Wednesday, March 30, 2016

2016 - Lots to Get Excited About!

So far this new year of 2016 has been filled with so many new changes I feel like I don't know which way to look first!  Our great traveling exhibit about California civil rights has been packed up and has left the museum.  Our next exhibit is one we are co-sponsoring with Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History is the 'Big Basin Auto Tree: One Tree, Many Stories'.   It has been on display there, but has been packed up and will be opening at the SLV Museum on Sat, April 9th with an opening reception for the community from 2 - 4 pm.  This fascinating exhibit will display  the curator's, historian Frank Perry, collection of Auto Tree photos and postcards for over 30 years as well as some never-shown before gems.  We will be having an activity area for visitors both young and old alike.  We are also planning a talk later in the year about viewing our beloved redwoods from a different perspective - as architecture. 

I was all ready to join our fellow hikers on Sun, April 3rd for a history hike at Quail Hollow Ranch along the trails going back to a time before the Ohlones.  However, I had a conflict and was very disappointed to miss it.  Our group of hikers quickly reached its maximum of 25, but I have continued to be receiving calls from those interested in joining the hike.  Good news - We are talking with the Quail Hollow Ranch park interpreter to schedule a second hike.  Date and time to be scheduled, but I will definitely not miss this one.

If you haven't volunteered for a non profit you might not be aware that non profits watch the monetary donations they receive very closely and become very very good at stretching those funds.  An example is our office area which has been furnished with donated desks, file cabinets (both letter and legal so both sizes of folders are needed), bookcases, and storage cabinets.  Dented, drawers not quite sliding smoothly, sometimes a needed strong yank to open - you get the idea.  Our IT infrastructure was even worse.  Our PCs all ran different versions of Office, they were connected together in a line so it was very slow trying to look at and work on a file located on a different PC from the one you were on.  Printers were slow and no color - color was achieved by using colored paper.  We held a Fund-IT Campaign last year and through the generosity of our supporters and using other non profits to help stretch our monetary donations we now have a completely new and current PC infrastructure on a true network file server.  We went through Tech Soup to order newer versions of our software applications.  We were even lucky to have newer office furniture donated by a business vacating their office building so new modular desks, lateral file cabinets, and tall storage cabinets.  We also now have a color printer and portable scanner.  I'll be able to do more in-house printing and look more professional at the same time!

As a non profit we do not make a product and sell it to bring in our revenue.  We depend on our supporters through becoming members and renewing each year, sponsoring an exhibit on a subject they are excited about, visitors who appreciate that we do NOT charge to enter the San Lorenzo Valley Museum, but keep our doors open to anyone who enjoys history and our museum.  We submit grants (and have been successful more times than not), and operate a bookstore.  The word 'non profit' does not mean we work in the 'red' - if we did the IRS would take away our tax exempt status.  Non profit means we need to be fiscally responsible with monetary funds given to us so that we can pay our bills and any funds left over goes into fulfilling our mission, which is' to gather and share the history of the San Lorenzo Valley'.    We DO NOT use excess funds on excessive salaries, leasing a car, taking trips with family and friends, or buying expensive meals and materials.  We believe we have a duty and obligation to be the caretakers of our church building and all the artifacts in the Collection so in another 100 years the San Lorenzo Valley community can enjoy and treasure them as we have.  Thank you to everyone who has supported the San Lorenzo Valley Museum in a monetary way.  It is greatly appreciated.

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