Down East Seniors ClubPublished 11:30pm Saturday, July 6, 2013
The Down East Seniors Club held their weekly meeting on July 3 at the Washington Blind Center. After an invocation by Ed Sample, Dick Paul provided some humor, and President Bob Diefendorf gave health reports on several members.
Program Director Dave Kelly introduced Jackie Woolard, Executive Director of the Partnership for the Sounds, a non-profit organization serving three area counties in addition to Beaufort County and parent organization of the NC Estuarium in Washington.
She made a spirited presentation about the fiscal challenges facing the Partnership. Mrs. Woolard discussed the cutbacks in funding from the North Carolina legislature, which will reduce their allocation from $391,000 annually to $58,000, the latter amount to be used only for the Estuarium.
The total Partnership budget is about $794,000, which funds operations at 4 facilities and additional programming. Some $400,000 comes from three of the four county governments (Bertie, Hyde, Tyrrell), cities
within those counties, private contributions, admissions and gift shop profits, and other sources. Such a reduction would severely cut back the normal services provided by the Partnership, including possibly closingdown or drastically reducing activities of the Estuarium.
She stated the City of Washington has always been supportive and Mayor Archie Jennings is very aware of the situation since he is on the PfS Board. Also, State Representative Paul Tine has tried to reverse the funding cuts in the House, so far to no avail.
Mrs. Woolard answered questions for some time. She said the Partnership would be very appreciative of any effort Club members might make to encourage restoration of the funding cuts.
Bob Diefendorf won the 50/50 drawing.