Camp and Conference Center Newsletter (October 1, 1979)

SOUTHEAST UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST
CAMP AND CONFERENCE CENTER NEWLETTER
Volume 1, number 2                           October 1, 1979

A Dream Comes True

A dream that has long been held by Southeastern UUs became a reality this month. A contract was signed to purchase an existing camp atop a 4,200 foot mountain in Highlands, North Carolina – a beautiful site overlooking thousands of acres of National Forest land near the South Carolina and Georgia border.

The dream was made possible by the hard work of many volunteers, the SUUSI board’s dedication to a thorough feasibility study, and the generous support of the Veatch Program which will provide a $200,000 loan.

The property will be formally acquired on October 15th with a down payment of $100,000. The camp will be renovated over the next nine months in preparation for a full program in the summer of 1980. Details will be forthcoming. A monthly newsletter is planned to keep Southeastern UUs apprised of progress in readying the camp for use.

HOW WILL WE PAY FOR IT?

Purchase price of the camp is $490,000. The down payment amounts to $100,000 and the balance will be financed by the present owners (Pinecrest School of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida) over 10 years at 9% interest. It is estimated that about $250,000 to $300,000 additional will be
needed to make the facility-operational. This includes the costs of repairs, furnishings and equipment, salaries and other operating costs, publicity, and fund-raising expenses.

To help us meet immediate cash needs, these costs will be repaid from contributions ($330,000 is sought) and from the operations of the camp itself. Obtaining money from these sources will take time.

The Veatch Program (North Shore Unitarian Society, Plandome, Long Island) has approved a $200,000 loan in two parts. To cover the down payment on the property, $100,000 will be made available. The second $100,000 is an incentive loan to help us with fund raising. This amount will be matched dollar-for-dollar with pledges offered in excess of the first $100,000 of pledges. Clearly, this gives us a real challenge.

The total Veatch loan is to be repaid over eight years at 5% interest. Very favorable repayment terms were offered.

Help

…work weekends with other UUs at the camp through the fall.
…design a new logo for the Camp and Conference Center. Send sketches and ideas.
Write for call Mo and Larry Wheeler if you can contribute to one or both of the above (1120 Gunnison Court, Clarksville).

EQUIPMENT NEEDED

Lots of equipment and furnishings are needed for the new camp but only items that are in good, useable condition, please. Just a few of the more important needs:
A PICKUP TRUCK . . . MULTI-PASSENGER BUS(ES) . . . A TRACTOR WITH ATTACHMENTS FOR LEVELING, GRADING, PLOWING, CUTTING, ETC . . . ATHLETIC EQUIPMENT . . . OFFICE EQUIPMENT. . . FURNITURE FOR LODGES AND STAFF QUARTERS

If you can help us find one or more of these item (as donations or at a good price) or if you have something you think the camp could use, please write or call the Wheelers.

OUR KIND OF PEOPLE

The “home” congregation for the C&CC will be the Franklin, NC, Fellowship, about 20 miles away. Already their warmth has been evident in welcoming many of us into their homes and hosting social activities. And work… boy, have they worked! They’ve cleaned buildings, cut grass, sawed wood, even unplugged drainage ditches. Also their local knowledge has been of great assistance since we began our activities at the site.

We know you’ll enjoy getting to meet them. And when you do, say, “thanks.”

Two full-time position are available: Camp Director and Maintenance Manager. Those interested, call Roger Comstock 404/373-8320.

FUND RAISING STARTS

Plans for a capital fund drive to raise $330,000 are underway. All of our 11,000 UUs in the Southeast will be provided with an opportunity to pledge. Other UU districts have also indicated an interest in participating. Pledges for annual (or monthly) contributions over a three-year period (1980-82) are sought.

Heading the fund drive is Roger Comstock of Atlanta, former president of the SUUSI board District coordinators are as follows:

  • Florida
    • Dick Boyce, Ft. Lauderdale,
  • Mid-South
    • Ellie and Dan Prince, Birmingham, AL
  • Thomas Jefferson
    • Sue Male, Manchester, TN

Each of the 100 societies in the Tri-District Area will determine the timing and approach for its own canvass, using support provided by the fund-raising staff. For most societies, the actual canvass will occur in the early months of 1980.

Over $50,000 already has been pledged by UUs interested in promoting this project. Four of these pledges are for $5,000 or more. Additionally, the SUUSI board has voted to review its finances annually and will contribute to the Camp and Conference Center as long as sufficient reserves are available.

Because of the importance of this project, individuals will be rewarded with a life membership in the Camp and Conference Center for a substantial contribution. Life memberships are offered for an immediate contribution of $1,000 or a pledge of $1200 to be paid in increments of not less than $200 over a five-year period.

SUPPORT COMES IN A VARIETY OF WAYS

The idea of owning a permanent Camp and Conference Center in the South has obviously caught the fancy of a great many UUs. Offers of help have been pouring in from all over the Tri-District Area. Some noteworthy contributions:

  • Mo and Larry Wheeler have devoted endless time and energy to every-phase of the project, from finding the site to talking it up, to organizing and planning the start-up.
  • Roger Comstock has made an important contribution through managing the feasibility study and overseeing the negotiations to buy the property.
  • Al Faber contributed his time and energy to the market survey, a key element of the successful feasibility study.
  • Jack Gray has provided free legal service throughout extended negotiations with Pinecrest.
  • Jim Coe has made a beautiful tape-, slide presentation of the Discovery program, a probable program offering of the new camp.
  • Dick Boyce has made a movie.
  • Edmund Cannon contributed a supply of T-shirts for sale at the camp store.
  • Walt Pirie made an inventory of repair needs.
  • Jake Haun has tracked and diagramed the water, sewage and electrical systems.
  • Elliott Pavlos and Don Hostetler walked the property line through heavy brush to save us the cost of a survey. Truette Stubbs used his deep-sea diving talents to open the dam.

The list goes on. The excitement is spreading.. But lots more help is needed to fix up the property which has not been used for five years. All offers will be gratefully accepted!

WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO SUUSI?

No Changes Are Planned! SUUSI has been and will continue to operate independently of the new Camp and Conference Center. It will continue to be the exciting, wonderful week Southeastern UUS have come to look forward to each year…. While the SUUSI board has been instrumental in the purchase of the new camp, a new board now being formed to operate the Camp and Conference Center.

The camp will be incorporated as a non-profit corporation. The new board will have representatives appointed by SUUSI and each of the three districts, as well as members elected at-large and some appointed by the board itself. The camp director will serve ex-officio….For the first year, any UU having made a pledge to the new camp will be eligible to vote for the at-large members. In future years, this will become the responsibility of the members.

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