UP FROM THE ASHES GROW THE ROSES OF SUCCESS
Queridos amigos y compañeros,
I don’t know how else to state the obvious, so I will be blunt. The ACSAA is at a critical crossroads. Our organization, whose main focus has been to fund two yearly scholarships for deserving Asociación Escuelas Lincoln graduates, has insufficient funds for even one scholarship.
I take full responsibility for why this has happened.
- Dues were suspended after the reunion in Buenos Aires in 2011 because the Gaucho Gazette stopped production. Dues were never reinstated because we couldn’t find a suitable collection system that also tied in with a website and an online directory.
- Our alumni reunion Deep in the Heart of Texas in 2015, which served as our main fundraiser, was so poorly attended that we did not net a profit. Had it not been for the smooth talking and persuasive skills of Claudia Zaunbrecher we would have lost even more.
At the Dallas, TX reunion, I made an announcement that the online directory was good to go, and had lined up a company to help us build our site that would include accepting dues, but at the last minute they bailed on the deal I thought we had. Shortly after the reunion, I was sidelined with cancer, but that’s beside the point, and I’m OK now.
My main goal as President was to set up a functioning website that would house our directory, be a means for us to keep in touch through one or more Gaucho Gazette blogs, and collect dues. This is a fine way to combine the Argentina, international, and USA alumni. The ACSAA website, https://www.acsaa.org, is up and running, but it’s not very pretty yet. I invite you to take a look, become a member, and register with International Roster of Important Students (IRIS—you know how she keeps up with us all, right?). Yearly membership dues are $50 per year.
- entry to the searchable directory, which I hope will grow with time
- more in-depth access to the Gaucho Gazette blogs
- transparency of ACSAA finances.
Dues will be used to:
- fund scholarships
- maintain the website/directory,
- If possible, finance future reunions. I will post all our financial records so that members can see exactly where the money goes.
Since the 2011 reunion we have continued, despite having no income, to fund our two scholarships ($1500 each) for the years 2012-2018. Now we have run out of money. If you find it in your heart to make an extra donation towards our cause, we certainly welcome it, and will use it to further our goals stated above. If you have paid for a lifetime membership, your contribution will be honored. Please let us know, as our records are now very dated, and consider making an extra gift if you can to get us over this hump.
All of this said, obviously we will not be sponsoring a reunion in 2019. I’m sorry. I don’t know what else to say. I propose that after two months we are unable to raise enough funds for one scholarship, we dissolve the ACSAA, and give what money we have to the Argentina alumni group.
Being President is harder than I thought it would be. It takes a lot of time that I have not really had as a full-time employee, housekeeper, and mom. I’m in a better position now to try to keep it up and running. If you would like for me to continue as President, I will be happy to do so. If changes need to be made, I will pass on what funds I have, and step aside. If someone would like to pick up the administration of the website, I will pass it along, otherwise I will shut it down. According to the existing by-laws, we would have to form nominating and election committees to vote in new officers.
I really think that the ACSAA is an organization and an endeavor worth keeping. For me personally, I have thoroughly enjoyed keeping up with so many people who share the wonderful experience of growing up in Buenos Aires, and attending ACS Lincoln, and its predecessor schools. I have attended every reunion since 1987 and had an absolute blast. I am so proud of the scholarships we have awarded. I hope to continue the magic into the future, strengthen our connections with each other, and expand our reach. If you feel the same, please join me.
Jade York Polk