2007 Annual Report
West Cascade Peace Corps Association
Annual Report for 2007
|President:||Dustin Johnson||Vice President:||James Cloutier|
|Secretaries:||Michael Kresko and Shannon Micheel||Treasurer:||Evangelina Sundgrenz|
|At large board members:||Beryl Brinkman, Benj Epstein, Brett Holt,
Maggie Keenan, Felicia Kenney, Deb McLaughlin, Eli Meyer, Rolly
Thompson, Wayne Thompson|
Transition: The year 2007 marked a difficult transition for our
organization because in early February Beryl Brinkman, one of our
founding members and always a guiding light, died suddenly. Our
collective sense of loss and sadness was profound. The officers and
others in the organization worked throughout the year to reallocate
duties and reestablish priorities to fit the volunteer time that was
available. We sorely miss the time, effort, guidance, and grace
that Beryl had lavished on the organization. At the same time we
feel that she would endorse our work and support our decisions.
Northwest regional RPCA meeting in Seattle: Beryl and Dustin
attended this meeting in January, 2007.
Potlucks: We held the first potluck in February as a memorial
service for Beryl. It was an occasion to celebrate her life and
long term support of the Peace Corps and West Cascade Peace Corps
For the rest of the year we decided that potlucks would be the first
Sunday of most months and would include a program. Pub nights for PC
recruitment organized by Brett Holt , the PC recruiter at the U of
O, took place on the first Wednesday of each month usually in a
March: potluck with a presentation about the International Rotary
Club program to supply prosthetic arms to victims of ethnic violence
April: potluck with a presentation by Michael Schapiro about his
nonprofit in Haiti.
May: NOM party. See below
July: Picnic at the Thompsons' farm.
September: potluck with a presentation about a recent RPCV visit to
a Peace Corps site in Ghana from the mid-1960s.
November: potluck with a presentation by three RPCVs about a recent
health education program in Nicaragua.
Campout: This year it was WCPCA's responsibility to organize the
annual campout of the northwest RPCV groups. Michael Kresko was in
charge. He organized the event at the Diamond Lake- Broken Arrow
group camp from August 2-5 and took responsibility for organizing
meals and notifying the other groups. Over sixty people came from
the Pacific Northwest including seven from WCPCA.
Community based PC activities: Several local RPCVs took part in the
National Peace Corps Awareness Week, February 25th -March 3rd, in
activities coordinated by the U of O PC recruiter, Brett Holt.
We cosponsored with the PC recruiter the annual NOM party, welcoming
newly accepted PC trainees from the local area to the PC. This was
held at the Many Nations Long house on the U of O campus in May.
About about 75 people attended. WCPCA helped with the set up,
supplied food by asking members to bring a potluck dish as well as
purchasing food, took part in the program, and supplied volunteers
for the clean up.
Activities in our local community: WCPCA took part in the annual
Eugene Celebration parade and had a booth for two days to inform the
community about the Peace Corps, sell tee shirts, and recruit new
Members helped Food for Lane County by taking care of clean up
duties at two of its annual events: the Chefs' Night Out fundraiser
in April and the Empty Bowls fundraiser in September.
Grant to a PC project: WCPCA donated $1,000 to a project that is
building water wells in Tourou, Extreme-North Province, Cameroon.
The two PCVs working with the project are a married couple from
Eugene. More information is in the "Projects" section of the
Gifts to WCPCA: In November WCPCA received three generous gifts.
Tricia Tate and Natalie Brinkman each gave the organization funds
that they had been allocated from Beryl's estate. The attorney who
settled Beryl's estate contributed a portion of her fee because she
was so impressed by Beryl's generosity. The total of these
donations was approximately $22,500.
The gifts stipulated that the funds must be held in an account
separate from the organization's general account, invested, and the
proceeds from the investment donated to humanitarian projects.
The board accepted these gifts and the accompanying stipulations
with humility and great appreciation. The funds were invested in
early 2008 with Edward Jones Investments in a bond and a money
The board's plans for the long term investment of the money are to
create an endowed fund called the 'Beryl Brinkman Memorial Fund'
with the Oregon Community Foundation. The board will be able to do
this if the organization receives tax exempt status from the IRS and
the total in the fund reaches $25,000.
Organizational matters: WCPCA held an election in November by paper
ballot mailed to the membership which was asked to vote on proposed
changes to the constitution and bylaws and to elect new officers for
the next year. The proposed changes to the organizational documents
are explained below.
A committee of four members began work for the organization to apply
to the IRS for tax exempt status, also known as 501 C (3) status.
This was a many layered task which called for extensive
documentation of our previous activities as well as revising our
constitution and bylaws to conform to IRS requirements for the
status. In November the membership voted to revise these documents
as requested by the board. The application was submitted to the IRS
in February, 2008.
The revised constitution also established a new board office called
'Communications Coordinator.' This addition to our board
acknowledged our growing use of the website and electronic
communication within our membership.
The change depends upon our identifying a board member with the
technical capability to manage the website. We are fortunate to
have such a person in our membership and she was appointed to this
We should acknowledge that over ten years ago the board created the
organization's first website and thus introduced us to the
electronic age. We had to change our domain name, as wcpca.com was lost after some confusion about changing registrars resulted in a missed payment. Our current domain name, westcascadepca.org, more accurately reflects the nature of our group as an organization rather than as a company.
Communication and the newsletter: As noted above WCPCA is
increasingly becoming an organization based upon electronic
communication within the board as well as with the membership and
web based for its organizational activities. This evolution
increases the efficiency and substantially lowers the cost of our
communication as well as extending our reach to the public.
For this to work we depend upon the fact that the majority of our
membership uses email and has easy access to the web. Fortunately
this is the case. However, we offer paper communication to anyone
who requests it. We want to remain an inclusive organization.
The paper newsletter which was a hallmark of the organization for at
least 25 years was loved by all and was a particular product of
Beryl's efforts. The board let it go with regret. But no one was
willing to take responsibility for it and the board recognizes that
our current income does not justify its cost.
Membership: At the end of 2007 WCPCA had approximately 55 paid up
members at least 200 additional interested parties who received the
newsletter and other news items via email.
Memberships existed in several formats: some people joined through
the NPCA paying membership fees to both organizations, others
joined WCPCA directly, and still others in the first year after
leaving the PC joined one or both organizations but were excused
from paying dues for the first year.
For those who joined WCPCA directly there were three membership
tiers: individual, couple, student.
Fundraising activities: Our fundraising activities consisted of
selling tee shirts and international calendars primarily at
community or U of O events as well as through our website. We
earned approximately $800 from calendar sales and $150 from shirt
sales for a total of $950.
Financial position in December 2007:
Checking account at the Oregon Community Credit Union: $6, 591
Three year investment with the Calvert Fund for humanitarian work:
Beryl's Memorial Fund in a separate account at the OCCU: $22,542