Haunted Town Hall Deferred

Sad SkeletonIt is with great regret that we announce that we will not be performing the Haunted Town Hall, this year, on Halloween of 2017.  🙁

Still can’t miss Main Street Trick-or-Treating, though!  On Halloween, we will be at the Iron Pony Trading Post, at the corner of 8th and Main, giving out candy and/or toys and Brick Order Forms!!  Please come show us your costume, and we’ll try to have something special for you, there.

By way of explanation, Arts Unlimited is no longer able to partner with us. We just had too much else going on to be able to also find a new production partner, without overloading and overwhelming ourselves.  This is not an event we can do, by ourselves. We need someone, or some group, with production experience, to share a big load of effort and expense. The end result has been an awesome, professional-style production that we have been SO proud to produce.  Much of the credit for our past success goes to Arts Unlimited. Before we go any further, let’s take a moment to thank Amy Krause, and Jill Bacorn, for exceeding expectations every time!  It has been our pleasure to work with you. Thank you for everything you do for Ramona.   🙂

To be sure, this event consumes a lot of  resources. It requires just a lot of volunteers, and has a fair amount of expense to cover, and takes a big time commitment.  It is a big deal that takes about 5 or 6-months to prepare. From a fundraising perspective, it has greater potential than we’ve tapped. Past events have not produced as much fundraising, as you might expect, for the labor that goes into it.  Each year, fundraising has improved, and we had some great ideas for fundraising that we were looking forward to trying, this year.

As much effort as it takes, we still absolutely LOVE doing it.  I haven’t used the word “cancelled” in this announcement, because I hope we are just skipping a year. We would be interested in producing this, next year, if someone rises up to  partner with us.  Please contact info@ramonaskatepark.org, if you are interested in learning more about partnering to Haunt the Ramona Town Hall in 2018. We would need to begin preparing in May or June.

In lieu of this one big fundraising event, for the last quarter of 2017, we are working on TWO NEW FUNDRAISERS!!  One may be a pro-skate demo and the other, an elegant annual awards dinner.  Additionally, we still await announcements on grant awards to learn if we can proceed to revive the OPMS skate team, this year, too!  So there is still much work in store for 2017!!

Please look for some exciting announcements in the very near future, and thank you for your support!!

Rummage Sale to Benefit Ramona Skatepark

Come browse our rummage sale for household goods, clothing tools, toys, sporting goods, office or party supplies, electronics, jewelry and arts & crafts.  Hosted by Iron Pony Trading Post  at 803 Main Street, Suite B (the old CarQuest Building,) from Thursday, June 22 to Sunday, June 25.  Thursday, we’ll open the rummage sale at 5pm through 8pm for the Cruise Night.  Friday, Saturday and Sunday, come by from 11am to 5pm.

Drop off donations at 803 Main Street from 11am to 5pm before Tuesday, June 20.  Donations are tax deductible and you will be given a receipt.

Proceeds will benefit Ramona Skatepark Champions, a 501c3 organization.  Keep reading past image for volunteer opportunities.

Rummage Sale for Ramona Skatepark

Volunteer opportunities available.  We actually don’t have a sign-up sheet for this one, and just ask if you want to volunteer to contact us at info@ramonaskatepark.org and just let me know what shift you want to take or what supplies you can provide.

Supplies we need: 

  • Price tags or pricing system.
  • Tables
  • Able Bodies

Shifts:

Organizing:

  • 2pm – 5pm  Saturday
  • 2pm – 5pm Sunday
  • 2pm – 5pm Monday
  • 2pm – 5pm Tuesday
  • 2pm – 5pm Wednesday

Selling

  • 5pm – 8pm Thursday Cruise Night
  • 11am – 1:30pm Friday
  • 1:30 – 5pm Friday
  • 11am – 1:30pm Saturday
  • 1:30pm – 5pm Saturday
  • 11am – 1:30pm Sunday
  • 1:30pm – 5pm Sunday

Cleanup

2pm – 5pm Monday to cart everything not sold to donate, or pack into a corner if we want to do another one sometime.

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Planning Group Meeting – Need Your Help

Dear Friends,

This is a personal plea.  Not sure if you’ve been following the Ramona news, but we’ve had quite a bit of progress in the Parks & Rec department!  Significant progress has been made on some cool park priorities, clearing the slate for Ramona Skatepark.

Meanwhile, our group has achieved our 501c3 status and we have reached stability, leaving the way clear for significant fund growth. For instance, we will be closing our fiscal year end on June 30.  We’ve just made our last insurance payment for the calendar year and there are no other major expenses expected, that are not already covered.  There is $650 in the fund at the end of our expenses, and the next year is expected to be nothing but growth.

Skating up!

Here’s where you come in…

At the beginning of July, we are expected to have a presentation in front of the Ramona Planning Group, where we will ask to be formally agendized and ask for help with the RICC and  see if they will release money for design. 

In preparation for this big “ask,” we would like to raise $1,300 in the month of June.  That is a huge goal for our little group.  But if we reach it, this would effectively triple the fund in one month, just before meeting with the planning group.  We would be able to show that our supporters can and will mobilize to raise that fund, if our supporters are able to see a Planning Group that is equally motivated. 

I believe that a big fundraising response, with perfect timing, would make a strong statement to the Ramona Planning Group.

If they have an argument, it would be that it won’t do any good at all to release funds for design, if we aren’t able to raise the prerequisite maintenance bond fund, promptly, from our community.  If we have a big response to this request, then we can argue that our community is willing and able to respond to fundraising requests….when we know that our Planning Group is committed to moving forward. We need to end the stalemate.  Even if we don’t reach the goal, if we only come close, we will still have made a statement that our group is able to respond, when we know it will make a difference.

Will you please help us by donating $50, $100 or even $250 dollars at www.ramonaskatepark.org/donate  before June 30?  Your donations are tax deductible.  Or come by our booth on 7th and Main Street, at Packards Coffiee Shop on Thursday nights for American Graffiti Cruise Night to donate in person.


Please help us boost our financial statements before this big meeting and before our fiscal year end.

Thanks, so much for your help and support.  It makes a big difference!!

Thank you,

Tracy Engel

Tracy Engel
President, Ramona Skatepark Champions

PS:  People ask me about Kickstarter and GoFundMe.  These sites have higher fees than PayPal, and we’ve never considered our $70,000 +/- goal a quick “FundMe” type push, but more a long term push, so we opted for the lower fees.  Please donate online at www.ramonaskatepark.org.

 

 

 

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Show Me the Money!

Donate Now!Ramona Skatepark Champions is starting to see some fruit from recent labors. We are excited about some of the announcements that we are about to make about skate teams at Ramona Unified School District.

While we finish up details on that, and prepare to make some fun announcements, Justin drew my attention to a post on our Facebook page, where a supporter is asking for an update of donations and efforts, so far.  She raises a great point, so before we start talking about what we are about to be doing, soon, let’s talk about what we’ve done, this year.

Our fiscal year is July to June.  This means we are about to wrap up our second fiscal year as a non-profit and are doing our year-end planning.  Our treasurer has put together our budget vs actual for year to-date so we thought we’d publish the report.

To put the report into context, we didn’t really do as much this year as we had originally hoped. This second year was a year of learning and planning more than doing.  So the budget numbers are higher than what we actually did.

This past year, we’ve been talking to grant foundations and learning what is involved in applying for and receiving grants. We learned why it will be difficult, or impossible, to get a grant from a foundation to go towards the maintenance bond fund that we need to raise.

The reason is because we need to account for a grant at the conclusion of 12-months and show how the grant impacted the community.  A maintenance bond just sits with the County, so won’t qualify under grant requirements. Also, please note that we will not qualify for any Tony Hawk Grant, because Ramona is NOT a low-income community.  

With this disappointing news from grant foundations, we learned that if we were to have an “ancillary program” that would raise awareness for our cause, THAT is something we can take to a grant foundation.  So we took what we learned from a variety of sources, and crafted a proposal for “competitive action sport teams” in Ramona Unified School District. This program raises awareness for our cause AND gives the kids skate spots, (now,) in their own neighborhood, where they can skate with their peers, (now,) while we continue to work on the larger community project.

Most importantly, it provides a clear path, or progression, to the Olympics.  A kid in elementary school participates to learn skills that can be applied in middle school teams that learn competition skills that they can apply on their high school team that prepares them for regional competitions and makes them Olympic-ready.  Part of our mission statement says that we promote safe and healthy action sports in Ramona and this program certainly does that!  

With all of this administrative work going on, there has not been nearly as much fundraising activity as there was the year before, and the report reflects that.

We make enough money to cover our bills.  We made about $800 on our half of the Haunted Town Hall, but it cost us $250.  Last year’s cruise night donations worked out to be nearly $300.  We had a great Facebook fundraiser at the end of the year, but we didn’t actually win the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grant, (because we would have had to get all our donations physically ON Giving Tuesday, and all of our donations came AFTER that date.)  At the end of the day, our insurance was over $2,000 when it renewed, and we have barely enough money to cover our second payment, (and our second payment will put us over budget on insurance.)

It is disappointing that we don’t have a significant fund, yet.  We put a lot of effort into the Haunted Town Hall, and we expect that this, our third year, will be significantly better from a fundraising aspect, because of the achievements of the club/team program.  When we speak to town patrons about donating a sum, we’ve heard, time and time again, something cynical, to the effect of  “Ramona’s been trying to do this a long time and there’s no movement.”

We sincerely hope that this program will represent “movement” to the town patrons, and they will see us manage grants, and there will be activity that inspires the youth, and maybe then those patrons will get on board and infuse our fundraising effort with some major donation action.  The “Street League” style competitions we will co-host will be relevant events that should draw some fundraising action.

So the next few blogs over the coming weeks will present this new skate program we are helping/hoping to get launched at RUSD.  In addition, to the skate program, this summer we will be launching a new “brick” fundraiser that is designed to reward patrons for larger donations than the root beer floats are designed to reward.  🙂

Over the next few weeks, we will try to post more information about our coming plans. Please bear with us, there is much work being done and we also still have jobs, so there is not enough time to post as much as often as we’d like.  If you have any questions, or want to get involved, feel free to email info@ramonaskatepark.org or contact us on Facebook, or just come out to Packard’s Coffee Shop on 7th and Main on Thursday night to watch the Cruise Night and help us make root beer floats!

To donate, visit our donation page at www.ramonaskatepark.org/donate.  (We use paypal because the fees are much lower than Go-Fund-Me and this is a long-term effort, not a short “FundMe” promotion.)

And with all that said, here is the financial statement….you scrolled and looked already, didn’t you…..go back and read, please to put it into context……Click on the image for the full size. Here are the budget vs actual financials YTD.  Be gentle.  Again, email please questions to info@ramonaskatepark.org 

2017 - Budget vs Actual

 

 

 

 

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How to Volunteer for Ramona Skatepark Champions

Volunteer for Ramona Skatepark Champions

Special thanks to those who have reached out to ask how to volunteer to  help us raise money for a community skatepark in  Ramona. You can sign up online – there’s sign up sheets at the bottom of this article. Here’s what we need.

  1. The most consistent need that we have is for help serving root beer floats for $1 on Thursday Cruise Nights at the Packard’s Coffee Shop at 7th and Main.  There are something like 26 Thursday’s between now and when they end the American Graffiti Cruise Night, and without help, we are not able to be out there every single time to maintain a consistent presence on Main Street for that event.  We don’t make a lot of money at this event, but it is valuable community outreach.  We talk to a lot of kids and parents, plus, it is a lot of fun!!
  2. Coming soon is a partnership with the Ramona Unified School District, where we will partner with RUSD to launch competitive skateboard athletic teams in participating schools, so we will have to plan competition events, and there will be a variety of needs that volunteers can help meet for that groundbreaking new program.  Stay tuned for more info!
  3. In connection with that program, we will also be launching a “Brick Fundraiser” shortly, and we will need volunteers to coordinate a multi-faceted fundraising effort, complete with community partners, school sites and skate teams, goals and prizes, as well as community outreach events.
  4. Last, but certainly not least, we are also just starting the advanced planning for the Halloween Haunted Town Hall, which we do every October and that requires a LOT of volunteers.

With every good intention, I have failed to put together a volunteer meeting to go over volunteer opportunities and enlist your support. As it turns out, I have a serious mental block when it comes to organizing meetings. I don’t think I’m alone. I think other people share my lack of enthusiasm for meetings.

In the interest of doing away with superfluous meetings, I’ve re-organized the web site so I can post blog articles of our latest developments, and posted an online sign-up sheet, which is also reprinted below.  If you are interested in volunteering to help at cruise nights, please pick a date and put in your name with your contact info and we will reach out to you to be sure you are buddied up with someone and have everything you need and are comfortable with the booth operation. You’ll have fun.  Cruse nights are usually pretty fun.

Speaking of fun….there’s also a sign up sheet for the Haunted House, put your name and contact info in your area of interest, and we’ll be sure to reach out to you as the production comes together.

« View all Sign-up Sheets

Cruise Night Booth

Date: September 14, 2017

On Thursday nights from 5pm to 8pm we host a booth at Packards Coffee Shop on 7th and Main for the American Graffiti Cruise Night Events. Volunteers are needed to setup and take down the booth, prepare root beer floats, and hand out information to visitors.

Sign up below...

What Available Spots
Booth Operator #1: Sign up »