Below is an email update from Kevin MacKay that arrived late last night.
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Apologies for the lateness of this update, and many thanks to everyone who came out to the meeting held last Sunday at the Sky Dragon Centre. Your concern, passion, emotion and ideas were invaluable, and the meeting went a long way toward buoying the spirits of Coop members and supporters. Thanks also to all those people who have phoned and emailed with suggested solutions and offers of support. These communications have been warmly received, and every suggestion is being considered in turn (there’s a lot of them!).
The situation as it stands is that the Coop is still looking for a first mortgage, in the amount of $270,000 (this is the final, accurate figure, not the $260,000 estimate mentioned earlier). In addition, the Coop needs help with some expenses concerning building appraisal, legal and accounting fees. The deadline for Teacher’s pulling the mortgage remains April 18th, which is a tight timeline.
Presented at the meeting on Sunday was the idea that the Coop needs to undergo structural changes in order to ensure its long-term financial viability, to improve its effectiveness, and to better involve the community. These changes involve modifying the Coop model and opening it up to different stakeholder groups, including community members and partner organizations. This process will take months to complete, but it needs to start now.
The most significant next step in the campaign will be a larger, more structured community meeting. At this meeting, the Coop’s vision and operating history will be presented in detail, along with the structural challenges it has faced and continues to face. Coop board members will explain the various aspects of the Sky Dragon project, and reveal a plan for its renewal, growth and sustainability. Most importantly, community members will be asked to contribute their ideas and to help the board collectively generate solutions.
Immediately, the Save the Dragon Campaign could use the following help:
- A $270,000 first mortgage (provided by one person, ten people, 20 people, etc….)
- Pro-bono legal and accounting help
- Financial Donations (we will be confirming their status for charitable receipts shortly)
- Help putting up posters and handing out flyers for the Community Meeting
- Help disseminating update emails
- Volunteer help for upcoming events, including the May 1st Mayday Festival, the April 17th & 19th Halton Eco-Fest, and other Centre projects as needed
- Tangible ways in which the Coop can be supported (know anyone who wants to buy some locally roasted Fair Trade / Organic Coffee?
- Becoming a member of the new Coop! (details TBA at the Community Meeting)
If you are able to help with any of the above items, please don’t hesitate to contact the Coop. We will return your email or pone message as quickly as we are able.
Right now some of the most important things you could do are to tell as many people as you can about the event below, try to come out to it yourself, or volunteer to help organize it. We need folks to help us set up the event and promote it, artists to decorate it, musicians to play at it, and volunteers to help it run…
Save the Dragon
Monday March 29
Ricca’s Furniture Building
228 James St. North, Hamilton
7 pm to 9 pm
Presentations by Sky Dragon boardmembers, community consultation, art, music, refreshments. All are invited, all voices welcome.