Watch Hill Memorial Library and Improvement Society
Annual Meeting
August 10, 2017

Attending:  Marion Abood, Donna Barnes, Beth Bean, Jeanne Blasberg, Regina Burke, Susan Burke-O’Neal, Susan DeMovick, Cindy Emmet, Olga Goff, Susan Helie, Ardis Holliday, Marny Homan, Jane Hottensen, Lisa Jankowski, Ann Snowden Johnson, Penny Kelly, Stephanie Kelly, Kathleen Kocatas, Julia Landstreet, Mary Jane LeFebvre, Beaumont Lett, Jen MacLear, Lisa Mannix, Heidi McWilliams, Sue Melvin, Warren Miller, Lore Musser, Judy O’Connell, Jan Ogden, Laura Parker, Eloise Patton, Joan Patton, Judy Prosser, Carmina Roth, Deborah Royce, Vicky Saglio, Moya Saunders, Liz Sayre, Ardi Schneider, Treecie Schoonmaker, Joanne Sloneker, Leslie Tomenson, Mellen Vogt, Martie Walker, Darcy Weber, Carolyn Westerfield, Adele White, Barbara Whittaker, Kathy Whittemore, McDowell Winn

Call to Order: 10:05AM

Joan Patton welcomed everyone to the Annual Meeting.

Recording Secretary’s Report: Kathy Whittemore requested that we waive reading the Minutes of the July 6, 2017 meeting and stated that those Minutes stand approved as presented online.

Treasurer’s Report: Judy O’Connell presented the income statement.
WHMLIS Account- $248,312.89
Merry Go Round- Fund- $92,718.10
Park Fund- $79,985.04

Summer Boutique- $33,062.77 (est. net profit)
Photography Show- $1979.00
Membership Dues- $7000.00
Donations- $10,825.00

First Vice President’s Report:  Ardi Schneider announced that four new candidates for membership were unanimously approved during Executive session. They are:
Sarah Jane Sculco Gibbons
Natalie Dwyer
Patricia Lovejoy
Megan Lemp Tracey

Second Vice-President’s Report:  Kathleen Kocatas reported on the status of the new sign for the WHMLIS. Because the wrong sign was sent, a reorder has been necessary. There was a discussion of the composition of the backing of the new sign along with the desire for water/weather resistance of the casing. She also reported that the basement of the building has been purged, cleaned and reorganized.

President’s Report:  Joan Patton asked Lisa Mannix, on behalf of the Nominating Committee, to present the proposed slate of WHMLIS board members for the 2017-2019 term.

    President                                        Ardi Schneider
    First Vice President                      Kathleen Kocatas
    Second Vice President                 Elizabeth Bean
    Treasurer                                        Judy O’Connell
    Recording Secretary                     Julia Fry Landstreet
    Corresponding Secretary             Susan Burke-O’Neal
    Assistant Secretary/Treasurer    Kathy Whittemore

Board of Directors:
    Janet Whitman Ogden                Term 2017-2019
    Pam Markham Heller                  Term 2017-2019
    Susan DeMovick                           Term 2017-2018
    Moya O’Donnell Saunders          Term 2016-2018
    Joan Patton, ex officio                 Term 2017-2018

A motion was made to approve the slate. It was seconded and unanimously approved.

Committee Reports:

Boutique- Stepanie Kelly, Regina Livingston, and Lisa Jankowski
Stephanie reported on behalf of her co-chairs that the Boutique was a tremendous success this year, with a 20% increase in gross sales over last year. She graciously thanked the many volunteers who made the event possible, including a special thank you to Jeb Daukas and Sam Saunders who were of great help during set-up. 

Garden Tour- Heidi McWilliams
Heidi announced that she is putting together a committee for next year’s Garden Tour to be held on July 12th and 13th, 2018. She welcomed volunteers. The plan is to have entry at One Bay Street (Lanphere Livery), if possible, with a trolley system to transport visitors to the gardens. Heidi also announced that she is planning to host a special benefit cocktail reception at her home on the Thursday evening before the event. Tickets for the Garden Tour will be $50. Tickets for the Cocktail Reception and Garden Tour will be $100.

Children’s Program- Marny Homan
Marny reported that the Children’s Program has enjoyed a successful season with lots of fun events. She thanked Ardi for volunteering to lead two of the events and Beth Bean for offering her home for one event. She requested that participants sign up in advance to make planning easier and more efficient for the Committee. She reminded parents to us Signup Genius on the WHMLIS. Members must login first and then look for the Signup Genius tab. Upcoming children’s events are also listed on the website.

Photography Show- Jen MacLear and Mellen Vogt
Laura Parker spoke on behalf of the Committee, which included Jen MacLear, Mellen Vogt, and Stacy Clapp. Laura thanked all members who volunteered their time, particularly Warren Miller, Dabney Pierce, Susan Burke-O’Neal, and Joan Beth Brown. She reported that 212 people attended the event over the course of the week. There were 24 artists and 48 photographs displayed. Unframed photographs, which were available in bins, were very popular. The show netted approximately $2000. Next year, the WHMLIS will host the Art Show. The Committee plans to send out letters this fall inviting artists to display their work. Laura asked for names of artists to be added. Joan Patton added, as a reminder to the Membership, that these two shows are meant to be community-building events which showcase the work of local artists. 

Beautification- Joan Lemp
Penny Kelly reported on behalf of Joan Lemp, thanking the many volunteers this summer. She also reviewed the areas around town that the Committee lovingly maintains, including the Gazebo and the islands.

Park Restoration- 
No report, except that Joan Patton mentioned that the Committee will be working over the winter to devise a planting scheme as well as the relocation of The Dreamer.

Merry Go Round- Sue Gummeson
Sue noted that the number of rides is down a bit from last year, likely attributable to the poor weather this summer. There have been 2868 inside rides and 25,317 outside rides to date this season.

Joan Patton reported on the Library usage this summer. July saw 113 adults and 81 children using the Library, with 38 for Storytimes. August, thus far, has seen a total of 95 patrons. She noted that the Library will be closed on August 14th in observation of VJ Day.

Lighthouse Keepers- Chantal Curtis
Ann Johnson reported on behalf of Chantal. Volunteers are still needed for a couple of Tuesdays in August. She also noted that the last day for the season will be Thursday, Sept 7th.

East Beach Association- Lore Musser
Lore spoke briefly about the ongoing legal issues surrounding the Rights of Way to East Beach. 

Watch Hill Chapel Society- Edith Eglin
On behalf of Edith, Beth Bean reported tha the Annual Meeting of the WH Chapel Society will be on Sunday, August 13th at noon. The Bible Study series is ongoing at Dick Sayre’s home. Finally, Evensong will take place this year on August 27th at 5PM at the Chapel and will feature the Chorus of Westerly.

Watch Hill Conservancy- Ann Stevenson
Ardi reported on behalf of Ann that the Benefit was again a success this year, but that the Conservancy is considering changes for next year’s event. She reminded the Membership of the mission statement of the Conservancy: “To promote the preservation of the natural environment and historic character of Watch Hill. Its responsibilities include managing threatened wildlife, as well as providing the design consultancy services to property owners undertaking construction or renovation. In addition, the Conservancy runs educational programs for children and nature walks for all ages.

Memoir Project- Jeanne Blasberg
Jeanne reported that 24 students are working on their memoirs. With the second summer of the project coming to an end, the goal is to have 30-40 pieces included in the final publication. She noted that there are some year-round Westerly residents participating in the project, which has added dimension to the experience. 

Joan Patton ending the meeting by reminding the Membership that part of the mission of the WHMLIS is that of a library, and she took a moment to thank the librarians who help make it possible.

The next meeting will be on Saturday, September 2nd. It will be the final meeting of the year. 

Joan officially passed the gavel to Ardi.  Ardi thanked Joan for her service to the WHMLIS and presented her with two gifts.

Ardi offered two final announcements:

  • She has invited Julie Decker, professor of museum studies at Rochester Institute of Technology, to come to WH and speak to the WHMLIS. Julie is writing a book about Enid Yandell, the sculptor of the Chief Ninigret statue.

  • The WHMLIS is considering an Oral History project to share stories of Watch Hill.

Adjournment: 10:24AM

Respectfully submitted,

Kathy Whittemore
Recording Secretary