Coral Bay Community Council has thrived over the past nine years of its existence thanks to generous donations, numerous volunteers and dues from the more than 300 members in the group.

With those resources alone CBCC officials have managed to improve stormwater runoff in the Coral Bay watershed, organized cleanups, supported youth programs and more.

This coming year, however, CBCC has big plans to raise funds to take the organization to the next level, explained the group’s president Sharon Coldren, who serves in a volunteer capacity.

“We have managed thus far over the past nine years to survive on membership dues and donations,” said Coldren. “We are trying now to grow and become professional. We do not want to be entirely dependent on volunteer assistance.”

Thanks to a major grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, CBCC was able to hire Patricia Reed as an environmental projects manager. With those grant funds running out, CBCC want to keep Reed on as an employee, Coldren explained.

“We want to keep Patricia and we don’t want to be completely dependent on volunteers and me,” she said.

In addition to covering Reed’s salary, the group hopes to be able to hire an executive director at least on a part-time basis, Coldren added.

For the first time in its history, CBCC is introducing a Planned Giving program, asking supporters to pledge anywhere from $500 to $5,000 annually with the option of paying annually, quarterly or even monthly.

CBCC hopes to raise between $60,000 and $80,000 through the Planned Giving as well as dues, donations and fundraisers, Coldren explained.

“We are hoping through a variety of resources to raise $60,000 to $80,000 total this year,” she said. “Some will be support from our grants, but we won’t be getting it all from that avenue. We must be able to cover the base line staff salary from sources that we control.”

“We are hoping that people will think of us with their giving this year,” Coldren said. “We need this in order to have CBCC continue to thrive and be able to do the Watershed Management Planning process and keep an office open and deal with all the issues that arise.”

For more information about the CBCC Planned Giving program, check out the group’s website at www.coralbaycommunitycouncil.com or call the office at 776-2099.

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