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FOKP Minutes

Monthly Board Meeting
By Randy Wells, FOKP Sec'y
Dec 11, 1996, 17:25

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Friends of Kennedy Playground
Board Meeting Minutes
December 11th, 1996

The Board of Directors of Friends of Kennedy Playground (FOKP) met at the Kennedy Playground Recreation Center, pursuant to a call by a majority of members of the Board. The following members, constituting a quorum of the Board, were present: Colestia Barber, Phyllis Eaddy, Peter Easley, chair, Kermit Reynolds, and Randy Wells. Also present were Advisory Board members Y.R. Radhika and Cherie Ward, and Rec Center staff members Arthur Price and Kiki Long.

The Board received and reviewed copies of the minutes for last month’s meeting, November 6th, 1996.

A motion was duly made, seconded and passed,

RESOLVED, that the minutes presented by the Secretary for the Board meeting of November 6th, 1996, be and hereby are adopted as the official record of proceedings for that meeting.

The Board discussed development of a formal role for the Advisory Board. We need to develop a plan and give a real sense of responsibility and work to draw out the skills and contributions of all members. The Board discussed what the potential role would be for an Advisory Board members, including maintaining relations with a particular group or organization, carrying information from FOKP and about the Playground to that group, obtaining participation and support for the Playground, and obtaining feedback on Playground and FOKP plans for the future. The Advisory Board must then provide a broad base of support for the Playground by engaging a broad cross-section of the community.

The Board discussed, as an example, the role of Advisory Board member Cherie Ward, who is acting as liaison to Immaculate Conception School. Suggestions for actions included maintaining contact with the school’s PTA, Principal, Advisory Board, and the Church’s Monsignor. Another role would be to identify all members of FOKP with a connection to the school, so that they could help her in communicating and engaging the school in the events and plans of the Playground.

The discussion continued as to how FOKP could broaden representation in the Advisory Board. In particular, how do we get business representation? Civic association representation? What gaps do we need to fill? Examples were Rhode Island and P Street Neighborhood Association, I Have A Dream Neighborhood Association, Giant and the Greater Shaw CDC, Springfield Baptist, and others.

Kermit, the chair of the Board committee on nominations, noted that two long-standing members of FOKP, Lillian Gordon and Jeanetta Gayden, have committed to serving on the Advisory Board. Their role and participation in FOKP has been important, and they would contribute greatly to the organization.

A motion was duly made, seconded, and passed unanimously,

RESOLVED, that Lillian Gordon and Jeanetta Gayden be, and hereby are, chosen as members of the Advisory Board of Friends of Kennedy Playground.

Kermit also proposed Rodney Foxworth, newly elected ANC 2F Commissioner, as a candidate for the Advisory Board. His nomination was received favorably, but laid on the table pending confirmation of his interest.

The Board briefly discussed the relationship between the Board, the Advisory Board, and the Kennedy Playground Task Force. The Task Force was originally setup to include the formal participation of Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners 2C in the process of planning the new Kennedy Playground renovations. Representative members included two from FOKP, each of the six ANC 2C members, and one each from interested civic groups including SNIC, ECCA, and I Have A Dream Neighborhood Association.

The Board then proceeded to discuss the potential role for the Board of Trustees. The questions asked were: What do they do? What other models are there? How do other groups operate this type of body?

The Secretary reported that the next item on the agenda, the vision statement, was not yet prepared for review by the Board. The Chair asked that the Secretary mail a copy of the draft vision statement to each Board member, and that its further discussion would be placed on next month’s agenda.

The chair announced that the next matter to come before the Board was fundraising training recommended by Y.R. Radhika. As Advisory Board member and Development Coordinator, Radhika is requesting funding for a one-day fundraising program to be provided by the Foundation Center. This would include a proposal writing seminar, information resources, individualized assistance, and librarian support, and would advance her skills in seeking funding for the Playground.

Radhika reported that the seminar is scheduled for the 18th of December, and will be held in New York City. She is willing to pay for her travel and other costs, if FOKP is willing to cover the $150 seminar fee. She also noted that she is meeting with others volunteering for the FOKP Fundraising Committee, including Darryl Moment, Jim Shulman, and Ted Small, who has offered to serve in a review capacity for any proposals produced.

Kermit expressed his and the Board’s appreciation for Radhika’s efforts and success in attracting quality assistance. Phyllis expressed interest in the Board receiving a briefing on this capacity building from Radhika.
A motion was duly made, seconded and passed unanimously,

RESOLVED, that Radhika present a receipt for reimbursement in the amount of $150 from the Foundation Center for her participation in a one-day proposal writing seminar, and that FOP seek reimbursement for this amount from CBI funds.

The chair thanked Radhika, and noted that the next order of business was the upcoming Holiday Party on Saturday, December 14th, from 1 to 3 pm. We are expecting approximately 50 kids to attend. Cookies and punch will be provided, the Board discussed what types of presents we might be able to provide. The chair mentioned the idea of small backpacks, perhaps embroidered with a Kennedy Playground logo, but that this appeared to expensive and there is too little time to prepare in either case. Perhaps this would be possible for an idea in the future. The Board liked the idea of something educational-oriented, gender neutral, which advertises the playground and of an open age range.

Kermit expressed concern about spending funds prior to establishing organization finances. He also wondered how we could get kids working for an item, rather than just giving, so as to have a positive influence on behavior. Phyllis suggested that something small would be nice instead. The idea of collecting gifts well in advance would be a good idea for the future.

Randy suggested that instead of gifts, perhaps we could buy arts and crafts supplies, for making ornaments and other holiday items--and that this would be the focus of the activities on the day of the party. Phyllis offered to go with Randy to get the supplies, if the Board approved. Kermit concurred with the idea, and made the following motion.

A motion was duly made, seconded and passed unanimously,

RESOLVED, that no more than $200 be authorized for reimbursement, from CBI funds, for the expense of supplies for ornaments and decorations for the Holiday Party.

The chair proceeded with a report on the activities of the Kennedy Playground Task Force. He indicated that Ronnie McGhee is likely to be hired for a negotiated services contract to take the existing plans to the next level.

He also noted that there had been discussion at the Task Force about renaming the Kennedy Playground to Kennedy Park or Kennedy Recreation. The subject was discussed. The Board expressed concern about the lost of historic continuity with a name change. Radhika also noted that fundraising actually could benefit by our designation as a playground, by which we stand out from a crowd of “parks”.

A motion was duly made, seconded and passed unanimously,

WHEREAS, Kennedy Playground has a history and continuity both inside and outside the community,
RESOLVED, that Friends of Kennedy Playground support keeping the name Kennedy Playground, and instruct FOP representatives to the Task Force to support that name.

The chair also reported that the Task Force was pushing the Dept. Of Public Works (DPW) to contract out for fence repairs.

The Task Force also had engaged the Federal General Services Administration (GSA) in a discussion about possibly engaging their contractors in the playground project. GSA has indicated that this cannot be done, but that they would instead provide us with the information to approach the contractors ourselves, together with DPW and FOP. GSA would support our approach with a letter as well. The chair will report back on further developments on this and other Task Force topics.

The Board held a general discussion about the funding status from the city. In essence, it is currently slated to come from funds in the capital budget, but we will need to get organized to assure that it stays on the Mayor’s and city’s agenda in the first months of 1997.

The chair noted that the next item to come before the Board was the issue of little league teams and outfitting for the Spring. This would include a uniform for a Kennedy Playground team. Arthur Price has some information on little league which he presented to the Board. He estimates that about 20 uniforms would be needed, including shirts, pants, hats, socks and stirrups. A ball park figure for the cost would be $650 to $700. The chair noted that we need to start planning for this expense, so we can be prepared in the near future to seek funding.

This of course is added to a more general “Wish List” for the Playground:

--Kennedy Playground little league baseball team uniforms and equipment
--Microwave
--Boom Box (tape, CD, radio)
--Office supplies

A motion was duly made, seconded, and passed,

RESOLVED, that the next meeting of the Board shall be January 8th, 1996, beginning at 6:30pm at the Kennedy Playground Recreation Center, and that the next general meeting of Friends of Kennedy Playground shall be January 11th, 1996, beginning at 11am at the Kennedy Playground Recreation Center.

No other business coming before the Board, the chair moved that the meeting be adjourned, which was agreed to unanimously.

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