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THE PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE                                       Debby Carey, 630-995-0332,

                                Occasionally I get asked about the Civic Association’s non-profit status. First, let’s be clear.
                                We are not a charity in the purest sense of the word. We are a non-profit organization that
                                exists for the betterment of our community through the services and educational programs we
                                provide our members and the Community at large. Our non-profit status is granted by the
                                Federal Government based on specific criteria. There are rules we must follow in order to keep
                                our non-profit status, and we rigorously protect that privilege. All of our monies stay within the
                                organization. We have a building to maintain and about 4,500 members we bring together to
                                enjoy each other and the area our organization serves. Sometimes we are called to assist in
                                other ways. During the buildup to Irma, we put out a call for members who could not get their
                                storm prep done. We were able to get those folks connected with helpers. We had members
                                that came to assist our staff with the prep of our building. We realized it was days ahead of the
                                storm but we didn’t want to be in a position to need assistance when helpers should be doing
              Debby Carey       their own preparations. We also fielded a lot of calls concerning shelter locations, evacuation
                                routes, and miscellaneous hurricane related questions. After the storm, we realized one way
         we could help was to alleviate the fears that the storm surge warnings had caused. Our city leaders and staff did a
         wonderful job keeping our local citizens informed. Unfortunately, we found that not everyone was aware of that service.
         (We will be providing information on how to keep informed at a later date). I heard from a lot of you that ours were the
         only updates you received. We were happy to help. Now that we know that we will try to do a better job of keeping you
         informed. While Irma didn’t test us the way we feared she would, I think the sense of community was apparent in the
         way neighbors checked on neighbors and shared what information they had. The Isles is a unique community and we
         are blessed to have our Civic Association to help preserve and protect that uniqueness.

         Irma is now a memory. I would be remiss if I didn’t thank Councilwoman Lynne Matthews for her valuable insights into
         what we could do to prepare and then updates after the storm. Alicia Oates, IT Analyst with the City of Punta Gorda,
         updated us constantly through Nextdoor. It was reassuring during the worst of the storm to feel connected to another
         person even if it was only through an email. Our staff, Regina, Brian, Rod, Dee, and Connie; our Board members, Aaron,
         Randy, and John prepped the building well with the aid of our member volunteers. Coincidentally, the Board had just
         approved a storm preparedness plan. It went into effect the Monday before the storm. It was well thought-out and helped
         immensely with preparation.

         You may notice some nice changes that occurred over the summer. We have completed the final purchase with our
         Giving Challenge 2015 Funds by installing the sound reducing panels in the lobby. In addition, those 2015 funds already
         provided us with four new computers, two new monitors, new flooring in Room Four, and the folding doors in Rooms
         Four/Five, One/Two, and Two/Three. The new large televisions, the cart, and the lighting in the Auditorium were also
         purchased with 2015 Giving Challenge Funds. No money collected as dues went for any of these items. Thanks to all
         who made this possible by their donations to the Giving Challenge. We have not touched the 2016 funds we raised;
         those monies went into our Building Fund. Hopefully we will be able to add to that if the Patterson Foundation does the
         Giving Challenge again. At this time, it is scheduled for next spring.

         On November 7, we will hold our annual meeting. As usual you will be electing your new Board members. The
         Nominating Committee has found some very qualified members willing to take on the privilege of serving the Association
         in a major capacity. We also have a couple of minor By-law changes we are bringing to the membership. We are asking
         you to allow for a third person to join the Association from a household. In the past only two people per household
         membership could vote but our population is changing. We have parents moving in with adult children and adult children
         moving in with parents. We feel we need to change to accommodate these demographic changes. We also are asking
         you allow Associate Members (past members who have moved out of the Isles) to be able to vote. We have some really
         good members that have continued to pay their dues and remained active in our Association. They can do everything
         else regular members can do. (At this time, this affects four people.)  They will not be able to hold Board positions but
         we feel they should be able to vote. Watch for an email that contains the exact wording (past and proposed). If you
         would like to discuss this with the Board, please feel free to come to Coffee with the Board October 13.

         On a personal note: many of you wrote to thank me for the personal updates. I hope you will come to some of our events
         and make yourselves known to me. I would love to meet you. As you told me of your travels home, I couldn’t help but
         worry about you. I would love to hear how you fared.

                                                                PGICA Mission Statement
                                              “To enhance the quality of life in Punta Gorda Isles as a vibrant and
                                                              unique waterfront community.”

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