The monthly meeting of the Organ Transplant Recipients of SWFL Inc. was called to order at 11:45 a.m. on February 7, 2019 at The Sanctuary located at 8960 Colonial Center Drive in Ft. Myers by President, Shamie Kelly.
- Anniversaries: Julio Cordero (Kidney) 2/1/2012, Shamie Kelly (Kidney) 2/5/2008, Judee Hill (Heart) 2/7/2000, Donna Williamson (Kidney) 2/14/1999
- Visitors: Leslie Logan (Liver) TGH 3/9/17 found the group through the Lee Health Newsletter
- Member Updates: Rick Keatley (Liver) has been having issues with skin cancer removals, a get well card is going around for members to sign.
The Secretary was not at last months meeting so there is no Secretary’s report available. David Weinstein, Treasurer provided a report reflecting a balance last month of $10,764.95 with deposits of $35 from membership dues and $10 from the meetings 50/50 drawing bringing the total deposits for last month of $45. Expenses from last month were $54.64 for the food provided at last month’s meeting and $48.00 for the P.O. Box totaling $102.64 in expenses leaving a balance of $10,707.31
Next month’s treasures report will reflect two donations in lieu of flowers for two of our members who recently passed. $250 from Jeff Jansen to be donated to the Organ Transplant Recipients of Southwest Florida Inc. group and $200 from Phil Schumer to be donated to the Fletcher Fund to be used specifically for medications.
Donna Williamson reports the Fletcher Fund met January 9th, 2019 to discuss financials and board openings. We currently have one opening on the Fletcher Fund Board, which is reserved for a professional member of the transplant community (doctor, social worker, etc) and Fletcher Fund currently has a balance of $233,679.00 in total assets. Donations of $833. Interest & Dividends $549. Total in patients grants paid out last year in total $8,533.99 The Fletcher Fund has decided to increase the grant amount for $2000 total per patient for the 2019 calendar year.
During the board meeting it was decided to pass the motion to the Fletcher Fund that the Night for Life proceeds for this year would be split 60/40 so that the group is still being supported but the largest amount of the proceeds would go to the Fletcher Fund to continue allowing us to provide financial support to patients and their families.
Donna Williamson made the motion to re-elect Shamie Kelly as President and David Weinstein as Treasurer for the current 2-year term. All members were in favor, none opposed.
Members are asked to be sure they RSVP for future meetings so that we can ensure we are not overbuying or under-buying lunches for attendees. Shamie will reach out to Walgreens to see if they would be interested in sponsoring our lunches going forward.
Night for Life the band 41 South is committed to perform. We need commitment from members since we have lost the local transplant clinic has closed and a couple of members who used to bring a lot of sponsorships and memberships. We will be able to accept cards via PayPal at the event since we now have the account set up. Tickets can also be paid for using this method. David Weinstein brought up some changes to the tickets related to the wording around the time the doors open, and auction starts. Also, he discussed the wording of the event and it was decided it should be displayed as “Night for Life XII” so that everyone will know this is our 12th year hosting the event.
It was suggested the silent auction will be streamlined to include only higher end items ($100 or more) and lower value items ($99 or less) will go into Chinese auction. A Night for Life planning meeting will be held at Crispers located at Daniels Parkway and 41. A poll with possible times and dates for the last week of February will be sent out within the week.
Shamie Kelly is planning to meet with the director of transplant services at Tampa General Hospital to discuss how our group may be of assistance to their recipients considering they will be servicing kidney transplant patients in this area as well as those who have been previously transplanted with any organ through their hospital. Shamie has also invited Frank Gluck from the News-Press to be her guest at Night for Life since he has historically written negative reviews regarding the Lee Health transplant center without mentioning the resources our group has to offer those left in limbo as a result of the transplant center closing.
Dr. Lindsey Biondi has relocated to University of West Virginia at Morgantown as the Head of Transplant Surgery. She regrets not being able to say goodbye to her patients and wishes to convey that through Donna Williamson who recently spoke with her.
Shamie is working with Sarah Owen from the Southwest Florida Community Fund to hold one of our upcoming meetings at their new building in downtown Fort Myers to discuss their role in the Fletcher Fund and how the monies are used. This will hopefully answer any questions our members have about the organization.
Paul Lewis suggested we allow members to submit questions in advance to ensure everyone has their questions answered.
Membership packets will be organized soon with new marketing materials branded specifically for our group rather than using LifeLink materials. Shamie is currently working with Chris from Kwik Copy to get prices on agreed upon marketing materials. Some items will be ordered from Kwik Copy and some will be ordered from an online company that can mass produce the items at a reasonable cost. Items members are interested in seeing are; rack cards, business cards, branded table cloth, bracelets (the rubber awareness kind), pens, small reusable bags, car flags, window clings or magnets, license plate frames, paper fans, hand sanitizers, pins, stickers, and possibly stress balls. Paul Lewis mentioned possibly having t-shirts on hand to sell at events. Donna Williamson mentioned that Stacy Harrison could possibly redesign our logo and Shamie will reach out to her.
Website revisions were suggested at the board meeting. The website we currently have is not only unattractive, but it is non-functional. Emails with attachments must be sent separately and it is not up to par with similar group websites. The annual hosting fees for our current web designer are due in May so we will need to decide as to what we do with the website then. Donna Williamson made the motion to discuss how we can improve our website with our current designer Bob Lucas and then plan to go forward based on his advice. We are also going to investigate opportunities with local college students for internship positions to manage our email lists and website design. Donna Williamson made the motion to seek out an intern for the design of the website. Paul Lewis amended the motion to ensure all members of the group are included in the vote. All members were in favor, none opposed.
Melissa Tuff brought up the idea of re-implementing the annual picnic as a social event. The discussion will be tabled for now since there are lots of opinions on this and we are trying to keep the meeting brief. Members are needed to help man the table at the Equine Carnival in Alva. The event is Saturday February 16th from 9am to 8pm and Sunday February 17th from 9am to 4pm and we are partnering with LifeLink for this event since we do not have awareness swag on hand yet.
March 30th, 2019 at 6pm there is a Drag Queen Bingo event to benefit the Fletcher Fund at the Moose Lodge in Cape Coral. The annual Fort Myers Kidney Walk will take place on March 24th 2019 at Lakes Park, registration begins at 8:30am and the walk begins at 10:00am we have a group set up on the kidney.org page and all of our members are encouraged to join. We have reached 51% of our goal of $5000. The Lions Eye Bank is hosting a 5k walk/run on April 19th 2019 in Tampa.
Pitch for Life will be April 26th 2019 and we will not be doing the 50/50 this year as it as there were too many issues with the technology last year to warrant doing it again this year.
$22.50 to the group and $22.50 to the winner
Meeting was adjourned at 1:56 p.m. by President, Shamie Kelly.. The next general meeting will also be on December 6, 2018, at The Sanctuary located at 8960 Colonial Center Drive in Ft. Myers
Minutes submitted by: Melissa Tuff, Secretary