Community Housing & Resources (CHR) board members started putting on their Mardi Gras party hats at Monday's monthly meeting, a precursor to the non-profit's first major fundraiser of 2013.
The Mardi Gras on Feb. 9 at the Dunes Golf & Tennis Club is the first of two fundraisers on CHR's near calendar. The other is a golf tournament in March.
"We are hoping to raise $12,000-$15,000 through Mardi Gras," said board member and development committee chair Tim Garmager. "Our goal is to have 250 people attend, and I hope we can count on our board members to sell their allotment of tickets."
The playground at CHR's Mahogany Way complex has been cleared of excess vegetation and the equipment repaired by volunteers through a grant from the Kiwanis Club.
Board member Dr. Phillip Marks chimed in, "Even if you buy the tickets yourself, give them away to someone, friends or neighbors. We want people to come to Mardi Gras."
Garmager reported that not as much money is being raised through the sponsors because organizations and individuals awarded all their funds before the end of the year.
"They are inviting us to come back to them next year," said Garmager, "so we are laying the groundwork for next year."
He said the golf tournament, proposed by and being driven by contacts at Sanibel-Captiva Bank, follows Mardi Gras by a month. It is set for March 16 at Sanibel Island Golf Club (formerly Beachview).
"We are appealing to a different crowd with the golf tournament," said Garmager. "The FGCU golf team is playing with us in the pro-am event. Our hope is to have 100 players and raise $10,000."
Garmager also acknowledged to the board recent donations from St. Michael's, Zonta, and Kiwanis Club in addition to CHR's first of two annual community appeal drives that netted more than $8,900 and the Home for the Holidays drive around Christmas that brought in $1,000 in donations from patrons of island restaurants.
"Small contributions add up," he said.
In other business before the board this month was approval of the annual financial audit, accomplished by Tuscan & Company of Fort Myers, an independent auditing firm. Jeff Tuscan brought the board up to speed by explaining bar graphs detailing the rise and fall of asset values, liabilities, revenue and expenses over the past four years.
The board unanimously approved the finalized audit for presenting it to the city of Sanibel next week.
Likewise, the board's five-year plan, which has been discussed and revised at board meetings in recent months, was presented in its final version and approved unanimously.
CHR has just one unoccupied unit at this time and executive director Kelly Collini reported rent collection stands at 100 percent for November and December and projected the same for January.
Board member Ray Pavelka informed the board that he had a favorable meeting with a prospect for Limited Equity Ownership of the 1491 Centre Street property, the last unit available for LEO purchase. The board is considering a unit at Sanibel Highlands for LEO since a prospect has expressed interest in it.
"It has been in the rental program for what, 17 years?" Pavelka said. "We have to assess what renovations we can do to it in order to put it up for sale."
The board, which stands at 10 members, also is taking nominations for future board candidates. Rules allow the board to have up to 13 members. The time for nominations is short since the board is required to vote on any candidates at its February 18 meeting.
"May I remind the board that we can function very well with a number less than 13," said board chairman Richard Johnson.