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  • Subject: Re: FIRST LOOK AUCTION!!!
  • From: "Bill Meyer" njhosta@hotmail.com
  • Date: Sat, 1 Feb 2003 11:14:23 -0500

Hi Walter,
          It's only fair to ask. I don't really know all the fine details
about what expenses the HostaLibrary has, nor have I seen their books, but
the biggest steady expense is for server space. As you know, even though you
might volunteer your time to build something in the internet, you have to
have someplace to put it. The server people offer several types of plans for
differing amounts of space and connection access pipelines. Because the
HostaLibrary is one of the very largest sites out there with thousands of
photos, it needs a pretty high-end server package. At a guess, it is costing
a few hundred a year. In addition, the Library has several times now offered
free CD's to any who wanted one. This even included free shipping. Quite a
few were given out, and that cost a fair amount in dollars, even though all
the time and effort was donated. Beyond that, I can't think of any other
"hard" expenses, but there probably are some that are unavoidable no matter
how much we all donate time and effort. I, for one, have no doubts that any
of the money donated in the HostaLibrary start-up auction has ever been used
for anything other than to give us all such great free services.
           The HostaLibrary is sort of the "Crown Jewel" of plant websites,
and there isn't anything else like it out there. Even if you don't have a
computer, and more and more people do each year, you can go to your local
library or a friend or relative's house to look something up there. I'm sure
everyone can see how valuable it is. As you know, it takes a pretty fair
amount of bookkeeping skills and extra effort to prepare financial reports
for the public, and the Library is not an organization with hundreds of
people to call on for jobs like that. It also is not an organization where
dues-paying members are owed a report on how the money they send in is
spent. I say that just to be fair. In truth, as you know, in these hosta
societies and other plant organizations, the people running them usually are
paying numerous small expenditures out of pocket to keep things running on a
daily basis, and all of this usually doesn't end up carefully recorded in
the books. If anything, all of us who work on these volunteer efforts,
yourself included, end up donating a little cash too here and there because
it's easier to just pay a $1.00 postal bill with our own money than it is to
give the receipt to the treasurer and get the money out of the funds and
over time these add up.
          Remember that it costs nothing to use the HostaLibrary. Not only
does this mean this great resource is absolutely free like so few things in
life are, but it means that absolutely no money has come in to the Library
since it began. There was last year's Great Photo Contest donations, but all
of that went directly to the winners. The original funds to get the Library
started are what were used to pay for server space and free CD's for the
last few years, and this steady drain has taken it's toll on the funds
raised in the HostaLibrary start-up auction. We at First Look are happy to
be able to help keep the HostaLibrary funded for more years of great service
by splitting our auction proceeds with such a worthy cause. Our hats are off
to Bob for all the great work he's done there and the tremendous service
he's provided for us all.
          So what is it you'd like to donate? I've seen the pictures of some
of your introductions in the Library and they look pretty nice. :-) I really
like 'Oxford Blue', but 'Gramma Emmy' looks pretty nice too. Then again
there's 'Stringbean'.
                                                 ..........Bill Meyer

> > This year we will be splitting our proceeds with
> > the HostaLibrary.
> Bill:  As it relates to the HOSTA LIBRARY............I love it howver it
> my opinion that this was an all volunteer effort by Bob Axemear.  If not,
> what are his annual costs?
> And do others share my opinion or am I the only naive one in the bunch.
> Remember, in collecting money and apending/donating same, you hold a
> responsibility to your members( all the golks in Region One I imagine).
> When you donate to AHS, they publicly publish their financials and if
> read the "JOURNAL" they know  and understand the situation.  However, I
> believe the majority have any idea of the financials with the Hosat
> You hold a fiduciary responsibility and, IMHO, should not only publish
> financials but also explain the situation with the Hosta Library.
> How many folks have computers?  And therefore access to this site?
> These are the questions and a few more I continued to ask myself about TS
> over the years, feeling strongly that I held and the Board acted with the
> membershipps money.
> My opinion; maybe others.......certainly we don't want an Enron in the
> society family.  They're in our paper every day as it relates to volunteer
> orgs and monies mismanaged and/or mis-spent.
> Walter Cullerton
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
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