December 2021

Posted by Christine Edwards on

December Friends Reports


Annual Meeting, Bylaws, and Elections

            According to the bylaws, and now that the pandemic is waning, we need to have our annual meeting in January so that we can elect our Board of Directors (we have been operating with everyone attending essentially being on the board, but we need to formally establish the Board). Once we have held the annual meeting, the Board will vote on officers at our February meeting (our bylaws state that anyone who has served on the Board for at least a year (or for this year, anyone who has been regularly attending meetings for a year) is eligible). I will be stepping down from my role as president as of the February meeting so someone else from the Board will need to step up (I am very much looking forward to just being a regular active member of the Friends). The standard term for serving as an officer is 2 years, although that can be extended if the officer and the board are willing.

Action Item – Set the January date, time, & place for the Annual meeting



  1. Christmas Parade (Dec 11th): 

Jackie has checked the lights and requested funds ($50 approved) for batteries and extra lights. We ordered a new 8x3’ banner for the parade. We won’t get our number until Thursday.

Action Items:

            Need volunteers for December 11th to decorate the float and walk in parade

            (Dress like Whos from Whoville (we have some head boppers, some Santa hats))

            Bring a canned good(s) as our entry “fee”


  1. Manatee Festival (Jan 22nd & 23rd):  Karen is reaching out to those who have come up with volunteers in the past to see what/who we can get. Put the dates on your calendar to help out!


  1. Brick Fundraiser: Due to scheduling issues within BricksRUs, we had to change our webinar to December 21 at 1:30.  Anyone who wants the link to join that webinar and did not receive an email from me can let me know and Sally will send it to them


  1. CSO Table at Park:  Jackie has that ready to go and will start on Saturday December 3rd with our new tent. [Near the ramp location? Might be a good opportunity]

Proposed Tabling Dates (9-3): 1/8/22, 2/5/22, 3/5/22, and 4/2/22  


            Historically, SMC set up Education tables twice/winter to sell manatee adoptions, collect donations etc., but this year they are unable to do so due to staff shortages and other limitations. Many CSO volunteers are already SMC volunteers, so SMC is suggesting a joint tabling effort. SMC would have adoptions and informational handouts about manatees, but none of their little donation items (they don’t want to distract from the CSO). The CSO could have their donation box, maybe t-shirts, stickers, etc. What we could potentially do is split the proceeds among SMC and the CSO or any donations collected that day (apart from adoptions), would go to the CSO..

Action Items:

            What about merging CSO & SMC tables for the winter season?

            Sign up for tabling (especially January) 2 -4 people 


  1. Bingo now starts at 6:30 pm

Can we keep weekly tallies of $$

Candia will make an average of 4 manatees per month – how many for bingo and how many to sell?

Laura has stuffed manatees at gift shop as well

Action Item: Rack Cards (handed out at Bingo) need to be updated with new website



Rich & Missy have been working on it, will be ready to post on the new site as soon as we set the Annual Meeting date/location



Tags have been made for selling them in the Gift Shop. Need to schedule tag-gunning the shirts and how many the Gift Shop wants to handle.

Consider selling things through the website (topic to consider for another meeting)


Membership Update

-The committee is in favor of window decals for Corp. Sponsors.

-Discussed accepting goods and services in place of $$ for corp. renewals after the first year.

-Heather will take over mailing out the cards etc.


Website Analytics for November 2021

New website officially launched on 11/15/21 from Wild Apricot

Donations can be accepted via Shopify or Paypal

  • Appears most use Paypal (6 out of 7 for November)
  • We have had 7 donations since November 15th launch date
  • Membership charges go through Stripe


      Website Membership Updates for November 2021 (new website went live Nov 15th)

    • Membership
      • 11/9/21:  WildApricot – 51 active members
      • 11/30/21: Shopify – 58 active members as of end of month
        • Only active could be imported into new membership platform
  • Contacts
    • 11/9/21: WildApricot – 207 contacts
      • Note: any lapsed memberships that had their contact info in Wild Apricot were carried over into Shopify as a contact not a member.
    • 11/30/21: Shopify – 224 contacts as of end of month
      • The following questions are asked when a contact form is initiated:


  • Website Analytics

Action Item: With our Shopify plan we can have two staff accounts (3 logins total), need to identify who needs/wants access – If a committee needs access, the committee chair should choose a point person, and Christine will set it up


Other ideas to consider

  1. If we are going to continue having hybrid meetings, we should invest in some Video Conferencing equipment to purchase. Please look at this set up (below) and send any questions you have to Rich. We will have it as an Action Item in January



HuddleCamHD HuddlePair USB 2.0 Webcam & Speakerphone Combo

1080p wide angle webcam with 106° FOV and a wireless speakerphone combo Warning: Possible Cancer and Reproductive Harm –


  1. Our new tent is really spiffy. Do we want to invest in a personalized table covering? They range from pretty cheap to fairly expensive. Would be nice to have something for the Manatee Festival



 A simple way for you to brand your company at an event or trade show

  • Standard sizes: 4ft, 6ft and 8ft wide tables (custom sizes available)
  • 4-sided coverage covers all four sides, 3-sided coverage has an open back
  • Printed on flame-retardant polyester with hemmed edges
  • All over print allows you to design the entire tablecloth

Custom Tablecloths

  • Machine-washable, reusable polyester
    • Wrinkle-resistant option available
    • For the best quality, uploads should be 150 DPI or higher

Looking for a different style? Custom Table Runners

Price $300.00

  1. Christine had an idea of putting small (3” x 3”) plaques around the park (on the railings)...about the size of a coaster, with the QR code on them. Putting them up and down the boardwalk and maybe in the bathrooms next to the hand dryer will keep it in people’s minds. Curiosity always wins...when they see a QR code they will organically want to scan and see what it is – further helping expose people to the website and donate option.

We would need to get some quotes to see how much it might cost. Also, what does the park think?


  1. Increase the diversity of photos on the website. Missy & Rich have a bunch of underwater (Missy) and above water (Rich) images...does anyone else have pix that can be used? This will allow us to change out images from time to time, keeping the website fresh.

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