Center shows gains, losses this summer

Center shows gains, losses this summer

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The board of directors at the William Way LGBT Community Center met this week for its regular public session, giving special recognition to center affiliate John “Jack” Wilcox and reporting on the center’s financial and program status.

Treasurer Ann Butchart read a resolution approved by the board at the July 21 meeting that commended Wilcox for his longtime volunteer work and support at the center. Butchart also announced that the center will name its library and archive after Wilcox.

“This is not about me or anything I do, it’s about bringing us together as a community to support this center and the other vital organizations in our community,” Wilcox said in accepting the honor. “It was a no-brainer when I saw the opportunity to be of service to the organization, not for the benefit to myself but to the thousands of men and women who come through that door every year. What I want is to maintain the organization and make sure we can keep those doors open seven days a week, 365 days a year. This center represents our values and our growth as LGBTQI men and women in the tri-state area. Our community deserves the best, and we’re on our way to fulfilling that goal.”

There will be an official reception for Wilcox in the fall.

Also present for the July 21 meeting were board co-chairs Emilie Carr and David Michelson, secretary Eric Ashton and members Chris Pinto, Leon King, Liz Reasey, Moira Mulroney, Deb Francesco, Ted Greenberg, Stephanie Gross and Jeff Sotland. Members Joe Dougherty and Al Besse were not present.

Center executive director ’Dolph Ward Goldenburg reported that the facility continues to report gains in numerous areas.

The organization has experienced a more than 10-percent influx in participation in center programs and events this fiscal year and has also seen a 25-percent increase in the number of visitors to the building when compared with the same period in the previous year.

The building currently has 12 tenants, constituting an 80-percent occupancy rate; while the building had a full 15 tenants at this time last year, its rate of occupancy is up from 71 percent in April.

The center is also now operating with a full staff. Goldenburg announced the center has hired Lisa Shoemaker as coordinator of the Connecting Generations senior program. Shoemaker will assume the position July 27.

Goldenburg also reported that Phillip Prillman will assume the role of director of facilities by the end of the month, while the center also brought on Qrescent Mali Manson to spearhead the Robert R. Rosenbaum Oral History Project.

Regarding finances, gross income for the month of June was $72,727, while it was projected to be $39,881. Both grants and individual giving in June were higher than anticipated.

The year-to-date gross income stands at $806,868, about $407,847 more than expected. The board attributed this overage to the $350,000 grant from the City of Philadelphia for the elevator project; the center has received all but $13,900 of the grant.

Total expenses for June were $41,625.84, which is $3,351 less than projected. Lower operating costs and personnel vacancies accounted for the lower expenses.

Year-to-date, the organization has incurred $398,864.55 in expenses — $13,970 less than anticipated, mostly attributed to personnel vacancies.

The net income for June was $31,101.58, while the center projected it would have a loss of $5,096. Once the $26,373 in expenses for the elevator construction are factored in, however, the actual income is $4,728.58.

Although construction on the center’s long-awaited elevator is complete, the organization still has to raise $42,500 for the project. Goldenburg noted, however, that if the community can generate $22,500 of that price tag by the end of September, the Sandy River Charitable Foundation has pledged to cover the other $20,000.

Also coming down the pike on Oct. 9 is the annual Indigo Ball, which is 90-percent sold out. Goldenburg announced that Wachovia has signed on as the presenting sponsor of the event.

On Oct. 15, the center will open its doors to an exhibit that traces the history of LGBT persecution during the Holocaust, and the organization will also launch an exhibit this fall of center juried art winner David Kube’s work.

The community can also take advantage of 30 classes beginning this fall in the center’s Way Gay U program.

Following the formal portion of the board meeting, members undertook a new tradition — their meet-a-board-member segment. Sotland, the center’s newest board member, appointed last month, introduced himself and talked about his 14-year career as an attorney and his involvement in the LGBT community.

Jen Colletta can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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