Penny asked all attendees to introduce themselves and briefly state what their roles are in the upcoming event or, in the case of newcomers, how they would like to be involved. New attendees included Sandra Cripe of Loco por Leer and co-chair of the Children’s Activities Committee; Melissa Caughey, co-chair of Children’s Activities; Ralph Desseau of the Rotary Club, who advised that he has taken over the Raffles chairmanship; Don Larsson, also of Rotary, who said he would be helping Ralph and wherever else needed; Carol and Tom Hurst, who advised that they have been asked to be on the Silent Auction Committee; Ed and Sue Davis of Potrerillos, who said they had been approached by representatives of Buenos Vecinos and do not know at this point where they will best fit in; and Bette Neal (McCloskey), who expressed an interest in joining the Food Committee.
For the benefit of newcomers, Penny briefly reviewed the history of B4B, after which she clarified that the role of the officers is overall administration while that of the volunteers is the soliciting and securing of donations. She explained that a list of potential donors and donation forms are available online at the B4B website (www.bidforboquete.com) under Downloads. Penny advised that cash donations are more appropriately sought from businesses such as banks, real estate firms, and insurance businesses.
Banco General again is the event sponsor with a donation of $5000 cash from its charitable foundation, Buenos Vecinos. Additionally, as a result of B4B’s winning a contest sponsored by Banco General, we received an additional $1000 from its Buenos Vecinos foundation, which was then supplemented by an additional $1000 donation from Banco General President Humbert’s own private foundation, for a total of $7000 from Banco General.
We currently have two corporate sponsors with donations of $1000 each: Casa Solution and Chiriqui Storage.
Anayansi Menendez, B4B Treasurer, reported that we began, following last year’s event and distribution of money to the major beneficiaries, with a balance of $7,748.27. Cash donations to date total $8,988, the sale of auction items at full price total $1,291, bank interest thus far is $7.38, and miscellaneous sales (tee shirts, plants, etc.) total $545.50, increasing total assets to $18,580.15. Expenditures include $5000 in mini-grants, legal expenses of $1,923, bank expenses of $14.24, rental of the Arco Iris room for next year’s event $428, and miscellaneous expenditures of $366.41. The current bank balance therefore is $10,848.50. Anayansi further explained that the legal expenses relate to taxes due and to our seeking charitable foundation status, whereby we pay no taxes and donations from Panamanians become tax deductible.
Penny added that all Panamanian foundations are required to have five Panamanian directors, and we have recruited five outstanding citizens: Anayansi Menendez, Antonio Singh, Melissa Vallerino, Gloria Detresno, and Xenia Choy. She further explained that donors seeking a tax deduction can make their checks payable to the Club de Leones de Boquete, while U.S. citizens may make receive tax deduction status for donations of $1000 or more through Amigos de Boquete.
Bonnie Williams reported on a change in plant sales and a planned new event this year. Because February is not a good time of year for plants due to its being the dry season, the sale of plants is being held on three separate occasions at the monthly flea market in Dolega. There was a sale in August, and two more are scheduled for October and December. The flea market is on the first Sunday of every month. Also, Lucero (formerly Cielo Paraiso) has agreed to co-host a B4B golf tournament in March 2013. Two co-chairs have been appointed, and initial meetings are underway.
The meeting was opened for questions and general discussion. Mary Ellen Watts, co-chair of the Art and Jewelry Sale Committee, expressed concern about household goods being sold at the same venue as art and fine jewelry on Saturday, February 9th, at BCP. It was explained that there only would be high-end decorative household items to be selected by the venta de patio organizers, including Alicia McGuigan and Dottie Thompson, who are in charge of this sale as well as the “boutique” clothing sale on the weekend prior. Don Larsson questioned how items were valued. Penny explained that the donor sets the value of an item donated.
Relative to Saturday events at BCP, it was suggested by Louise Orr that the hex room, where both the sales and the wine tasting take place, be reserved for the display of art and jewelry and that sponsor banners be displayed either in the auditorium during the Live Auction (which most major donors attend) or in the entrance corridor. In order to give more exposure and publicity to major donors, it also was suggested that their logos be displayed on the Powerpoint presentation between photos of auction items.
While pleas for donations to individual major beneficiaries have been made during the Live Auction the last two years, it was decided that this could be perceived as divisive and not in the spirit of a collaborative effort. However, a canister for cash donations to B4B will be placed at the bar and at the cashier table.
Finally, Bonnie addressed the importance of volunteers, particularly committee chairs, attending the monthly volunteer meetings which will be held on the third Thursday of each month at 2:00 p.m. at The Oasis restaurant. It is essential, she explained, that decisions made at these meetings be understood by everyone, and equally essential that everyone participate in these decisions and offer suggestions.
The next volunteer meeting will be Tuesday, October 16th, at 2:00 p.m. at The Oasis restaurant. Mark your calendars!
Bonnie Williams, Secretary