Watch Hill Memorial Library and Improvement Society
Annual Meeting Minutes
Saturday, September 2, 2017

Attending: Ardi Schneider, Julia Landstreet, Jan W. Ogden, Pamela M Heller, Joan Patton, Meredith Flynn, Treecie Schoonmaker, Vicky Martin, Sheila Rockwell, Ardis S. Holliday, Liz Sayre, Joan Lentz, Donna Simmons, Chantal Curtis, Alli Gilbert, Marianne Lynner, Gail Reynolds, Noelle Doumar, Stephanie Kelly, Lydia Cottrell, Penny Kelly, Tobin Heminway, Debra Nelson, Martie Walker, Olga Goff, Sue Gummeson, Carmina Roth, Joan Beth Brown, Dabney Pierce, Laura Parker, Mellen Vogt, Susan Harkins, Janet B. Connor

Call to Order: 10:01

Ardi Schneider welcomed everyone to the meeting

Recording Secretary’s Report: Julia Landstreet requested that we waive reading the Minutes of the August 10, 2017 meeting and stated that those Minutes stand approved as presented with the correction of new members name, Nellie Dwyer, online.

Treasurer’s Report: Judy O’Connell presented the income statement.

WHMLIS Account- $249,335.35
Merry Go Round- Fund- $92,718.10
Park Fund- $79,985.04


Summer Boutique- $32,908.77
Photography Show- $1,979.00
Membership Dues- $8,800
Donations- $12, 406

  • $6,236 Unrestricted

  • $6,045 Memoir project

  • $100 Park Fund

  • $25 Amy’s Torch

Total operating expenses of ~$22,916 have been incurred ($^k Memoir project) – excludes boutique expenses which were netted against income, and $13k in Park fund, accounted against Park fund cash)

Donations:  The Executive committee voted to donate $500 to:

East Beach Association
Watch Hill Chapel
Watch Hill Conservancy
Watch Hill Lighthouse Keepers
Westerly Library (in honor of the Anniversary year)

First Vice President’s Report:  Kathleen Kocatas welcomed the four new members, and encouraged future nominations

Second Vice-President’s Report:  Beth Bean, absent, no report.

President’s Report: Calendar for 2018 will be ready by early May

Committee Reports:

Art Show: no report 

Beautification - Joan Lemp
Joan thanked the many volunteers this summer. Funding for the plant material  has been provided through the Lattner Foundation. Conversations continue with the Fire District to identify “ownership” of some islands, State of RI or Westerly.  Lydia Cottrell proposed undertaking care of the large island in front of the entrance to the Avondale Preserve, Dabney Pierce clarified that this is outside of the scope of the WHMLIS. Comments were shared that the rock wall at Ridge Road had been repaired.

Children’s Program- Meredith Flynn
Meredith  reported that the Children’s Program has enjoyed a successful season with lots of fun events. She thanked the many volunteers:

Cooking events: headed up by Sydney McGill & Serena Bingham: Evy Verbinnen, Faith Moore, Virginia Manella.

Tea Party: Headed by Susan Burke  O’Neal.
Special thanks to all who donated food and décor, and Heidi McWilliams for the food. The two Marine Animal days were very successful 8-10 kids each.  She requested that participants sign up in advance to make planning easier and more efficient for the Committee. Thanks to Ardi for the email blasts, to Joan for the guidance, and to Lisa Mannix for getting the season started.

4th of July Parade: No report, but Olga Goff suggested that some sort of music accompanies  the 2018 Parade.

Garden Tour:
Joan Lemp reported that the theme for the 2018 garden tour will be “Gardens along the river” The committee is working to secure gardens and volunteers.  The plan is to have entry at One Bay Street (Lamphere Livery), if possible, with a trolley system to transport visitors to the gardens.  

Park Restoration- Joan Beth Brown
Anticipates work to begin Tuesday, September 5 to raise and regrade around the “Dreamer” as well as improved irrigation and substituting hydrangea for the existing rosa rugosa.  

Fundraising Committee Reports:

Boutique- Donna Simmons
Donna looks forward to chairing a successful event. She asked for volunteers and will be reviewing the feedback on the vendor report.  

Associate Organizations:

Watch Hill Conservancy- Joan Lemp
Grover Fuqua, CRMC spoke at One Bay Street on Coastal Flooding.

East Beach Association-
Unknown object that presents a hazard to swimmers to be removed from the shoreline.  

no report

Lighthouse Keepers- Chantal Curtis
Thank you to the many volunteers. There were >500 visitors, and donations were made.

Memoir Project-
Jan W Ogden spoke highly about the project

Merry Go Round- Sue Gummeson
Sue noted that the number of rides was down a bit from last year in the beginning of the summer but ended up at the same level as last year. The horses are in good shape.

Watch Hill Chapel Society-
no report

Old Business:

Video Oral History Project: Olga Goff
This project has been a long time in the making. It has been determined that the interviews will be held with those who were members of the community before 1960. With a focus on the village of Watch Hill when it included a grocery, fish market, pharmacy, and other restaurants. This project has been started and stopped, the committee hopes to include the old interviews currently in the files of Bill Miller. Paul Dewey and Bill Miller will assist with the project.

New Business:
Admission Policies: Penny Kelly proposed changes to the admissions policies to include; loosening the residency requirement to include new members sooner, require sponsors to mentor new members for two years. It was confirmed that new members can be proposed at any time during the year via the website.

Additional conversation ensued about membership reminders. Predominately electronic, limiting “snail mail” to only those who do not use email.

Adjournment: 10:35 AM