I thought it important to let you know what the North Fork Women Board has been up to over the past month. On January 30, we had our Annual Meeting via Zoom. Members of the board presented our 2020 successes and our plans for 2021.
At the meeting, we introduced our newest board member, Maria Fasulo. Maria has volunteered for a number of not-for-profit organizations, including the Human Rights Campaign, where she sits on the Board of Governors, and the Step-by-Step Charitable Foundation, an organization dedicated to raising funds for cancer. Please join us in welcoming Maria to our Board.
Elly Thomas led the discussion regarding our 2020 and 2021 budget. Knowing we were not able to do as many fundraisers as usual, we scaled our 2020 budget back 39%. We withdrew $15,000 from our Founders Fund to meet our expenses for the 2020 fiscal year.
With your help, we were able to net $19,000 from our virtual Summer Sunset Benefit and we exceeded last year’s year-end appeal total. In 2020 we awarded over $18,000 in grants to our members and paid over $3,750 for life-line support. We also provided $11,000 in covid relief in our community.
In addition, our scholarship committee awarded $7,500 ($2,500 each) to three wonderful young women on the North Fork. On behalf of the entire board, I want to thank you for your generous support during this difficult time. We would not have been able to do all this without your help.
For 2021, we will continue our Connection Series, our efforts to secure community partnerships and our outreach/marketing strategies. We hope to sponsor an outdoor fall event this year and have optimistically budgeted to do so. Of course, that will all depend on state and local requirements regarding Covid-19 gatherings.
In January, the Board sent a letter to our County Executive, Steve Bellone and the Supervisors of the Towns of Riverhead and Southold, Yvette Agular and Scott Russell, describing North Fork Women and the work we do to help lesbians in need of medical support, financial support or Help-Her services. We asked their help in vaccinating our members. Through Steve Bellone’s office we were able to secure a total of twenty slots for the Covid-19 vaccine at Riverhead’s Suffolk Community College and quickly filled those slots.
We currently have a vaccine waiting list of more than thirty members, and I am convinced that Steve Bellone’s office will continue to work with us to provide the vaccine. I have also spoken to Scott Russell, who assures me that when the Town gets set up to deliver the vaccine, he will be in touch.
Our most recent fund-raiser, Cupid’s After-Affair, sponsored by Chris and Joanne Richards of CJ’s American Grill was indeed a win-win for North Fork Women and for CJ’s. We sold a total of sixty-nine dinners and raised an additional $550 in donations from our members, Mary Trier’s clients and CJ’s regulars. In total we raised $2,275 and will give half of the profits to our scholarship committee to use to continue their work. Again, a special thank you to Chris and Joanne Richards, to our members who donated meals to help others, to those who gave generously to our cause and to Jim Duffy who supplied the North Fork Women hats. Jim heard about Cupid’s After Affair and the work we do for women on the North Fork. He donated 100 North Fork Women hats to be given away with each meal we sold.