President’s Message

Fellow Vincentians and Friends of the Society,

Since our last message, a great many things have occurred here at the central office and in my duties to you.

Niagara Falls Store Progress:  In keeping with our promise to replace the Pine Avenue store, we have taken possession of a building at 1601 Main Street. By the time you read this, an architect will have completed the plans and specifications for applying for permits and soliciting bids from contractors for work. The first order of business will be to replace the roof and secure the interior from the winter’s harsh weather. In all, the building will need somewhere between 200 & 300 thousand dollars’ worth of work to make it functional and attractive. The central office is working hard applying for grants for this work but we would welcome donations from conference treasuries as well.

Youth Program: Keeping our commitment to serving youth in need, the first phase of our new youth program is being introduced in a series of District meetings commencing with the Genesee/Orleans district August 12th. The plan is for our youth program to begin with forming youth conferences at several levels: grade school, high school, college, and young adult. This effort can be implemented by your conference in your own parish. Instructions, materials, and support will be provided by the central office. This effort is especially important because it will introduce and help recruit young members in our Society addressing the challenge we currently have of the aging of our membership.

Angola Camp Property: We currently have several parties interested in the purchase of the Angola property. We have an agreement with one of them to conduct his due diligence for exploring the conditions he would face for purchasing the property. In the meantime, we continue to use the property for Society business. Which leads me to the…

Strategic Planning Retreat: On Saturday, August 19th, the staff and board met in the main building at the Angola camp property to discuss our next five-year strategic plan. This was last done more than five years ago and it is the best practice for a non-profit to have a plan and review it on a regular (in our case five-year) interval. Once the notes are compiled and reviewed by committees, it will be made available to you by our website.

The Raffle is Back! After some changes in the New York State gaming law effective July 2017, conditions are again agreeable for the return of the raffle. By the time you read this, you will probably have already received word of this under separate cover. The main drawing will be held October 3rdwith a 1st prize of $5000. Tickets are $25 each, 3 for $50, or 7 for $100. One difference from our last time is that tickets will be mailed only on request from you so please email us at info@svdpwny.org  or call our office, 882-3360 ext. 4, and request yours today!

President’s Activities: I continue to visit individual conferences—20 so far and hope to visit another 20 in this my second year of office. Conference presidents, please let me know when what your regular meeting schedule is so I can plan these visits. I have found out that many conferences take the summer off. This is not encouraged by the Rule since those we serve have needs year-round. Please consider having at least one meeting a month during the summer. It does not have to be a full-blown meeting in a parish facility; it can take place in the home of one of your members and just a few of you attend. Remember, “When two or three are gathered together in my name…”

Thank you for your good service in St. Vincent’s name,

Larry Brooks