BIHS fundraising on track

Tue, 12/19/2017 - 7:30am

The Block Island Health Services Board is considering hosting its annual summer fundraising event at The Sullivan House once again.

That consensus was arrived at after Fundraising Chair Pat Doyle asked board members what they wanted to do for this year’s event during a recent board meeting. Doyle said “tickets and sponsorship” should be the main focus of coordinating the summer event if the board wants to generate about $40,000. People want an evening out, she said.

The board discussed whether the event should be hosted at the Block Island Maritime Institute building, or at The Sullivan House, and whether it should be a dinner or a cocktail party. 

Most of the board’s members thought that The Sullivan House was a more attractive venue for the event, and that a dinner party was more appealing than serving cocktails.

“It’s got to be at The Sullivan House,” said Board member Bob Greenlee, who favored hosting a dinner party.

Former Fundraising Chair Sue Hagedorn said she thought a cocktail party with heavy appetizers in a more casual setting would be more effective than a dinner party. In response, Doyle said she “asked around” and found that “they all loved the event as a dinner” function.

“You make three times more at a dinner than a cocktail party,” noted Doyle, who said that the price for individual tickets would be $75, while an individual sponsorship would cost $500.

“The amount of sponsors we had last year was 40,” said Doyle. “We want 50 or 60 sponsors this year. That’s a lot of work,” she said, requesting that the board agree to “work on getting more sponsors” this year.

“You’re going to have to expand the committee,” said Board Chair Cindy Baute. 

“The board can only do so much. In defense of the people on this board, I don’t like hearing that the board has to do this.”

“I can’t do any more work than I can,” said board member Donna Corey, who noted that she sits on other boards and committees. “People on this board have a lot of other responsibilities.”

“Why not ask the board what we can do?” asked Treasurer Pete Tweedy, who asked to see a budget proposal for the event. Doyle said that she would furnish Tweedy with one after the meeting.

The board agreed that it would help Doyle sell tickets, and do what it could in attracting sponsors to the event. Baute suggested that the board call it a summer party and not a gala. 

“We used gala for the Medical Center’s celebration of its 25th anniversary,” said Baute. “Make it a summer party.”

In other news, Doyle reported that the Lights of Love campaign has garnered $24,852 from 129 donors, two weeks into collecting donations. 

“We’re so far ahead of where we were last year,” she said, noting that the campaign runs “through the holiday season.” 

The next BIHS meeting is Monday, Jan. 22, 2018 at 4 p.m.