Minutes – Fall 2012 meetings

  • Successful walkathon for the poor:   Friends held a Walk for the Poor, Hungry and Homeless on Oct. 28, 2012, the day before Hurricane Sandy.  Forty-seven walkers participated in the 21-mile walk.  Walk chairperson Bob Hodum congratulated the walkers. sponsors, and others who assisted (Town and local agencies, police departments, etc.)  The total monies raised by the various participating groups is estimated so far at $6150;  Pete estimates that the Friends total for the Walk will exceed $3500.   Discussion for future walks on the need to have more visibility for awareness, an important aspect of the walk.  The use of funds raised was discussed – Peter suggested some portion to go toward the Nuevo Amanecer water project which is $10000 away from completion, in addition to other  projects on LI and in NYC.  Groups participating included Friends, Students for 60000, OLQM Project Nicaragua, Rotary, HIHI, Project Hope, Peace and Plenty.
  • Discussion of some community members’ misperceptions of the work of Students for 60000 and Friends of Students for 60000 in Nicaragua and locally. Friends of Students for 60000 is a bona fide 501c3 not for profit corporation in good standing with the IRS. Everything done by Friends is within our bylaws, and within our charitable purposes which are approved by NYS Department of Charities and the IRS.   Friends’ goal is to provide aid, care, and support to the needy wherever they may be found.  Pete White clarified, regarding the high school club Students for 60000, that Students’ funds raised from Fall through Christmas, i.e. Shanty, Cow Harbor Day, Thanksgiving supermarket fundraiser, etc., all go to local needy and poverty causes.  The only Students’ money that goes to Nicaragua is that which is raised by those students participating in Nicaragua trip. All money for Nicaragua projects comes from donors who specifically donate to the Nicaragua Project.
  • Discussion of the need to get out word of Friendssuccessful accomplishments to more readers. As of late November, 2012, the chief means of communicating has been the Friends’ website, our two newsletters (Feb. 2012, and Sept. 2012), and occasional articles in local papers. Agreement that we need far more communication, including an updated presence on Facebook.
  • Friends’ member Carol Werbin was very pleased with progress and success of the monthly meals she has organized for the many hungry and needy in the Huntington area, and described the help she receives from local adults and young people. Several members of Friends stated interest in helping at her next dinner; the dinners are held at the Moose Lodge in Greenlawn.
  • Pete presented the newly-made photo postcards for this year’s Friends Holiday Postcard fund- raiser. The photos are very compelling, thanks to Bill Ofenloch, expert photographer. Postcards will be sent by Friends members to potential donors. Kathy Cusumano is organizing other methods of distributing additional postcards.
  • Discussion of our September newsletter. Congratulations especially to Bob Hodum for producing the very attractive and informative newsletter, our second in our ongoing attempt to raise awareness of the work we do.
  • Discussion of Cow Harbor Day – Approximately $200 was collected from donors and a $500 contribution made through Paypal from one alumnus who stopped at our table in the park. Flyers were distributed, items sold, and our organization and work publicized. Congratulations to Joanne and Millie for chairing the event, and to Kate, Pete, Kathy and others who staffed our table in the park all day.
  • Visit of Andrew Longley, the English water engineer whose NGO Nuevas Esperanzas, is completing the Nuevo Amanecer Water Project. Announcement that Andrew was to visit Friends members Mike Cipoletti, Bill Ofenloch, and Lisa Flanagan, and would be speaking at a meeting of Students for 60000 on Oct. 16, 2012. George Pardo and Pete White met with Andrew for an hour before the Oct. 16 meeting, and Pete attended Andrew’s presentation at the SF60000 meeting.. He said it was the finest presentation he’d ever seen of such a very technical nature. “Despite the very scientific material covered, including the many tests that had to be run, and the arsenic levels in the water, due to his knowledge and interesting style, the more than 160 students present learned a great deal from and were spellbound by Andrew about the NA water project.” ) It should be noted that Friends has provided $28500 toward this important, life saving project. According to Andrew, another $10000 is needed to complete it.
  • Four members of Friends, Pete White, Joanne Moran, Bill Ofenloch and Dick Wiltamuth showed great interest in going to Nicaragua in early – mid November. They were eager to bring with them the $20100 available for the Chacraseca Housing Initiative (CHIP) to build between 8 – 11 new houses. (Friends raised $4550; Students $5550; SG Foundation contributed $10000 for a total of $20100). However, all agreed to postpone the trip until early April in hopes that given more time, they can have a delegation of 8-10 people.
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