BCF Grant Awarded to ANCC
Bandera Community Foundation (BCF) officials announced Monday that the Arthur Nagel Community Clinic has been chosen as this year’s grant recipient from the Timeless Tunes II fundraiser. BCF Board President Linda James and Secretary Janice Leland, were on hand Monday to make the $5,000 grant presentation to the clinic’s Board President, Dan Wise, and Executive Director, K. Irene Stone, at the new Crawford Nonprofit Resource Center for Bandera County.
“We are extremely grateful to the Bandera Community Foundation for their willingness to provide this generous grant to the clinic so that we can continue our mission to help low-income residents of Bandera County who have no medical insurance,” said Stone. “This grant is very timely since our patient visits for the first quarter of 2011 are 49% higher than the first quarter of 2010, and our individual medical services are up 87%.”
“That is what the Bandera Community Foundation is all about,” James said. “The BCF is always happy to help other nonprofits. We look forward to continuing our tradition of working together for the good of the Bandera County community.”
Bandera Community Foundation's mission, James explained, is to improve the quality of life in Bandera County. This is achieved by working with donors to help them realize their philanthropic goals, working with community leaders to build consensus in what the priorities are, and creating opportunities for collaboration among nonprofits for the good of the community.
Assistance is provided to nonprofits that serve Bandera County by the BCF hosting fundraising events like Celebrate Bandera and Timeless Tunes. Previous grants have been awarded to the Frontier Times Museum, the Bandera Boys and Girls Club, Helping Hand, the Kronkosky Library, Silver Sage Senior Center, and the Bandera Sports Complex.
The Timeless Tunes II fundraiser, which benefitted the Arthur Nagel Community Clinic, was a collaboration between the BCF and The Almost Patsy Cline Band (the Official Goodwill Ambassadors for the City of Bandera) and was underwritten by the Texas Commission on the Arts. Local sponsors included the Hondo National Bank, Buddy’s Water Well and Septic Service, Shoe Biz, Bandera Massage Therapy, Bandera Electric Cooperative, Bandera County Courier, Flying L Guest Ranch, CIA Services, Comprehensive Physical Therapy and Bandera Fitness, Western Heritage Cowboy Church, the Bandera Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, and the Bandera Business Association.
Another service provided by the BCF, James continued, is building assets. The Disaster Relief Fund is one of six funds invested by the Bandera Community Foundation for growth, so the money will be there when it’s needed. BCF also holds and invests funds for individuals who want to maximize the value of their charitable contributions.
Volunteers are always needed by both the Bandera Community Foundation and the Arthur Nagel Community Clinic. Please call BCF at 796-8810 or the clinic at 796-3448 if you would like to help.
The Bandera Community Foundation hosted a breakfast on November 15, 2010 at the Purple Sage Ranch to observe National Philanthropy Day 2010, a special day set aside throughout the United States to recognize and pay tribute to the great contributions that people and organizations active in the philanthropic community have made in our lives, our communities and our world. Event sponsors were Dahill–A Xerox Company and Bandera First State Bank.
2010 is a special year because, first, it marks the 25th anniversary of National Philanthropy Day. Second, this year is the 50th anniversary of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, the chief sponsor of this special day. Third, this is Community Foundation Week – a time to celebrate organizations like the BCF whose major purpose is to focus on community improvement. Finally, 2010 also marks the 12th anniversary of the founding of the Bandera Community Foundation.
In the United States alone there are more than one million charitable organizations, and Americans give more than $300 billion annually to charitable causes (Giving USA Foundation).
In Bandera County, plus Utopia and Micro, there are over 100 non-profit organizations (IRS Pub 78) working to improve the quality of life for all people. Their purposes include education, health care, natural resources & conservation, crisis services, animal welfare, youth development, senior services & our libraries - just to name few.
Over 140 people gathered together to show appreciation for 24 honorees who give generously from the heart of their time, talents and money. Their contributions have had a major impact in helping to improve our way of life and making our area a better place to live.
Keynote speaker for the morning was Tom McGuire, grants manager for San Antonio’s Kronkosky Charitable Foundation. Since 1998, this generous organization has awarded 81 grants worth more than $158 million to area nonprofits in Kendall, Comal, Bexar and Bandera Counties. Since 1998, an average of $415,000 has come into Bandera County annually to help our nonprofit organizations carry out their missions.
The recipients of the 2010 awards joined a distinguished group of 31 other philanthropists that have been recognized since the Bandera Community Foundation began this program in 2003.
The honorees and the nonprofit organization who selected them included:
- Normal Schelling Animal Welfare Society of Bandera County
- Akron Bray Arms of Hope
- Methodist Healthcare Ministries Arthur Nagel Clinic
- Genie Strickland Bandera Business Association
- Mike Kielbasa Bandera Community Foundation
- Scott Asher Bandera County Chamber of Commerce
- Janice Lain Bandera County Helping Hand
- George & Barbara Sharman Bandera County Junior Livestock Show Assoc.
- Dr. Barbara Skilling Bandera ISD Education Foundation
- Michael Garr Bandera Public Library
- Clay Morrow Bandera Sports Complex
- Fenton Miller Boys and Girls Club of Bandera County
- Kay Trevino Brighter Days Horse Refuge
- Mary Conley Friends of Bandera County Library
- F B. Duane Foundation Frontier Times Museum
- Kevin Mandrel Hill Country State Natural Area
- Loy Ed Alanis Lakehills Library and Community Assoc.
- Rodney Camp Medina Community Library
- Sam Granbury Medina Lake Betterment Assoc.
- Michelle Richler Medina Lake Preservation Society
- J. B. Edwards Pipe Creek Community Center
- Gerry and Harriet Payne Silver Sage Corral Senior Activity Ctr.
- Bill Bishop Kiwanis Club of Bandera County
- Anne Nolen Triple H. Equitherapy
Each honoree received a personalized, framed photo of Bandera’s historic courthouse presented by Dave Demers, president of the Bandera Community Foundation.
The Foundation’s board of directors and Bandera area nonprofit organizations express their deep appreciation to these special people and organizations for making a profound difference in the lives of people in our community.
Mansfield Park Beautification Project
October 30, 2010 - Members of the Bandera Community Foundation and the Hill Country Chapter of the Gypsy Bikers met at Mansfield Park and, with the assistance of Eloy Armstrong, park manager, planted 12 big tooth maple trees. Dave Demers, president of the Foundation, said, "This project is a great example of a local retailer, Baxter Adams of Love Creek Orchards, two nonprofit organizations and the County of Bandera working together to beautify the park and benefit it's users. Bandera Community Foundation and Gypsy Bikers shared in the cost of the trees which were sold at a discounted price by Mr. Adams. We all look forward to similar park beautification projects in the future."
“The hardest thing in the world is to start an orchestra – and the next hardest, to stop it.”
That bit of wisdom was uttered by Hans Richter more than a century ago, but he might very well have been speaking about the Glenn Miller Orchestra.
The first orchestra Glenn Miller formed didn’t make it at all. It was a total and absolute failure. But Glenn knew what he wanted, held to that dedication and relentlessly worked to succeed. He launched his second band in March of 1938, and unlike the first band, it became an enormous success. And it has been a “hit” ever since.
The legendary Glenn Miller was one of the most successful of all the dance bandleaders back in the Swing era of the 1930’s and ’40s. A matchless string of hit records, the constant impact of radio broadcasts, and the drawing power at theatres, hotels and dance pavilions built and sustained the momentum of popularity.
Glenn disbanded his musical organization in 1942, at the height of its popularity, volunteered for the Army and then organized and led the famous Glenn Miller Army Air Force Band. It went to Europe to entertain servicemen, and then, on December 15, 1944, Major Miller took off in a single-engine plane from England to precede his band to France, never to be seen again. The army declared him officially dead a year later.
Due to the popular demand, the Miller Estate authorized the formation of the present Glenn Miller Orchestra in 1956 under the direction of drummer Ray McKinley, who had become the unofficial leader of the Army Air Force Band after Glenn’s disappearance. Since then, other leaders have followed Ray including clarinetists Buddy DeFranco and Peanuts Hucko, trombonists Buddy Morrow, Jimmy Henderson, Larry O’Brien and tenor saxophonist Dick Gerhart.
The 19-member band continues to play many of the original Miller arrangements that keep exciting fans who have not hear them played for a while. Additionally, they are also playing more modern selections in the big-band style, carefully selecting only those newer tunes that lend themselves naturally to the Miller style and sound, carefully selecting pieces that will stay around for a while. The entire repertoire which now exceeds 1,700 compositions keeps the band popular with both young and old.
Most of the band’s shows are sell-outs. It has proven staying power, and it’s popularity has never seemed to wane. Indeed, the Glenn Miller Orchestra today is still the most sought after big-band in the world just as it was in Glenn’s day.
THE MILLER SOUND LIVES FOREVER!
If you never heard about the Cow Paddy Bingo at Celebrate Bandera, you sure did miss out! This past Labor Day weekend, during the annual Celebrate Bandera event put on by your Bandera Community Foundation, an opportunity was taken to further support the people of Bandera. And we had lots of fun!
If you’ve never experienced Cow Paddy Bingo, you start with a pen filled with squares marked on the ground. People had the opportunity to purchase squares for $20 each, right up until the day of the event. Then, at the appropriate time, a rather large longhorn bull was released into the pen. Having been well fed before he was set out, he wandered around until it was time to “go”. If you were lucky enough to have purchased the square he plopped his paddy on, you walked away with $2500 in cash.
Another big winner was the Bandera Sports Complex, thanks to Boyle’s Bandera Hardware and Modern Woodmen of America. Modern Woodmen pledged a challenge grant up to $2,500 for the purchase of playground equipment at the Bandera Sports Complex. Boyle’s Bandera Hardware generously offered to match the grant with a $2,500 sponsorship. This made the Cow Paddy Bingo event worth grants to the Bandera Sports Complex for new playground equipment of up to $5,000. The grant was awarded to the Bandera Sports Complex by the Bandera Community Foundation on October 19th, 2009.
Local Bandera / San Antonio Modern Woodmen member, Lanette Pennell, contacted the organization about their Matching Fund Program. The program offers members nationwide the chance to show their support for a community cause, organization or individual in need, by partnering with community organizations and collaborating with them in hosting community fundraisers.
Across the US, Modern Woodmen Matching Fund Projects, like Cow Paddy Bingo, contribute more than $6 million annually to community needs. Founded in 1883 as a fraternal benefit society, Modern Woodmen of America offers financial services and fraternal member benefits to individuals and families throughout the United States. This mission harmonizes with the mission of the Bandera Community Foundation, which is to improve the quality of life for all Bandera County Residents.
Boyle’s Bandera Hardwar is no stranger to community service either. The Boyle family has supported Bandera Community activities for over 100 years through donations, sponsorships and by volunteering. Johnny Boyle is the current President of the Frontier Times Museum. He has been active in the Chamber of Commerce, the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau and was instrumental in developing the Bandera Boys and Girls Club, just to mention a few of the hundreds of hours and dollars the Boyle family has shared with this community. The first Boyle’s store was established in 1907 on 11th Street and was run by two brothers. The store was called Boyles Brothers. In 1946, John Boyle, son of one of the brothers, opened his own store on Main. Boyle’s Market served Bandera for many years and was eventually purchased by John’s son Johnny. The family tradition of supporting the community has never faltered.
Boyle’s Bandera Hardware (True Value) was pleased to match the $2,500 grant from Modern Woodmen of America for the Bandera Sports Complex, in conjunction with the Bandera Community Foundation. The Cow Paddy Bingo event took place Saturday, September 5th, in the parking lot of Boyle’s Bandera Hardware. Happily, we can say all squares were sold, meeting the Bandera Community Foundations goal, and went on to benefit the children of our community.
Celebrate Bandera is a production of the Bandera Community Foundation. Cow Paddy Bingo is just one example of the way the Foundation shares the benefits of Celebrate Bandera with other community nonprofit organizations for public recognition and fundraising opportunities.
This story was a collaboration of Laura Harborth, Lanette Penell, Genie Strickland and Stacy LaLanne
A Celebrate Bandera Thank You!!!
On behalf of the Bandera Community Foundation’s board of directors, I’d like to express my deep appreciation to everyone who played a part in making the 2009 version of Celebrate Bandera such a success.
The list of folks that should be recognized for their support and devotion to this event would easily take up several pages of this newspaper. So, to be brief, I’d first like to thank the Celebrate Bandera committee members to include Lanette Pennell, event chair; Jim Barlow, finance chair; Dan Wise, advisor; the 33 venue chairpersons, and the dozens of volunteers who spent hours in the heat helping us in places such as Bandera City Park, the County Courthouse area, and Mansfield Park.
Next to be recognized for their efforts are the State, City of Bandera and Bandera County employees to include law enforcement, volunteer fire department and EMTs who stood ready around the clock to provide whatever public safety measures were needed.
Then there’s the Texas Department of Agriculture’s “Texas Yes” program, City of Bandera Economic Development Council, the Bandera City Council and the County of Bandera who provided generous grants and use of their grounds and facilities.
We also need to recognize our many sponsors and donors who are the life’s blood of not only Celebrate Bandera but many other Bandera County area events held throughout the year.
Lastly, a special thank you to the community’s go-to event planner, Genie Strickland. How this lady and her assistant, Stacy LaLanne, starting in January each year, manage to juggle the seemingly never-ending list of people and logistics that’s required to make such a huge event come together is awesome to say the least.
If we measure this year’s success in terms of attendance and income, I would estimate attendance was down a little as was the average amount of money spent by the public. That’s no surprise there given last year’s record breaking totals and the current state of the economy.
However, if we measure success by people of all ages enjoying the displays, demonstrations and activities presented at the powwow, rodeo arena, courthouse lawn and city park to include the good food, services and products offered by our county’s businesses plus the proceeds that the foundation can use to benefit the disaster relief fund and community nonprofit organizations, then I think it’s safe to say we accomplished our goal.
Thank you all!
Dave Demers, President/BCF
The Cowboy Capital of the World Celebrates Bandera
By: Genie Strickland
August 15, 2009
Each year, for the past seven years, the history of one of the Hill Country’s most colorful towns comes alive. This year is no exception. Bandera, Cowboy Capital of the World, wakes up Saturday morning, September 5th, to a world that existed more than 150 years ago. It is a Texas Brigadoon: drovers drifting into town for their first cup of coffee; a herd of longhorns gathering on the banks of the Medina; wranglers getting them ready for the drive north, through downtown Bandera.
Downtown looks like a carnival: wagons loaded to their canvas tops with goods that traveling drummers are feverishly unpacking to show the townfolk who are sure to gather to watch the beautiful, fearsome, colossal bovines moving slowly up Main Street. Itinerant musicians are already on the street—playing a song for a coin in their silver cup—trying to earn enough to get to the next town. Bowler-hatted dandies are up and down Main Street, hawking tickets to tonight’s entertainment at the local saloons.
But this is 2009, only acting like it’s the 1800s. The magic is in Bandera Community Foundation’s (BCF) seven-year history of producing Celebrate Bandera—a historic re-enactment and celebration of Bandera’s 157 years. BCF throws this something-for-everyone party each Labor Day weekend. And what a party it is!
The first event starts at 5:00 p.m. Friday evening on September 4th at Mansfield Park with an Indian Fry Bread Supper and the Blessing of the Circle at the Circle of Life Intertribal Powwow. This beautiful ritual is followed by Gourd Dancing, Intertribal dancing, and a silent auction featuring Native American art. At 7:00 p.m., Bandera’s Cowboy Mounted Shooters will host the Mounted Shooters Association’s annual sanctioned competition. This fast-moving, colorful competition features cowboys and cowgirls dressed in period costume, riding at top speed while shooting pistols at balloon targets. Admission is $5.00. Saturday morning at 8:00, the group is back for the Eliminator Competition. .
Bright and early Saturday morning, volunteers will welcome old trail riders and newly-minted cowboys and cowgirls with a hearty chuck wagon breakfast to fortify them for the day’s activities. A huge Arts and Crafts Fair opens on the Courthouse lawn at 10:00. Anticipation grows with the waiting for the Y O. Ranch wranglers to drive their herd of longhorns from the Hill Country State Natural Area into Bandera promptly at 11:00 a.m., kicking off the annual Labor Day Parade. This is part of Bandera’s colorful past. These Texas Longhorns are just like those of more than a century earlier when Bandera was one of the major gathering places on the Great Western Trail for over six million head of longhorns that were driven to market in Dodge City, Kansas, and other points north. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve seen them, these animals are always a thrill. But they are just the beginning of the parade. Behind the cattle and trail ride enthusiasts are characters of every description and re-enactors representing every period in Bandera’s history.
At 12:00 noon, the Circle of Life Intertribal Powwow—bigger than ever and lasting for two days—gets under way at Mansfield Park. At City Park on the Medina River the Rustle on the River for Cowpokes and Kids opens with more exhibits than ever, including the San Antonio Living History Association, Brazos Bottom Cowographers, Concho Cowboys, Buffalo Soldiers, Texas Longhorn Riders Association, Dr. E.T. Bushrod’s Medicine Show, Trail Rides, Stagecoach Rides, and Chuck Wagons. And it is all FREE!
The Showcase of the Cowboy Mounted Shooters Competition is presented Saturday at 5:00 p.m. At 5:30, the much anticipated Buffalo Bill and the Wild West Show swings into action. Trick riders, Calamity Jane, Annie Oakley, Native American Indians and the whole history of the West come alive! Featured this year are six of the best trick ropers in the United States. Several of them hold World Champion titles, including Kevin Fitzpatrick, current World Champion Trick Roper and Will, his nine-year-old son, who holds the Youth World Champion Trick Roper title. All of the kids attending the Wild West Show will have the opportunity to be part of the show and twirl a rope in the arena with this awesome gathering of the best trick ropers in the world! There will be a stagecoach holdup, wagon train attack by Indians! If all that isn’t enough excitement for you, the Wild West Show is followed by the National Professional Bull Riders’ Challenge, starting at 8:00 p.m.
If Bandera has not worn you out yet, you can head for the Kings of Western Swing Dance series at 11th Street Cowboy Bar, The Longhorn Saloon, The Bandera Saloon, Blue Gene’s or Arkey Blue’s Silver Dollar. You can bet the music will go on into the night!
Sunday morning, you can join the cowboys at the Cowboy Church Service on the River that begins with a cowboy breakfast, and is followed by a worship service and great music by the Western Heritage Cowboy Band. After church, you can start all over again with more Arts and Crafts, Intertribal Powwow and more great music on the Courthouse lawn. Then it’s back to Mansfield Park at 1:00 for the first annual Invitational Tie Down Roping and Barrel Racing Shootout! Sunday afternoon brings the second in the Kings of Western Swing dance series at the local watering holes. As the evening draws near, you can enjoy the finals of the National Professional Bull Riders’ Challenge at 7:00 p.m.
If you haven’t been to Celebrate Bandera, you’re going to have to discover for yourself why folks say “it’s the most fun you can have with your boots on!” For the best cowboy experience you’ll ever have, come to Celebrate Bandera, in the Cowboy Capital of the World! For more information or to get ticket information about special shows, go to www.celebratebandera.com or call 830-796-4447 or 800- 364-3833.
Bandera Community Foundation to Host "Timeless Tunes Event"
By: Lanette Pennell
July 29, 2009
Did you ever wonder what inspired some of that good ole country music you grew up with? Well, now's your chance to hear some of that great music and learn about the stories behind those timeless tunes.
Friday, August 7th, 7 pm, at the Bandera High School Performing Arts Theater join us for a show that will touch your heart, make you laugh, clap your hands and tap your toes.
Timeless Tunes - The Stories and the Songs, written and performed by Bandera's official Goodwill Ambassadors, The Almost Patsy Cline Band. Net proceeds from the show go to help build the local disaster relief fund. Let's get that fund built now so we'll be ready when the time comes.
Tickets are only $10 and you can get them at the door or in advance at the Bandera County Chamber of Commerce, 331 Main St, Bandera, TX.
For more information about Timeless Tunes and to purchase tickets online, please click on the "Events" link.
If you have any questions call me at 210-844-8549. See you on the 7th!
The Bandera Community Foundation:
A Ten-Year Reflection
By Bob Brischetto
Bandera Bulletin, May 27, 2009
After a decade of service to Bandera County residents, the Bandera Community Foundation has a lot to celebrate.
When it was first established in March of 1999, the Foundation set four lofty goals: work with area nonprofit organizations to meet critical community needs; help donors achieve their charitable goals; help local charities plan, manage, and fundraise effectively; and promote leaders committed to philanthropy in a manner that represents the geographic and cultural diversity of Bandera County.
Looking back over the past ten years, here are some of the more concrete examples of what our community foundation has accomplished:
Training for Nonprofits - Acting as a local nonprofit resource center, the Foundation in 2000 began hosting annual workshops to assist area organizations in grant writing, strategic planning, endowment building and board development.
Disaster Relief Endowment – Disaster relief accounts were established in all Bandera banks during July 2002 to receive donations for victims of the floods in Bandera County. An endowment fund was established to address future disaster relief needs. This fund aided Katrina victims relocated in Bandera in 2005 through Helping Hand Crisis Intervention Center.
Celebrate Bandera - Initially held as a benefit for flood victims whose homes were destroyed in the July 2002 flood, Celebrate Bandera has become the Foundation’s premier annual fundraising event during Labor Day weekend. This year on September 4, 5, and 6, board member Lanette Pennell and former BCF treasurer Jim Barlow will lead Bandera in celebrating its rich history and western heritage with a series of events in downtown Bandera. For more details on this year’s schedule, see the web site: www.celebratebandera.com
National Philanthropy Day – The Foundation’s “Best in Philanthropy” award was established in November, 2002, as a bi-annual event to celebrate National Philanthropy Day and recognize local individuals, companies, and not-for-profit organizations for their philanthropic accomplishments.
Lakehills Library – In 2004 Nat Lyons established the Billie Thornton Lyons Lakehills Library Fund, as a Designated Fund with BCF, to assist with the library’s operating expenses.
Bandera County Helping Hand is a social services center that assists Bandera County families in times of crisis. BCF has made grants to Helping Hand. Board member Dan Wise helped raise $750,000 to re-build the crisis intervention center, after Helping Hand’s last building was destroyed in the 2002 flood.
Silver Sage Corral Senior Center - The Meals on Wheels program of the Silver Sage reaches every corner of the county. The Foundation has contributed to Meals on Wheels, the Silver Sage building fund and in 2007 honored Silver Sage as Nonprofit Organization of the Year with a $1,000 check.
BISD Education Foundation – Bandera Independent School District is the public school system that serves Bandera County. The BISD Education Foundation provides funding for teacher initiatives that state funding does not cover. BCF President Dave Demers and board member Dan Wise were on the BISD Education Foundation organizing committee and consulted with them as BCF representatives. BCF established a fund to accept donations until the BISD Education Foundation was recognized as a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization.
Medina River Protection Fund – After three years of cleaning 50 miles of the Medina River in Bandera County, the Lake Medina Conservation Society in 2004 tapped BCF president Dave Demers to work with them in establishing a fund to ensure that the annual river cleanup continues in perpetuity. BCF helped MRPF get chartered as a Texas Nonprofit Corporation and assisted with their application to the IRS for a 501(C)(3) tax-exempt status. BCF vice president Bob Brischetto has coordinated the cleanup since its inception. The Ninth Annual Medina River Cleanup was held on May 2, 2009. See what was pulled out of the river at www.MedinaRiver.net.
Saving the Cabaret – In March 2008 BCF board members met with nonprofit and business leaders to develop a new business model for the Cabaret, one that would honor its rich history and restore it as the home of Texas Music. The new owners, Steve Ball and Sandy Borthwick, signed a contract to buy the Cabaret on May 22 and entered into discussions with BCF about creating a Bandera music museum to make “The Bandera Experience at the Cabaret" a type of heritage tourism attraction that entertains while it teaches about the history and culture of Bandera.
BCF Challenge Grants – Nonprofits have approached the Foundation to establish challenge grants to boost their fundraising efforts. A BCF matching grant of $5,000 was made to the Boys & Girls Club of Bandera in 2006—a grant that led to fulfilling an Alkek Foundation Challenge Grant of $30,000.
Arthur Nagel Community Clinic – The clinic opened its doors in June 2008, providing medical care to Bandera County families who have no other access to healthcare within the county. Dan Wise assisted Helping Hand in raising $650,000 to build the clinic and stayed on as executive director. This year, BCF offered the Arthur Nagel Community Clinic a $5,000 Challenge Grant. The challenge was matched with a $7,000 fundraising marathon sponsored by Bandera’s Comprehensive Physical Therapy.
Bandera Community Garden at Silver Sage – Community gardening is growing fast in Texas and, with BCF’s help, in Bandera County. BCF board member Debby Gibson coordinates the effort to fund and maintain a community garden at the Silver Sage Corral Senior Center and use it as an educational tool to promote good nutrition in the county. BCF has set up a fund to receive tax-deductible donations for the project. See the garden project at http://banderacommunitygarden.blogspot.com/
And these are just a few of the Foundation’s achievements. For a more complete listing, see: http://www.banderacommunityfoundation.org/achievements.htm
South Texas Drought Won't Stop River Cleanup Effort
By Bob Brischetto
Bandera County Courier, April 9, 2009
One of the main goals of the Bandera Community Foundation is to support the efforts of nonprofit organizations to improve the lives of Bandera County residents. The Medina River Protection Fund was established within the Foundation to do just that—to preserve Bandera’s most valuable natural resource, the Medina River.
As they prepare for the Ninth Annual Medina River Cleanup on May 2, the members of the Medina River Protection Fund have a dilemma: how to cover 50 miles of river if the water is not high enough to float a boat?
The solution: since the state prohibits four-wheeled vehicles on its river beds, the advance-cleanup crew has chosen another means of scouting the Medina River for trash--by horseback.
The Medina River originates in the springs on the north and west of Bandera County. The river runs for almost 50 miles to Medina Lake, continues south to adjacent counties through Castroville and joins with the San Antonio River in southern Bexar County before it empties into the Gulf of Mexico.
Normally the Medina River has a steady flow of water, but the water level can drop and even go underground in spots during summer months. The past 18 months have been the driest on record and the most severe drought spot in the nation. It will take more than a couple of rain storms to rejuvenate the suffering springs.
The Lake Medina Conservation Society began the annual effort to clean the river in 2001. Since then, between 100 and 200 participants from throughout the state have joined with Bandera area residents each year during the first Saturday in May. As they paddle, they pick up man-made debris from the river and its banks, much of it deposited by floods that have devastated entire homes in 1978 and 2002.
In the ninth cleanup effort they will face a new challenge—how to paddle a river that barely runs. At press time, the Medina River that flows on the average in the past 26 years at 178 cubic feet per second was running at 20 cfs.
The idea of scouting the 50 miles of river by horseback was offered by Gordon Forsness, a Bandera resident who has helped in previous cleanups. For the river ride Forsness shoes his horses with plastic “horse boots” that protect the soft spots on the horses’ hooves from gathering mud and picking up rocks from the river bottom.
The scouting effort during the month prior to the cleanup will also require cooperation from land owners along the river to help locate large items of trash and remove them by truck and tractor. They can contact me as cleanup coordinator at 830-612-3643 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Maps of the 12 sections of the river to be cleaned are shown on our website: http://www.medinariver.net/cleanup.aspx.
Funds are raised each year to pay for the cleanup costs and protect the river in perpetuity. A barbecue for participants and contributors is scheduled for 5-8 pm cleanup day at the City River Park near the dam. T-shirts will be given to all participants.
This year there will also be a “river jam session” at the barbecue, featuring picking, singing and poetry with a river theme. The river jam session is being organized by Beto Pachecano of the Medina Lake Preservation Society.
Tax deductible contributions can be sent to Bandera Community Foundation “for the Medina River Protection Fund” at PO Box 417, Lakehills, TX 78063. More information on the Medina River Protection Fund and the May 2 cleanup can be found on the web at: www.MedinaRiver.net or by calling me at 830-612-3643.
Community Gardening: An Idea Who's Time Has Come in Bandera County
By Bob Brischetto
Bandera Bulletin, March 4, 2009
Was it the high-cholesterol, pesticide-poisoned, over-processed fast food…or the high price of eating out during a recession…or just the first buds of Spring that caused people to turn their thoughts to community gardening?
In any case it is an idea whose time has come in Bandera County. Two community gardens have sprung up and are being nurtured by nonprofit organizations.
Some of our readers will remind me that the thought is not original. During the early 1940s, a sense of civic duty produced Victory Gardens for the war effort. We learned much from those who came before us: the pride of producing a meal from the ground up; the freshness of a salad picked only minutes before a meal; the social learning that comes from sharing ideas on gardening; the joy of giving fresh produce to those who otherwise might not eat nutritious meals.
Many of the benefits from community gardening are now being realized at the Lakehills United Methodist Church (UMC) Community Garden.
Kathy Bates, the Wesley nurse for Lakehills UMC, began in 2006 by sending out 15 proposals for funding. Two responded at $2,500 each and the first growing season was last fall when 11 garden plots were planted.
The Lakehills UMC Community Garden is organic and handicap-accessible. Fifteen 4-by-16 foot raised plots are allocated free of charge to Lakehills residents on a first-come-first-serve basis. Free classes are offered throughout the year on planning, soil preparation, composting, and growing vegetables for nutrition.
Bates says she has now spent all of the grant monies and is seeking other sources of funding to continue garden upkeep and expansion. Send your donations to Lakehills United Methodist Church Community Gardens, PO Box 565, Lakehills, TX 78063.
The idea for a second community garden in Bandera County came from Debby Gibson, a member of the board of directors of the Bandera Community Foundation.
She pulled together a committee of a dozen residents, who held their first meeting in January and gathered again last Thursday at the Silver Sage Corral Senior Center to make plans for laying out a plot of land for a community garden there. Several resident experts contributed ideas at the envisioning sessions to make it a truly collaborative effort.
As coordinator of the Bandera community garden, Gibson sees the Bandera community garden as a teaching model to train groups who wish to grow the concept in other parts of the county.
For the Gibsons, this is a family project. Debby’s husband, Sidney Gibson, a retired home builder and inspector, had ideas for building out the garden. Their daughter, Rebecca Gibson, will be involving her math students from Bandera High School in the garden. Even Debby’s grandson, Nicholas Gibson, attended the meeting and will be helping in the garden.
Ann Bishop, former director of Silver Sage, and Pam Thatcher, the current director, have provided almost an acre of land for the garden and active senior center members will participate.
Warren Thigpen, Bandera County’s director of the Texas Agricultural Extension Service, offered a detailed plan for rainwater catchment from the roof of the senior center. “First you’ll need to raise $4,650 to build a rain capture and storage system.”
Laura Allen, certified holistic health counselor, discussed how fresh vegetables could improve the quality of food at the center and in the county. Laura will be teaching classes and mentoring gardeners on how they can get the most nutritious vegetables.
Eileen Haden, master gardener, described the method of “lasagna-layered raised beds” that she uses in Highland Waters. Earth worms can do the work of creating rich soil. Several other local master gardeners are involved, including Betty Thomas.
Glen Mineck of the Bandera County Juvenile Probation Department will involve the youth he oversees in the garden project.
Gail Denkhaus, an entomologist and assistant director of Silver Sage, is providing ideas on how to control harmful bugs in an organic garden.
Ginger Hale, home economics teacher at the Bandera High School, hopes to involve her students in the educational aspect of the community garden.
Dave Demers, president of the Bandera Community Foundation (BCF), led a discussion on various potential sources of funding. He noted that funds for resource conservation and development are almost untapped in this county.
The community garden project at Silver Sage is under the auspices of the Bandera Community Foundation. The garden’s first grant is from the Modern Woodmen of America, providing $750 for trees and equipment. Donations are being sought for the water catchment system for construction in mid-April.
Tax-deductible donations can be made to the BCF “for the Silver Sage community garden” at PO Box 1656, Bandera 78003. For more details on this collaborative community effort, visit the Bandera Community Foundation web site: www.BanderaCommunityFoundation.org
Bandera Community Foundation Board
Shored Up for Tough Times
By Bob Brischetto
Bandera County Courier, Feb. 19, 2009
Recognizing the need for courageous and creative leadership to face head on the challenges in philanthropy, the Bandera Community Foundation has expanded its board of directors.
In recent meetings, three new directors were added: John Figueroa, James Russell and Kathy Rinehart. Also, Linda Taylor Scott, a founding board member, was asked to come back to serve as treasurer. Additional board members are being recruited. The goal is to have an engaged and talented board that represents a cross-section of Bandera County residents.
The board members of any community organization provide the vital link between the community members and the organization. They establish the organization’s policies, set priorities and devise strategies for accomplishing its mission. As such, their diverse background experiences and ties to the community are important.
Dave Demers was elected to begin a new term as president of the Foundation in January. He is a retired business owner and a 27-year Air Force veteran. He is the first president of the Foundation and a graduate of The University of Texas at San Antonio's Nonprofit Leadership and Management Program. He is a 14-year resident of Pipe Creek.
Dan Wise is the immediate past president. He is executive director of the Arthur Nagel Community Clinic. Dan has a background as a business and nonprofit executive. He was instrumental in obtaining funding for Helping Hand, the Nagel Clinic and numerous nonprofit efforts in Bandera County. He is a long-time resident of Bandera County and, more recently, the City of Bandera.
Bob Brischetto is vice president. As a sociologist, he owns Social Research Services, a research consulting firm. He was the founding chair of the Medina River Protection Fund and coordinator of the annual Medina River Cleanup. He has been a resident of Lakehills for 13 years and is chair of the public relations committee of the Foundation and editor of the Foundation’s website.
Linda Taylor Scott was recently asked to return to the board as treasurer. She is an executive assistant for a local company. She joined the foundation board in 2004, serving as treasurer and chairperson of the finance committee. She has been a resident of Bandera County since 1993.
Linda James, secretary, is a court coordinator in the Bandera County Attorney’s office. She is a 13-year resident of Bandera and serves on several local community boards. She is past joint owner of the Cabaret. Her family has been in Bandera since 1850. Linda is co-chair of the Foundation’s public relations committee.
John Figueroa is a licensed agent with Coldwell Banker Swope Realtors. He comes to the board with 20 years of professional experience in customer service, workforce development and management. A resident of Bandera for six years, Johnny served as Alamo Area Council of Government’s assistant center manager for Kerrville, Boerne, Bandera and Fredericksburg and interim center manager for New Braunfels. He serves on the Foundation’s finance committee.
Debby Gibson is chair of the board’s nominating committee. She is a realtor with Coldwell Banker Swope, Realtors and co-owner of Brick’s River Cafe. She has been a Bandera County resident for 3 years and has recently been invited to serve on the boards of two other nonprofit organizations. She also serves on the public relations committee of the Foundation. She is now developing a Foundation project for youth in science and math.
Lanette Pennell is the chairperson of the resource development committee. She is leader of the Almost Patsy Cline Band, Bandera’s official Good Will Ambassador to Texas. The band is listed on the Texas Commission on the Arts Touring Company and Artists roster. She was named Bandera’s Citizen of the Year in 2004 by the Chamber of Commerce. Lanette is a 10-year resident of Bandera County. She also serves as the events chair for Celebrate Bandera.
Kathy Rinehart, a Lakehills resident for 10 years, comes to the board with extensive experience in program leadership and development. She is executive director of Positive Discipline Association, a national nonprofit that provides training in quality classroom management and strong and effective family relationships. She serves on the public relations committee and is a liaison to nonprofit organizations in Bandera County.
James Russell, a registered professional land surveyor, is vice president and survey manager for Bury+Partners, SA, a civil engineering and land surveying firm in San Antonio. A three year resident of Bandera, he serves as president of the Mason Creek Vista Property Owners Association. He is a member of the Foundation’s public relations committee.
The BCF is now populating its committees with persons who have an interest in philanthropic work in Bandera County. If you would like to serve, contact Foundation President Dave Demers at 830-535-6982 or send an email to email@example.com or visit our web site: www.BanderaCommunityFoundation.org.
Demers Leads Bandera Community Foundation in Developing Giving Strategies for 2009
By Bob Brischetto
Bandera Bulletin, Jan. 28, 2009
How can a community foundation in the midst of a global economic crisis address local needs and help donors achieve their charitable goals?
That was the challenge faced by the board members of the Bandera Community Foundation as they kicked off 2009 with a planning retreat last Saturday.
The Foundation was established in 1998 by a group of local citizens to develop private resources addressing community needs and improving the quality of life for residents of Bandera County and the surrounding region. The areas of interest of the local community foundation include, but are not limited to, community improvement, natural resource conservation, education, health care, human services, animal/wildlife protection, arts and culture, youth development and disaster relief.
The Board ended 2008 by electing Dave Demers as President. Demers was the first president of the Foundation when it began a decade ago. He comes back to lead the Foundation in building local financial and leadership resources and bringing nonprofits together to collaborate on projects improving the quality of life in Bandera County.
During the retreat, Demers led the directors in identifying goals and developing strategies. Here are some of the philanthropic plans you can expect to materialize this year:
- Celebrate Bandera--the Foundation’s premier annual event—will be held during Labor Day weekend. For three days (September 4-6) Bandera celebrates its rich western history with a series of events: the Longhorn Cattle Drive and Parade down Main street, the Kings of Western Swing Concert Series, a Wild West Show and Bull Riders Challenge, the Cowboy Capital Mounted Shooters; the Circle of Life Pow Wow; Historical Reenactments and Arts and Crafts. For more information, see the CB web site: www.celebratebandera.com
- Celebrity Fundraiser to benefit the Foundation’s Disaster Relief Fund. The Disaster Relief Fund originated with the first Celebrate Bandera to help Bandera County residents affected by the floods of 2002. Most of the proceeds will go to the Disaster Relief Fund and the remainder for the Foundation’s operating fund.
- National Philanthropy Day is a biannual program of the Foundation slated for mid-November. The awards program recognizes the philanthropic work by Bandera organizations, businesses and individuals.
- Support for Nonprofit Organizations is part of the mission of the Foundation. A Leadership Development Workshop is planned as an addendum to the Philanthropy recognition program. A plan for the future is to establish a Nonprofit Resource Center in the Village of Hope to foster collaboration, leadership and organizational development.
- Donor Development Program to inform families and organizations about the benefits of establishing a BCF Donor Fund. This will be accomplished through a series of educational programs designed to help donors select the fund most appropriate to their concerns and interests.
The board also established a fiscal framework for the Bandera Community Gardens, chaired by board member Debby Gibson. The community gardens project is examining several venues for vegetable and flower garden plots available to organizations and individuals at no charge.
The Foundation seeks input from Bandera County residents on how BCF can better serve the community. Further, anyone interested in serving their community as a volunteer in any of the Foundation’s initiatives or programs is encouraged to get in touch with the President, Dave Demers, at 830-535-6982 or through their web site: http://www.banderacommunityfoundation.org/contact.htm
Volunteers: Bandera's Solution to Health Care for the Uninsured
By Bob Brischetto
Bandera Courier, Jan. 15, 2009
One of the most perplexing problems in our nation today is how to provide healthcare for everyone, regardless of their ability to pay. Several Presidents and the Congress have wrestled with the problem without success; meanwhile, health costs are inflating far faster than personal incomes.
Bandera’s solution to providing affordable health care is the Arthur Nagel Community Clinic. As noted in a previous column (Bandera Bulletin, Dec. 24), the clinic makes preventive and primary care available to Bandera County residents at no cost or low cost—depending on family income—to those who are uninsured. Chronic conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and depression are all dealt with through the clinic’s preventive healthcare program, called Risk Busters.
The Nagel Clinic fills a definite need in our county as evidenced by the fact that:
- There is no hospital or emergency care facility in Bandera County, a county with a population of more than 20,000.
- A report by the Texas Department of State Health Services indicated that there were 9,488 residents per direct-care physician in Bandera County. (Statewide, there are 661 people per physician.)
- The county has been designated a Medically Underserved Area since 1978.
- Those without insurance—estimated to be one in four Bandera residents—often do not seek medical care until they are seriously ill and must call the EMS for transport to emergency care in another county.
You may ask how a private not-for-profit clinic can operate in today’s high-cost medical marketplace without charging the outrageous fees characteristic of our nation’s for-profit health insurance system.
Make a visit to the Arthur Nagel Clinic on the campus of Helping Hand in downtown Bandera and you will find the answer in a single word: volunteerism. There is a sign in the coffee break room that reflects the operating philosophy: “Volunteers are not paid; not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless.”
Volunteers raised the money to build and operate the clinic. Pat Breedlove and his “Fun Raising” Committee raised $127,000 in Bandera County for the clinic’s first year of operation.
The clinic is run by three employees and a volunteer staff of 20, half of whom are medical professionals. Here are some examples of just a few of the dedicated volunteers:
- Medical Director Saleh Jaafar, M.D., reviews patients’ charts. He takes time away from his own family practice to serve the Community Clinic without compensation.
- Cheryl Finch manages the Prescription Assistance Program and works two 10-hour days every week to make sure clinic patients have the medications they need.
- Donna Graham works long hours as a receptionist volunteers her time.
Our community clinic also benefits from volunteerism on a state and national level. As a member of the National Association of Free Clinics and the Lone Star Association of Charitable Clinics, the Nagel Clinic receives free equipment and free and low-cost medications. Both are nonprofit corporations, run entirely by unpaid volunteers who work with pharmaceutical companies to provide free and low-cost prescriptions to patients who otherwise would go without.
Hundreds of Bandera County volunteers are working right now to raise money to help pay the clinic’s 2009 operating costs. Some are selling tickets to the January 24-25 stage production of “Always…Patsy Cline.” Others are signing up to compete in the February Stationary Marathon, hosted by Comprehensive Physical Therapy & Bandera Fitness. Every committee member and every donor is a clinic volunteer and part of the clinic’s healthcare team
If you would like to join the healthcare team as a volunteer, contact: Kitty Page, Office Manager, Nagel Clinic, 830-796-3448. Tax deductible contributions can be made to the Arthur Nagel Community Clinic, Inc., P.O. Box 519, Bandera, TX 78003.
Nagel Clinic: A Gift of Health to the Uninsured
By Bob Brischetto
Bandera Bulletin, Dec. 17, 2008
Perhaps the most treasured gift to those without health insurance was given to Bandera County this year. It was wrapped in a brand new stucco building at Helping Hand in downtown Bandera and labeled “The Arthur Nagel Community Clinic.”
The Nagel Clinic provides free and low-cost primary and preventive health care services for the estimated 2,000 low-income families in Bandera County who do not have health insurance.
Patients qualify for free medical service at the clinic if they have no health insurance and their family income is not more than 100 percent of the Federal Poverty Guideline (FPG). Families earning between 100 percent and 200 percent of the FPG are asked to contribute to the cost of their care based on a sliding scale according to their income. For example, the FPG for a family of four is $21,200 in 2008. A family of four with income below $42,400 would qualify for clinic services. In every case, the amount they are asked to contribute is a fraction of the cost of a full-pay clinic.
Dan Wise is the executive director of the clinic. He has 30 years of experience working with nonprofit organizations in Texas. He was the driving force behind raising the funds needed to build and run the clinic. Now he wants to see the clinic meet the medical needs of families who have no other access to healthcare in Bandera County.
“We place special emphasis on preventive healthcare because some of our patients have little knowledge about how to prevent chronic illness,” says Wise. “Their experience with healthcare professionals has been in ‘take-a-number’ hospital emergency rooms or overcrowded and understaffed free clinics…it is little wonder that many of our patients come to us with such chronic conditions as obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.”
With only three paid employees--and 20 volunteers--the clinic’s services are quite extensive, including:
- Clinical treatment for chronic illnesses: testing, plan of care and medications for obesity, high cholesterol, diabetes, cancer screening, hypertension and other chronic health problems;
- Non-emergency conditions: upper respiratory and urinary tract infections, minor wounds (not work or auto accident related), immunizations;
- Sexually transmitted diseases, screening and treatment or referral;
- Pre-natal care; pregnancy tests, blood tests, health plan (diet, weight, blood pressure, vitamins) and referral for late stage pregnancies;
- Women’s health concerns, family planning, PAP smear, breast exams; and
- Enrollment in the Prescription Assistance Program.
The clinic’s unpaid medical director is Dr. Saleh Jaafar, a Bandera physician. The three staff members—an administrator, office manager and a nurse practitioner—are backed by an 11-member board that includes three physicians and a former hospital administrator.
Funding for the clinic comes from foundation grants, corporate contributions and individual donations. With the economic downturn, these sources have become difficult to tap. Foundations have lost sizeable amounts of their investments in the market; corporations are cutting jobs; and individual savings accounts have shrunk.
Since it receives no government funds, the clinic can afford to operate only two days a week. Yet its patient load is currently exceeding projections for the first year of operation by about 50 percent. According to Wise, the clinic needs to be open at least one more day a week to meet the demand for its services. “But right now we don’t have the funds to add another full day to our schedule,” Wise said.
The clinic is owned by Bandera County Helping Hand, Inc., and is leased to the clinic’s Board of Directors. Wise has a long history with Helping Hand. When Helping Hand’s building was destroyed in the Flood of 2002, Wise proposed to the Bandera Community Foundation (BCF) that the Foundation take on the task of raising the funds to build a new Helping Hand facility.
As a BCF board member, Wise volunteered to head up the fundraising effort. When the funds were in hand, Wise stayed on as project manager for the construction of Helping Hand’s new building. At the dedication of the building on March 27, 2004, Comellia Rue, president of Helping Hand’s Board of Directors quietly announced, “Our next building will be a medical clinic.”
Wise has sent a letter to his friends in Bandera asking for tax-deductible donations to the clinic before the year ends. Contributions can be made to: Arthur Nagel Community Clinic, Inc., PO Box 519, Bandera, TX 78003.
What could be a better gift than the gift of healthcare to those who need it most?
Non-Profit Organization Arises as a Phoenix from Medina Lake
By Bob Brischetto
Bandera Bulletin, Nov. 26, 2008
Good things happen when nonprofits engage in civic action, especially when it emerges from the grass roots. Here’s a good example of citizen initiative.
A non-profit organization, dormant for almost two decades, was revived last week in the Medina Lake area. Nineteen residents gathered at the Lakehills Library to reconstitute the Medina Lake Preservation Society (MLPS).
With the 100-year anniversary of the building of the Medina Dam approaching, the MLPS is repopulating its board and applying to the IRS for a renewal of its tax-exempt status.
The MLPS was first incorporated as a public charity in 1987 with a mission “to protect the historical heritage of Medina Lake and to increase awareness of this valued Texas resource.”
The organization was also formed in response to a perceived injustice. In 1985 the Bexar-Medina-Atascosa Water Improvement District #1 (BMA)—the quasi-public entity that owns the Medina dam—attempted to assess a “registration fee” of lake area residents. MLPS emerged as a “watchdog group” in response this tax on lake residents. A court challenge by MLPS won a Texas Supreme Court ruling restricting BMA’s ability to enforce regulations on the lake.
Another achievement by the MLPS was the 1987 publication of a book on the history of the lake and its residents: Reflections on Medina Lake: 1912-1987 by Marilyn J. Schlitz, a former resident of Mico. The book is truly a scholarly work and a good read. With 186 pages, 399 footnotes and 55 source references, in an earlier version it was an ethnohistory submitted as an MA thesis in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Texas at San Antonio.
Some little-known facts from the book:
- More than 1,500 Mexican laborers came to construct the dam at a time when Mexico was going through a revolution (1911-12);
- As many as 70 workers lost their lives during construction and a few are buried in the dam itself;
- The dam was completed in record time: “Shifts worked around the clock to bring the irrigation project to completion in time for the floods which were predicted for the fall and winter of 1912…Unfortunately the year 1912 proved to be the driest know on record.”
The boundary line between Medina and Bandera counties runs through the middle of the lake and the MLPS intends to serve the needs of lake residents in both counties. Carol Smith, one of the original founders of MLPS, reported the revived organization’s future goals are:
- Create an “historical district” for Mico;
- Preserve and collect historical items of interest and create a museum;
- Hold informational meetings on topics of interest to lake area residents;
- Hold “fun”d raising events to promote MLPS goals;
- Prepare for the 100th anniversary of the Medina Dam;
- Promote a unified community atmosphere for the entire lake area;
- Promote the creation of a lake-centric newspaper;
- Promote the cultural and creative arts within the lake area;
- Interact with other community organizations.
The new MLPS board formed at the meeting is comprised of Carol Smith, Dorothy Ahr, Carol Opiela, Barbara Arredondo, Cindy Biggerstaff and Gloria Muniz.
Non-profits work more effectively when they collaborate with one another. For a partial list of non-profits in Bandera County, click here: www.banderacommunityfoundation.org/partners.
Plan to Plant a Giving Tree
By Bob Brischetto
Bandera County Courier, Sept. 18, 2008
Charitable giving need not be a purely selfless act. Your gift to a charity can also give you a financial benefit. That’s because our federal tax system encourages charitable giving by providing generous benefits to donors.
Last week, my column on the memorial fund that was set up for the Lakehills Library raised some questions in the minds of some interested readers about what the possibilities are for what is known in the nonprofit world as “planned giving.” This week we will explore some of those options
I went to Dan Anderson—one of our financial advisers to the Bandera Community Foundation (BCF)—to understand the varieties of planned giving. Anderson, in turn, went to the NEXT Financial Group for the views of Peter Montoya, Inc. The following examples should not be construed as investment or tax advice. Professional advice should be sought from your legal or financial advisor and based on your own income tax circumstances.
One of the first forms of planned giving—developed long before the 16th Amendment created the Federal Income Tax—was the charitable gift annuity. Since the mid-1800s, universities have been suggesting that their alumni donate cash in exchange for a guaranteed stream of income. With a charitable gift annuity, the donor receives a charitable deduction on his/her income tax return in the year the gift is made. Then the donor (and/or spouse) receives annuity payments for life. After death, the balance of the gift goes to the charity.
The gift need not be cash; it could be almost anything of value—stocks, real estate, personal property, jewelry—which may have appreciated considerably, thus shielding the donor from capital gains taxes.
There are also a variety of estate-planning tools in charitable trusts. If you have highly-appreciated assets—like real estate or stocks—and you don’t want to sell them because of the capital gains taxes, you can donate them through a charitable remainder trust (CRT). There are several advantages to this form of giving:
- An immediate tax deduction for the present value of your future gift;
- Avoiding capital gains taxes;
- Tax-free compounding of the assets; and, on top of those tax advantages,
- Income payments from the trust for up to 20 years.
If you are concerned that your heirs may feel disinherited, you can set up an irrevocable life insurance trust along side the CRT. This is called “wealth replacement.” Upon your death, your heirs receive the proceeds of the life insurance trust, and the assets in your CRT will go to the charity (or charities) of your choice.
With a life estate gift, you can have your home and give it, too. Suppose you have some Medina Lake waterfront real estate. It has appreciated tremendously in value over the past five years. You can make a life estate gift of it, take a tax deduction based on the present value of the property, avoid capital gains tax, and live on the property for the rest of your life. Furthermore, you can gift all of the property or just part of it.
A variation of the traditional “family foundation” concept is the donor advised fund. A donation is made to a public charity, such as the Bandera Community Foundation, to establish the donor advised fund. Unlike a private foundation, the advised fund is not subject to excise taxes. The gift becomes the property of the public charity, which administers the assets. Each year, the charity determines the percentage of the fund’s value that will be available for grants, with advice from the donor on where to spend the money for charitable purposes. The initial contribution is tax deductible, avoids capital gains taxes, and assets in the fund grow tax-free.
Members of the Lake Medina Conservation Society wanted to ensure that their Medina River Cleanup would continue as a permanent annual event in Bandera County. They set up the Medina River Protection Fund to receive tax-deductible contributions from businesses, land owners on the river, and residents concerned with conserving “Bandera’s most valuable natural resource.” A donor advised fund was established with the Bandera Community Foundation in 2004 and now has over $30,000. The interest earned is used to support the annual river cleanups, and will from now on.
If you are interested in learning more about how you could benefit your favorite charity—and maybe yourself—through planned giving, go to the BCF web site at www.banderacommunityfoundation.org, or call the BCF office at 830-796-8810.
The Lakehills Library Fund: A Legacy for Good Forever
By Bob Brischetto
Bandera Bulletin, Sept. 3, 2008
When Billie Lyons died in 1998, her husband Nat wanted to do something that would remind her neighbors in Lakehills of both her generosity and her passion for reading.
Some of her friends had been working on a project that would give Medina Lake community a full-time public library. They established a library board at the end of 1997 and opened a temporary library in March of 1999 with $70 in the bank, donated books and sweat-equity from a few of their husbands. The library was housed in a double-wide on FM 1283, donated by Wilbur Bradford and monitored by volunteers a few hours a week.
Their sights were much higher. Five Lakehills women—Olga Bradford, Jean Cress, Loy Ed Alanis, Bobbie Basinger and Brenda Reich—led a drive to raise the $200,000 needed for a matching grant from the Kronkosky Charitable Foundation. Their persistence in seeking grants from many sources and wide community support of at least a dozen fish fries, brisket cookoffs, spaghetti dinners and auctions over a three-year period garnered the matching funds to make the library a reality.
Instead of sending flowers to Billie’s funeral, Nat asked that his friends donate to a new library. A few hundred dollars were raised, not enough to get the new library started. It was not until five years later that he approached Dave Demers, president of the Bandera Community Foundation, and learned about setting up an endowment--a Designated Fund--for the new library.
By donating some of his company stocks, Nat was able to avoid a capital gains tax and contribute a corpus of $10,000 to a perpetual fund in his late wife’s name. The Billie Thornton Lyons Lakehills Library Fund is managed by the San Antonio Area Foundation. The principal will remain untouched and grow, with the income, or interest, to provide operating funds for the library.
Community foundations like the one in Bandera are the fastest growing forms of philanthropy in the United States today. There are nearly 800 community foundations in the country, some 40 of them in Texas.
One reason for their popularity is that they are so flexible. They provide a variety of tools for giving that can be tailored to fit the needs and desires of donors. Advised Funds are just one among many options. (See: www.banderacommunityfoundation.org/funds.htm for other choices.)
And, as Nat learned, a fund can be established with whatever type of asset the donor wishes—cash, securities, real property, life insurance or any other liquid asset. (Generally, with any gift other than cash, the fund manager will sell the asset and convert it to cash that can then be invested.) Visit the BCF website for details on how to establish a fund. (See www.banderacommunityfoundation.org/establish_funds.htm.)
Another reason community foundations are popular is that they are local—with a local board of trustees and funds managed by local experts who know changing community needs, opportunities, and resources. To learn more about BCF board members, see www.banderacommunityfoundation.org/directors.htm.
This locally managed foundation is in the business of building community. It acts as a catalyst for solving community problems. Local leadership is important to the solution of local problems and developing community action.
The Bandera Community Foundation works with volunteers who want to make good things happen in their community. The foundation is always looking for volunteers who share its goals: to improve the quality of life for everyone in Bandera County. If you would like to consider being a part of the Bandera Community Foundation, and have an interest in public relations, resource development, finance, or special events, contact Dan Wise, BCF president, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 830-796-8810.
Bandera Nonprofits Can Connect Through New Website
By Bob Brischetto
Bandera County Courier, Aug. 21, 2008
The Bandera Community Foundation (BCF) recently launched a website that promises to be a valuable resource for nonprofit organizations (NPOs) in Bandera County.
In an August 7 letter, BCF President Dan Wise offered 35 NPOs an opportunity to link their website or add a page about their organization to the Foundation’s new website (www.BanderaCommunityFoundation.org). Such a web presence would accomplish two things:
- Serve to inform the public and grantors about the NPO’s work; and
- Promote collaborative work and communication among NPOs.
The work identifying NPOs in Bandera County, coordinated by past-president Dave Demers, began three years ago with a grant to the BCF from the Kronkosky Charitable Foundation of San Antonio. His search identified more than 100 nonprofits in the Bandera and surrounding area. BCF chose 35 NPOs for the Kronkosky study as “key” organizations with which BCF officers interact as their “Partners in Philanthropy.”
Part of the mission of the BCF is to support area nonprofit organizations in their work to meet critical community needs. This support may be in the form of workshops or conferences to help NPOs plan, manage and fundraise effectively.
My own classification of the 35 organizations by the NPO’s main purpose is as follows:
- Eight Animal Welfare: Animal Welfare Society of Bandera County, Bandera County 4-H Club, Bandera County Junior Livestock Show Association, Brighter Days Horse Refuge, Cowboy Capital Pet Assistance League, Meadow Haven Horse Rescue, Miracle Ranch Foundation and Triple H Equitherapy Center.
- Seven Educational: Bandera ISD Education Foundation; Bandera County Kronkosky Library, Friends of Bandera County Library, Frontier Times Museum, Lakehills Library & Community Association, Medina Community Library and Utopia Memorial Library.
- Four Youth: Boys & Girls Club of Bandera County, Medina Children’s Home, Precious Minds-New Connections Parent Enrichment Program, and Utopia-Vanderpool for Youth.
- Three Business: Bandera Business Association, Bandera County Chamber of Commerce and Bandera County Convention & Visitors Bureau.
- Three Environmental: Bear Springs Blossom Nature Conservation Group; Hill Country State Natural Area Partners; and Lake Medina Conservation Society.
- Three Community Centers: Bandera County Committee on Aging (Silver Sage Corral Senior Activity Center), Medina Lake Betterment Association and Pipe Creek Community Center.
- Three Sports: Bandera ISD Sports Boosters, Cowboy Capital Rodeo Association and Bandera Sports Complex.
- Two Health & Social Services: Arthur Nagel Community Clinic and Bandera County Helping Hand Center.
- Two Philanthropic: Bandera Community Foundation and Bandera County Interfaith Disaster Emergency Relief Assistance.
These are only some of the non-governmental organizations in Bandera County classified under the Internal Revenue Service Code as 501 organizations: (c 3)—public charities; (c 4)—civic leagues or social welfare organizations; and (c 6)—business leagues.
To consult the full listing with links to each organization’s website, just visit: www.banderacommunityfoundation.org/partners.htm
If an organization is not listed or this column has classified or misnamed it, here is an opportunity to make corrections to the BCF website. Just email me: email@example.com or call 830-612-3643.
Dolly's Visit Recalls the Origin of "Celebrate Bandera"
By Bob Brischetto
Bandera Bulletin, Aug. 6, 2008
When Hurrican Dolly hit the Rio Grande Valley, it reminded Bandera residents of the devastating floods in 1978 and 2002. The typical Texan responses to the recent hurricane and to Katrina in 2005 were effective because a collective will refused to be dampened by the storms.
For the many families without insurance in small homes and trailers ravaged by Hurricane Dolly, the President’s disaster declaration provided little consolation. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) gave most of its assistance to government agencies, leaving many individuals and businesses with little or no help from the federal goverenment.
Likewise, many of the families and small businesses who had their structures leveled by the Bandera River floods of 2002 and 1978 were not covered by flood insurance. FEMA funds were collected by the county to clean up the infrastructure of roads and bridges and the mess that the floods left behind, but families still lost their homes and their businesses without compensation.
Here is where the collective will of the people to assist at times of disaster kicks in.
In the wake of the July flood of 2002, local entertainer Vicki Adams came up with the idea of having a benefit for flood victims whose homes had been destroyed. Vicki took her idea to Dan Wise, Bandera Community Foundation (BCF) board member. The foundation quickly agreed to guarantee the costs of the benefit and proivde the organizational structure for what became a massive, community-wide effort.
With so much devastation and sorrow in July, people were looking for a reason to have hope again, to have fund and to celebrate. The threw themselves into organizing the Sept. 14 benefit and named it Celebrate Bandera.
The first Celebrate Bandera was held at the Show Barn in Mansfield Park. It was an afternoon and evening of light-hearted entertainment, armadillo races, a celebrity auction and music featuring a number of name bands, including Two Tons of Steel and headliner Gary P. Nunn. BCF president Dave Demers announced that over $18,000 had been raised in one afternoon of fun.
People from all over Texas and other parts of the nation responded to news about Bandera County's flood with gifts to help families whose homes and businesses were wiped out. The BCF board established the Bandera Disaster Relief Fund to receive the donations. As Celebrate Bandera enters its seventh year, a portion of the proceeds each year goes into the fund.
After Katrina hit in 2003, the BCF made a grant to Helping Hand earmarked for families fleeing New Orleans to seek refuge in Bandera.
The Bandera Disaster Relief Fund is a permanent fund set up to help Bandera County families recover from natural disasters. Donations to the fund are tax-deductible and can be made to “BCF Disaster Relief Fund,” PO Box 1656, Bandera, TX 78003.
This fund is one of a number of philanthropic funds the Foundation has organized to help donors improve the quality of life of residents in Bandera County.