Monday, August 19, 2013

Ch 41: Fundraiser Event Detail for The Promised Place School

       Erica Kay-Webster is our founder and acting Executive Director for the Foundation for International Justice,  As you may have seen in the pictures on the previous page Erica is the International Spokesperson for Colors of Compassion and the Fearless Project, Author, "Absence of Justice", Actor, Performer, Executive Director - Promise Place School, Stonewall Veteren 1969, Board Member of PFLAG Cape Cod.  She has accomplished many things in her lifetime and she as I believe all of us hope that The Promise Place School and the Foundation for International Justice will be the pride and glory of our accomplishments.

    The Promised Place School, we hope from the pictures as you can see will be a large undertaking, the property itself is listed for $4.95 million and our operating budget is likely to be $2.5 million per year to start.  We are getting traction from many important organizations and through grants both at the state and federal level we believe we can generate 60% of our needed revenue.  The project itself and the money would go towards housing and teaching 45 currently homeless LGBT Youth.  We hope to offer an accelerated program for those children who have been out of the school system for a number of years, and a GED program for those children who would not feasibly be able to reenter the school system.  The property as constituted, is equipped to house the 45 students, along with 6 house parents and has a 3 bedroom cape on the property which is meant for the maintenance and landscaping individual and their family. 

   In addition to the 45 students, we have 7 cabins which can house 56 kids for an 8 week summer camp program.  The summer camp program will be open to kids from across the country, and will help generate revenue needed to run the other services.  The building was previously used as a conference center, and we hope to be able to rent out the facilities when available to hold conferences, educational seminars and other such functions to also be revenue generating.  All revenue and donations go towards the care of the children and the expansion of the project.  Our foundation, the Foundation for International Justice is not limited to MA, and we hope this will be one of many successful facilities to help get these kids off of the streets and into caring, loving, home atmospheres where they can flourish.

   Many of you have read from the beginning and know the statistics on transgender suicide, the homeless LGBT Youth community successfully commits suicide 26% of the time.  We hope that this program and others like it will not only give these kids a home and allow them to develop into the wonderful adults we know they can be but we hope programs like this will save lives.  We hope to help educate the general public in addition to teaching and housing the kids, and hope that all of the horrible harassment and discrimination and deaths of our community brothers and sisters will decrease over time as programs like this show successful models for care.

   There are over 600,000 LGBTQI kids in the United States currently.  This facility our first project we are looking to break ground on in the existing property in Cape Cod MA.  And as I said we plan to get funding through state and federal organizations, though spreading the word and getting as much as we can in from private donors and corporate sponsors is highly important to the success of the project.  While the $4.95 million for the property may seem like a large number, the property itself is listed by the town at over $8 million in worth, and the program that operated the property before us has committed to donating all furniture, linens, boats, and other equipment that is currently located on the property.  This donation of goods could be largely valued at close to $1 million by itself.  We are looking into partnering with one of the local Sailing and Boating clubs that are looking for a permanent home, and may be able to allow them access to the dock and the boats we will have, in exchange for their help maintaining the fleet, and offering free sailing lessons to our students.  They will likely hold day camp programs of their own to generate revenue for their program.  So, all in all, if we were to buy a plot of land and try to create this program and facility from the ground up it would cost far more than the $4.95 million asking price.

   We are hoping to open the facility on Jun 2014, we want to get in and acquire the location as soon as possible to begin renovations, updating the property with new windows, possibly installing solar panels, likely building a 2nd bath house to ensure adequate bathrooms for year round use, and of course hiring and training staff.  We will have to run background checks on all staff, and volunteers to ensure the safety of the children.  We meet with the Financing company to go over possible purchasing options on the land on Wednesday 8.21.13.  The company has also offered to hold a bond offering for us to help raise the initial startup funds needed.

   At the event on Friday 8.16.13 we had speakers State Representative Cleon Turner, Carly Burton, Deputy Director of MassEquality and the Commissioner of the Massachusetts Special Commission on Unaccompanied Youth, Kristen Davies, Foundation For International Justice Board Member, and Commissioner of the Massachussets LGBT Youth Commission, and of course the wonderful Erica Kay-Webster and her husband David Webster.  We hope to continue to increase awareness of the project itself, are hoping to put together a celebrity fundraiser on the west coast within the next few months along with a number of other events.  Likely we will have an event in Boston as well.

   Our board members include, Erica Kay-Webster, President and Executive Director, Kristen Davies as Treasurer, myself Rebecca A as Secretary, and Paul Goddu Board Member.  You know Erica's and Kristen's credentials from the above, I am an accountant, recently graduated with my Masters in Accounting / Finance, have worked largely in financial statement preparation and tax return work for the past 7 years.  I have my PTIN and can legally sign tax returns prepared by myself if so desired, and plan to get certification through IRS testing as a tax preparer before the end of the year.  Then to complete my accounting credentials I simply need to sit for the CPA exam and pass it.  Paul Goddu is a Financial Planner who's professional background includes decades of personal financial service experience in banking and lending, fundraising and theatre production.  Paul's professional goals include employing that experience, and my own life experience, to serve the financial needs of you and your family when you need a trusted friend and advisor. And he specializes in Business Succession, College Funding, Retirement Plans, Protection products, Income for life, and Financial Education.

  We hope to get the board up to 12-15 members soon to be able to start dividing work into subcommittees so we can start planning further details in programs that need it.  I am currently working on employee handbooks, job descriptions, internal control documents, risk management, and accounting handbooks.  Erica largely is the face of the organization, using her extensive network of friends to get in front of influential individuals and speak to motivate others to take action and contribute to the project in any fashion they can. 

' "It's easy to make a buck. It's a lot tougher to make a difference."

"Tom Brokaw said that and he was right. The universe invites you now to be someone who is making a life, rather than a living."

"Move toward your passion. Express through your daily work and your daily activities what it is that lights up your soul. Do not believe those who say that you cannot do this. Do it anyway." 

"No, really. DO IT ANYWAY!" '
The above Quote was provided by Erica's friend Neale, and speaks volumes to the type of project we are trying to put together.  Will there be obstacles, of course, will there be difficulties, for sure, No matter the case we will overcome the obstacles and surmount the difficulties by raising up and meeting them head on.  I have faith in the project and that it is a greatly needed service that we will find a way to raise the money and achieve what is needed to accomplish the goals we are setting out to make.

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