February progress report

As I sit here watching the snow falling and clinging to the trees — and the serenely beautiful white landscape — it reminds me that it has been a while since my last communication, so here’s a synopsis!

1. IRS status: Approval should be arriving momentarily!

2. Business Plan: Steve and I have had one conference call with Judy Braus and Dave Catlin and will have another one next week. The “Gathering of the Facts” phase has been completed and I shall be starting the writing phase this week.

I’ve been meeting weekly with Sarah Matel, Senior Vice President at The First Bank in Damariscotta, our volunteer on the business plan. She’s been a great help.  I also went to the island this past Friday with a contractor (Paul Garber Builders, Edgecomb, ME) so they could estimate the repairs and possible updates; Sue Schubel and Eric Snyder accompanied us. A few photos are attached.

3.  Donations: We received our first unsolicited donation in the mail (a recipient of our holiday mailing) of $150 from a lady in Texas. We’ve also had several inquiries about how to donate. I had a call yesterday from a gentleman offering the service of his navy tender; he’d read the article in the current Working Waterfront and wants to help in any way he can. His tender can carry trucks, etc!

4. Old camper lists: As you may or may not know, Steve’s staff sent out a last-minute postcard that included our mailing list (after it had been cleaned of duplicates and invalid addresses). To recognize responses from that list, a code was added to the postcard “AL” giving a $50 discount. They had two immediate sign-ups, who said they hadn’t heard from Hog Island in over 10 years and thought the camp was closed!

From all of our work entering those lists, we should have at least 3500 valid addresses — let’s hope that alumni are still residing at at least half of those addresses!!!

5. Volunteers: Fiona Fisher, a communications specialist formerly with the Rachel Carson Homestead in Pittsburgh, PA, and a friend of David’s, is working on a brochure on Hog Island that can be used in fundraising. Laura Sebastianelli, former wildlife tour operator and fundraiser, is working on a development plan. Jay Collier, our often-overlooked website host and moderator, continues to do a tremendous amount of work in monitoring and updating the site — almost instantly.

6. Registration: The efforts of Steve, Erica, and Pete and others at Project Puffin have paid off. See the excellent report on registration, which is now at 77%.

7. Marketing: National has been advertising the programs at Hog Island through e-communication with chapters

Please feel free to call me re thoughts about the business plan or anything else. Input is always welcome; FOHI and its success is a joint effort, so don’t hesitate.

Ah, the snow has abated, now off to shovel!!