Monday, November 17, 2008

Douglass Alumni Trustee Board November Meeting, 11/15/08

Details of the Board of Trustees meeting of the Douglass Alumni Association, Kingsport on Saturday, November 15, 2008:

Meeting called to order by Alumni Association President Doug Releford.
A quorum of trustee members was present.

Previous minutes were approved..

FINANCIAL REPORT--postponed until next meeting, as treasurer was absent this meeting.


A letter was read to the board that the Tennessee Secretary of State has officially approved the Douglass Alumni Association, Kingsport, Tennessee's application to be registered to solicit funds for charitable purposes. Approval by the Secretary of State was requested by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, upon our application to be recognized as a tax-exempt, non-profit organization by the IRS, under section 501(c)3 of the federal tax code. The state's recognition of the Douglass Alumni Association as a non-profit charity, is seen as a big boost to gaining tax-exempt status on the federal level, and the state's letter of approval has been sent on to the IRS examiner's office in Cincinnati.

It was noted that there was confusion on the state level between the Douglass Alumni Association in Kingsport, and another group by the same name, Douglass Alumni Association in Memphis, where there is currently a Douglass High School still in operation, and with its own alumni association. That group is classified as a corporation in terms of its non-profit status, but is obviously separate from the group in Kingsport. Once the confusion was noted and sorted out, it was determined by the state that the group in Kingsport could be considered a "non-profit" association and not a corporation, to meet the guidelines for tax-exempt status, both on the state level and the federal level. It was also noted that, should the Kingsport group ever decide to become a corporation, it would have to change its name, because there is a "Douglass Alumni Association" corporation in the state, and there cannot be two corporations with the same name.

Andra Watterson reported that the DAA (Douglass Alumni Association) did well on the recent Rummage-Bake-Book sale at Bethel AME Zion Church. Event treasurer and co-organizer Vicki Smith reported we made about 138 dollars on the event for the general fund, and Calvin reported about 200 dollars for the scholarship fund from the recent Class of 68 Reunion, at which time the Dunbar Temple # 344 donated the location of the Elks Club for the 68's class fundraising event.

Boyd Bly inquired about the increase in dues, in relation to the registration fees for the upcoming reunion, and President Releford mentioned the 10-dollar increase in membership fees was passed at the previous trustee board meeting. Membership dues are now 15 dollars, and coupled with the upcoming reunion registration fees, the total is now 125 dollars, payable in installments to treasurer Sandy Wilmer either in person or by mail to:

Douglass Alumni Association
Dues and Registration
P.O. Box 1936
Kingsport, Tennessee 37660

A notation was made about a recommendation from the Class of 68 that the dues are quite low, and should be higher than even the 15 dollars they were raised to, just because things cost more now, than they did two years ago. That suggestion will be brought up again at the next meeting, when more trustee members are present for its discussion.

Andra Watterson mentioned that she had talked to her contact person at Meadowview, and she will work up a menu for the Reunion Banquet soon to be voted on at a subsequent meeting. She reported that the chef at Meadowview will fix anything we want, and the cost will be ready for discussion at a future meeting. Each item and its price will be listed.

An APB (all points bulletin) has been issued for trustee member George Smith, the organizer and coordinator of the Alumni Scholarship Golf Tournament at the Douglass Reunions, but all in fun. The trustees board has questions about the tournament that he can answer, and his phone number cannot be located so if anyone sees George Smith or talks to him, please let us know.


President Releford mentioned that someone had talked to him about the Alumni Association, having a really good souvenir book for the upcoming Reunion. That, with the Apartments being gone, and the Dobbins Center/Douglass renovations coming up and the whole concept of Riverview changing, that their suggestion was, if we can get every trustee to be responsible for getting two pages of advertising for the souvenir book (about 200 dollars), that we could probably get enough revenue to make a really nice souvenir book, professionally done. Doug said, in looking at Bristol's Douglass-Slater Reunion Booklet, they had five or six pages, with full-page ads, half-page, quarter page.. with just "Congratulations" on our Reunion, or "In Memory Of" someone who had passed. It was also mentioned that the souvenir book would be a good time to revisit the Great Riverview Apartments Reunion of a year ago, with pictures that folks had taken, in front of the particular
apartment they grew up in; perhaps if those folks would like to take out an ad with their apartment picture, this is a good chance to do that. Work on the souvenir book has to be started now, and is currently among a few that are on the front burner for the upcoming Reunion, so the word is going out, that we need folks to solicit advertising for the book, with the prices as follows:

Full page: $100
Half page: $50
Quarter page $25

Every trustee is responsible for making at least two ad sales, and the bigger the ad, the better.

Trustee Lonnie Cox mentioned a financial misunderstanding between the Elks Lodge and the Class of 68 Reunion, concerning the dance that was held there on the night of their reunion. He was told by President Releford that any misunderstanding was between the lodge and the reunion organizers, but that, to make sure there were no issues between anybody, he would prepare a letter of apology on behalf of the Douglass Alumni Association, and if need be, the Douglass Alumni Association would reimburse the lodge for any monies it felt it was due. Several trustee members pointed out that we are all good friends and neighbors, and we will continue in that vein.

Also under new business, Calvin mentioned that if anyone knew of organized bus trips to President-Elect Barack Obama's Inauguration on January 20th, 2009, to please let him know. The purpose will be for stories, accompanying our people to this historic event. A warning was also mentioned about scammers trying to sell tickets to the inauguration events.. all tickets to those events are free, and nobody should be trying to sell them, in fact.. the tickets are not even printed yet. It was mentioned that Joni Hughes was getting a bus trip organized, and that a couple of people in Johnson City was also getting group trips together. If anybody knows of a group that is going, please let Calvin know at: