End of an Era

If you'll look at the dates, you'll notice that it's been a month since I lasted posted on this blog. Before that, the posting was getting more and more sporadic.

So, I've come to a decision.

I'm going to stop blogging here. It's really a time thing: I'm rather swamped to keep up with this and I'd rather go back to my first blog (Word Nerd) and try to breathe new life into it. The Word Nerd blog is really where my head is a lot of the time with my novel-writing aspirations and author interviews and book reviews.

Thanks to everyone who's been a regular reader here over the past 15 or so months. It's been a great time being a VISTA and transitioning into this new world of fundraising.

Glad to have you along for the ride.


Back to the Grindstone

I returned to the job today to find some 60 e-mails waiting for me (I'm not counting the 50 messages in the SPAM folder...), a pile of mail and one voicemail.

I've waded through the e-mails and am trying to get my brain off of vacation mode and back into work mode.... It's not like I've got a shortage of grant deadlines to meet or anything.

We're also starting into planning for the fall fundraising breakfast. We've got the location already (of course), but now it's time to start lining up guests and writing speeches and things.

I think it's good I took my vacation when I did because I think my desk will be the main focus of my attention in the near future.


Return to the Roof!

Remember those two crazy days last summer where Mentor Services Director Bob Goodrum lived on the Starfish Initiative office roof?

Well, he's doing it again.

8 a.m. tomorrow (June 30) Bob will re-ascend to the roof for another stint aloft to show the need for mentors in Indianapolis. This year, Bob won't be alone on the roof, but he'll be joined by local notables and some dignitaries. (IN First Lady Cheri Daniels is scheduled to join him for a while Wednesday afternoon.)

So, come on down to Starfish during Bob's time on the roof to wish him well (there's a scissor-lift to take you up to say hello), or use this as your opportunity to sign up to be a mentor.

Meanwhile, as Bob's up on the roof recruiting mentors and working on his tan, I'll be in my office writing grants. Which is where I've been for the last few weeks.

All in all, my nose is getting rather pointy (...y'know, from keeping it to the grindstone.)

Hopefully, there will be pictures over the next two days!


Hello again

I have officially emerged from the federal grant writing hole I was in for the last two weeks. The thing was submitted last Friday in the early afternoon, after which time, I went home and tried to catch up on some much-needed rest.

Of course, now, I'm trying to catch up on the projects that got pushed to the back burner while that grant was top priority. I've got a couple of rapidly approaching deadlines (one is Wednesday) but that feels really do-able. This is a much shorter application, so hopefully it will come together easily.

Last week was also a $30K week for outstanding grants that came in. :)


Federal Grant Writing Foxhole

I have been incommunicado since Monday because I've been in my hastily dug foxhole for a federal grant application.

This is one kind of proposal I have not written yet and I must say -- all the horrible things I've heard about how hard they are to write are true. The feds certainly want things in a certain way (going as far as telling you what font to use) and it's been quite the learning experience.

As of this point, the first rough draft of the narrative part is done. This is the product of pretty much three straight days of outlining/researching/writing/planning/researching more/writing, for more than 8 hours a day.

In 40 minutes, I'm making myself crawl out of said foxhole for the weekend, though a copy of the proposal is coming home with me to read sometime this weekend. Monday, I will crawl back in to improve the narrative, add in missing sections and write the required attachments. The due date is June 15. The goal is to be done and have it submitted by June 12, a week from today.

At the moment, that feels doable. A lot of work and some more long days, but doable.


Open House

The open house was Saturday, and I have to say, it was a rousing success.

Saturday kicked off with the dedication of the Commons after former Starfish board member Rick Webster. It was Rick who had the original vision for what this building could be and his tenacity for making the project happen that brought it about. Sadly, Rick passed away late last summer before we'd even gotten the final green light to do the renovation.

Rick was the most excited about turning the garage into the Commons, and so, it was only fitting that we officially dedicated and named the room as the Rick and Patti Webster Commons.

The afternoon was full of great tours of the building with many of our current and incoming Scholars, mentors and donors. It just goes to show that good planning leads to good events. All the hardwork totally paid off.

A few photos from the morning's dedication:

The photo on top is the general view of the new Commons. The photo on the right is representatives from each of the businesses who donated to make this project happen.

This last photo is Starfish founder Mike Feeney with Patti Webster, presenting her with a copy of the plaque that names the Commons after Rick and her.


Open House

I am down to the wire on prep work for this open house.

In 24 hours, I'll be back at work for the final morning-of set-up and then it's showtime.

Today is cleaning day and finishing things day.

And I'd better get started...

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