 12:45 AM
The 28th Annual Meeting of The Amherst Club was held at Hickory Ridge in Amherst on Tuesday, June 7, 2011. Michael Greenebaum presided in the absence of President, Vivienne Carey.
The Minutes of the Annual meeting of June 8, 2010 were accepted. It was noted that the minutes can be found on the Club’s web site along with the policies, by-laws, luncheon notes, etc. (amherstclub.org)
Michael Greenebaum expressed the Club’s gratitude to President Carey for a job well done this past year. He directed members’ attention to the President’s e-mail message of May 6, 2011. (It is included at the end of these minutes).
Michael also thanked the Board and all members of the Club who devoted time and effort on behalf of the Club’s various activities this year.
In response to a member’s question, clarification of our tax status was again offered by Secretary, Joan Hanson. The Amherst Club is a civic organization, and as such receives the designation 501 c (4) under the Internal Revenue Code. Being a civic organization provides that the Amherst Club pays no income tax, but does not allow for contributions to the Club to be tax deductible.
A business donation to the Club is deductible as a business expense.
Only contributions to educational or charitable organizations are tax deductible and these organizations are designated 501 c (3) under the tax code. The Amherst Club’s endowment falls in this category.
The Board has been very aware of the Club’s fine line between solvency and insolvency. We pay Hickory Ridge for a minimum of 35 meals each week. Two years ago the Board made a decision to not increase dues, but eliminate luncheons on the 5th Tuesdays of certain months. There was also an active drive to expand the membership and as of this date the Club is financially relatively stable.
Report of the Amherst Club Membership Committee
July 2010-June 2011
I. New Brochure: The Amherst Club produced a new Brochure with the leadership of the Membership Committee. The theme of the Brochure is “Community Philanthropy and Friendship.”
II. New Application Form: The Application Form was revised by the Committee and approved by the Board. It asks for service to the community, in which club activities the applicant would like to be involved, and two references rather than a sponsor.
III. Amherst Club Projects: The Membership Committee encouraged the club to engage in more projects to increase community service and visibility as well as camaraderie among members. The Committee stressed involvement as part of membership retention.
IV. Increasing Guests: The Membership Committee encouraged an increase in luncheon guests, even if not prospective members, so Amherst Club goals, program of speakers, and fellowship would be better known in the community, and attendance at lunch would be larger.
V. New Members: A Membership Initiative was inaugurated in August 2010 with considerable success. The Membership Committee reviewed 19 new member applications and recommended approval by the Board. With Board approval, six applicants joined as Full Members and 13 as Associate Members.
Ellen Kosmer and Rachel Mustin, co-chairs Cynthia Brubaker and Arthur Kinney
Report of the Love Notes Chairs – Carolyn Holstein and Karin Wilburn
Love Notes 2011 was very successful. We held a great concert, party, and were able to allocate about $14,000 to the local service agencies. Carolyn noted that the recipients’ luncheon was especially moving. Nearly all Club members participated in the fundraiser. The wrap-up meeting was well attended and an ideas list was generated. Next year there will be 3 party chairs and the Transportation Committee will be separate.
Jacquie Price and Carolyn Holstein will co-chair Love Notes next year.
Question to be referred to Board of Directors: Can Love Notes money be used for the Club’s operating expenses?
Michael noted that the Membership is very grateful to Larry as he had a particularly tough job finding members to serve on the Board for next year.
Larry presented the list of nominations and there were no further nominations from the floor.
President: Arthur Kinney
Vice President: Bonnie Isman
Secretary: Lois Kakley
Treasurer: William Vickery
Registrar: Roger Webb
Attendance: Claude Tellier
Lunch Notes: Marian Mepham, Nancy Brose
Membership: Karin Wilburn, Cynthia Brubaker
Program: Phyllis Lehrer
Love Notes: Carolyn Holstein, Jacquie Price
Activities: Tina Berins, Ruth Miller
Archives: Joan Hanson
Webmaster: Peter Snedecor
Nominations: Vivienne Carey
The nominations for Officers and Board were approved. Larry and Michael expressed particular appreciation to new people joining the Board - Lois Kackley, William Vickery, Marian Mepham and Peter Snedecor.
Question: What happened to the idea of paying dues for the whole year?
Answer: Too few participated and it was not worth the bookkeeping effort.
Cynthia Brubaker thanked the Program Committee, especially Phyllis Lehrer, for the fine luncheon programs at the Club this past year.
Arthur presented two issues that he will bring to the Board for discussion.
1) The donations to the Survival Center at luncheons have decreased to almost nothing and should the idea be continued?
2) Can the Club introduce a process to announce folks who are ill and find a way to show concern?
Discussion of the Endowment Fund:
Michael noted that the fund is 10 years old. It currently seems to require more energy and effort than the Club can sustain. It has only grown to about $15,000. Michael handed out a questionnaire, the results of which he listed here and will be presented to the new Board of Directors for discussion and direction.
Thanks to all who participated in the Endowment Fund Survey. Here is a summary of the results.
Twenty-seven surveys were returned.
There were four choices offered on the survey.
"Do nothing and let the Fund continue to grow slowly" received five first choices.
"Take it seriously as an Amherst Club fund" received fourteen first choices.
"Collaborate with other civic groups" received three first choices.
"Dissolve the Fund" received three first choices.
When asked "Are you willing to work on a fund drive or other fund enhancement activities?" eighteen members left the answer blank. Four answered yes, three answered no, and two answered maybe.
Several members wrote comments and I will turn the set of responses over to Arthur for the new board's consideration.
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The Annual Meeting dissolved at 1:30 PM.
Note From President Vivienne Carey:
Dear Everyone, May 6, 2011
I am really sorry that I shall be missing the club's annual meeting on June 7th. However, I will be home on June 20th so will have two more Tuesdays before the term of my presidency expires. Had I been present, I would have taken advantage of the annual meeting to say a few words as a summary of my experiences this year. Instead, I am sending our this message by email.
I can still remember how my hands were shaking on that first Tuesday when I walked up to the podium. I was terribly nervous about taking on such a responsible position. However, after a couple of weeks the nerves disappeared and I began to realize what an enriching, challenging, and satisfying experience this would be.
At board meetings, members were respectful and orderly whilst also being forthcoming and dynamic with their comments and suggestions. At luncheon meetings I came to really look forward to greeting you all and exchanging news and views.
The year has been filled with interesting and diverse speakers and deeply satisfying community events. Last weeks fashion show served to illustrate all the best aspects of our club and its raison d’être. An enormous number of you either helped organize, modeled, contributed, or attended the event. The team spirit was deeply satisfying, and we had a good time into the bargain. Of course, it was not on the scale of Love Notes, which has equal merits in its own way, nor like the backpacks project that also saw a generous response from a large number of you.
I do feel that our club is going from strength to strength and the many new members who have joined us this year testify to that. Thank you so very much for having welcomed me as president and for having been so willing to to participate in all these ventures. I have felt honored to have worked with you all and am looking forward to following Arthur's lead as he takes over the reins and guides us along the path that he has chosen to lay down.
With gratitude and affection,
Other announcements at this luncheon included information about Shutesbury’s 250th parade on this coming Saturday, a concert announced by Ruth Hooke, and Ruth Miller’s information on the upcoming Connecticut River cruise on the Lady Bea.
Jacquie Price has had spinal surgery and will be going to rehab.
Joan Hanson, Secretary