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Calusa Land Trust holds annual meeting

January 20, 2015
By ED FRANKS ( , Pine Island Eagle

Under sunny skies and with a cool breeze blowing, the Calusa Land Trust and Nature Preserve of Pine Island held its 39th annual meeting at Fritts Park Sunday afternoon.

"The Calusa Land Trust was founded in 1976," president John Kendall said. "We are an acquire, preserve and protect land conservancy. This is our annual meeting where we discuss upcoming events and elect new board members.

"Today we will also be recognizing Boy Scout Troop 20 and Scoutmaster Mel Brinson," he continued. "The Land Trust purchased the materials but the scouts built 10 picnic tables to be placed here in Fritts Park."

Article Photos

John Kendall, left, presents Troop 20 its certificate of appreciation.


Kendall welcomed the crowd of about 100 to the event and introduced Treasurer Joan Rosenberg.

"We had a fabulous year," Rosenberg said. "When I took this job I had no idea I would be working with numbers this large. This year we had $371,399 in memberships and cash donations. That's really fabulous because a lot of that is from our hard work. But last spring we received a call from one of our local banks where we were presented with a check for $300,000 from an anonymous donor. This raised our revenues for the year substantially."

He want on to say, "On the asset side of the ledger we have almost $2 million in property that the Land Trust owns. We also received $220,000 from the 'English estate' donation. This doubles our endowment fund."

"We have been very blessed with several bequests," Kendall said. "We are an all volunteer force of working board of directors. Because of that we still actively pursue fund-raising. And our primary fund-raiser is the duck race to be held Saturday, March 7. We are going to need help to follow up with donors and assistance pricing gift certificates and packaging gifts. We will also need duck counters. We have 3,000 rubber ducks that need to be numbered and counted on Feb. 25 at Bill's barn. If you would like to help out please call me for additional details (283-8175)."

The first place prize for the duck race this year is an all day sailing excursion on the sailing ship Anondra cruising the islands of Pine Island Sound.

The membership report indicated that there were over 1,700 members total with about 500 active members that have contributed funds in the last 12 months.

Kendall then introduced Brinson and Troop 20.

"We have a very good relationship with Troop 20," Kendall said. "This is a small token of our appreciation for Troop 20 when we present these certificates of appreciation. Our Eagle Scouts headed up the picnic table project, specifically Justin Chura and Devon Hamilton were the ones that did much of the work for their Eagle Scout project. My congratulations to these two young men on a job well done."

Five board members retired: Cindy Bear, Mark Laux, Judy Ott, Pat Rooney and Pete Simmons. Four new board members were elected: Jaren Cernicky, Bill Hummer, Greg Lignelli and Peggy McTeague.

Lunch was provided by Winn-Dixie, which also provided a $50 gift certificate.

Frank Tuma provided music for the event.



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