That was the main topic of discussion — and decision-making — at last week’s regularly scheduled board of director’s meeting of the local Keep America Beautiful at the Cleveland-Bradley Chamber of Commerce.
At present, Bradley County has proposed giving a contribution of $26,500 — $1,500 less than requested by KAB — but the organization has yet to receive a firm dollar figure from the city of Cleveland. The current year’s contribution from the county was also $26,500; the current year’s contribution from the city was $28,100.
“Right now, we’re OK,” said Joanne Maskew, executive director of Cleveland’s KAB. But at present, KAB can’t count on any future joint ventures between the city and the county. But funding issues have come up in a previous meetings, she added, because funding is “vital.”
“We have got to raise some money for this program,” Maskew said. She has already applied for a large number of grants and again mentioned the $4,000 she recently was awarded from Walmart when some of its associates helped with area cleanup efforts. “Forty associates, including a district manager, helped with the cleanup. ... We’ve really got to focus (on fundraising).”
Maskew invited anyone who has some ideas to get in touch. Only two KAB members currently sit on the fundraising committee.
Without money to start an expensive fundraising project, Cheryl Dunson, KAB board member and Sunrise Rotary member, suggested applying for a grant from Rotary.
“KAB has received money from Sunrise before,” Dunson reminded the board.
Then Dunson also reiterated a suggestion given at another recent KAB meeting to hold a flea market, but with a slightly different focus than the flea market KAB has been known to hold. Dunson suggested KAB members collect items to sell themselves, rather than just selling booth space for others to sell their wares.
“It doesn’t have to be big items,” Maskew said.
Then the board got down to the pros and cons of additional options for defining this newer flea market concept.
Dunson, also vice president of marketing and communication at Santek Waste Services, suggested asking for permission to store donated items at a business that might have some unused space.
Renting a storage unit for a short period of time to store donated items was another suggestion, this one made by Gary Farlow, KAB board member and president/CEO of the Cleveland-Bradley Chamber of Commerce.
The group agreed that they’ve heard many people say they have surplus items they would like to get rid of and might want to donate to a worthy cause such as KAB.
“Why don’t we just try it,” Dunson said. “We need your items. ... Let’s just ask ... Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”
Next, the discussion centered around the timing of the proposed flea market.
Agreement seemed to be to hold the flea market Sept. 15 because the weather would probably be cooler than during the summer months.
Where to hold the flea market came under discussion next. Previous KAB garage sales were held in the parking lot of Stuart Elementary, so that remains a possibility.
Another suggestion was to possibly either place donated items indoors near the flea market site outside the day before the event or possibly even hold this flea market indoors. The previous KAB garage sales were only held outside.
Another idea is to obtain permission to use the facilities at a local company Farlow knows about that currently has some unused space. Then donated items could be delivered there and wouldn’t have to be moved again because the sale could be held in the same location as well.
“And, then, if it rains, we’re not at the mercy of the weather,” Dunson said, seemingly seeing an added benefit to this plan and approving of this idea.
Another suggestion is to have concessions at the event, which also was agreed upon by the board.
Local students might also be willing to donate their time and energy to help price items.
And KAB’s annual pancake breakfast was also discussed, possibly separately, as is tradition, or maybe even in conjunction with the proposed flea market fundraising event.
In other business, Dunson reported that discussions with Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis about having two Hazardous Waste programs per year is going well. In fact, a possible second date for this year has been chosen — tentatively on Oct. 27.
“I don’t know how often I have been asked about having two Hazardous Waste Collection events,” said Shari Horton, vice president.
Maskew also reported she recently finished three cleanup projects with student volunteers.
“These kids did amazing, amazing work,” Maskew praised. “It was awesome.”
But some folks in the area who could use help cleaning up their yards, some even from storm damage from April 2011, have turned down help. They may not understand, Maskew said, that “It’s free.” No charges up front or down the road.
“And we’ll haul everything off ourselves,” Maskew said.
Getting free help will also keep folks from getting cited with code violation tickets, which can add up quickly at $50 a day for every violation, Maskew said.
It also was reported that the domain name for Cleveland KAB’s new website has been secured.
June’s Neighborhood Beautification Award winner is the CPA firm of Harting, Bishop & Arrendale.
“They were tickled,” Horton said. She also said KAB always is looking for additional beautification award nominations.
July’s Neighborhood Beautification Award winner will be the Retreat at Spring Creek Apartments.
The next board of directors meeting is at 4 p.m. at the Chamber. The public is invited to attend.
For more information, call Maskew at 559-3307 or email her at email@example.com.