STATE OF THE BENTLEY VILLAGE FOUNDATION
Brian Hitch & Diane Halas
On January 22, the Bentley Village Foundation celebrated its third birthday. We began three years ago with a vision for programs that would benefit Bentley Village employees and their families, our fellow residents and our community. With the participation of our members and the unfailing generosity of this community, we are happy to report today that these programs are in place and that a sound financial base has been established to support these programs well into the future.
What are these programs?
Our “Bentley Wings” Competitive Scholarship program awards scholarships only to Bentley Village employees and their children and dependents. Scholarships are overseen by the Scholarship Committee and administered day-to-day under contract with the Community Foundation of Collier County. Unlike most scholarships, ours follow the students annually renewing until completion. As of December 31, we had awarded 35 scholarships, transferring over $181,000 to CCFC for distribution to accredited institutions to launch these awardees’ education. Seven students have graduated to date.
Our “Healthy Aging” programs utilize special projects, grants, and collaboration to support, encourage, develop, and implement activities, projects and programs that foster and maintain autonomy, independence, and active and satisfying engagement with others and develop and maintain optimal mental, intellectual, social, cultural, and physical wellbeing. This program is overseen by the Special Projects Committee. Last year’s budget expended over $7,500 for these programs benefiting residents in Independent Living, the Care Center and the ALR.
Bentley Village Thrift Shop and its resident grant program and activities were a lively addition to our offerings. Over 70 volunteers, supported by a 9-member leadership team, operate the weekly thrift shop. Friends of Bentley Village, a volunteer Resident Council Committee, receives and reviews grant requests from resident clubs, activity groups and all three Lifestyle programs and recommends annual funding for activities consonant with the Foundation’s tax exempt purposes. In 2018, FOBV recommended 22 different service activities for funding totaling $35,157 in actual expenditures plus the operating costs of the shop. These included the Art Group, the Library, the Plant House, Belles and Beaus, and many healthy living activities created by residents or offered by Lifestyles in all facilities. $62,000 is budgeted to be distributed to these groups in 2019. Special grants are available.
All of these three major initiatives were structured to meet our healthy aging goals, to deliver a side benefit of providing meaningful volunteer opportunities to residents and to increase cross-generational communication and interaction.
How are these programs funded? The Foundation is funded through contributions from our membership and major development activities structured to actively involve the community:
The Foundation’s primary source of funds is individual gifts – most coming as part of our annual membership drive plus spontaneous gifts and memorials and tributes throughout the year. The annual Membership Drive occurs in May every year with appeals sent out from President Diane Halas to all residents of Bentley Village and to some non-Bentley supporters. The May 2018 drive resulted in donations of $186,242 and membership of nearly 200 households, an increase from the 2017 drive. We deeply appreciate our members’ continued generosity to the Foundation.
Our annual Scholars Ball was held on January 19, 2018. With the theme of “Moonlight Serenade”, it featured the Glenn Miller Band. The event was sold out at 150 attendees. A new feature encompassed a 400 ticket “Chance Drawing”. Gross receipts were $43,787, adding $30,000 to the “Bentley Wings” scholarship fund.
Our annual “Dollars for Scholars” Charity Golf Tournament was held on November 16, 2018. A full field of golfers was treated to registration gifts, a ball drop, and a putting contest prior to the golf event. After the golf, there was a gourmet dinner, a silent auction and a 50/50 raffle, a new feature available to all Bentley residents. The golf tournament brought in $57,050, netting $49,000 for the scholarship fund.
The Bentley Village Thrift Shop became a new source of revenue, when it moved under the umbrella of the Foundation In January 2018. It brought its cadre of 70-plus volunteers (including a 9- member leadership team) and rich history of well over 20 years of support for resident activities. Donations of personal property from residents are accepted by the shop which resells them on Fridays. The Thrift Shop added significant assets in the form of a one-time transfer of reserves plus new weekly revenue from merchandise sales. Just under $100,000 of the transferred reserves was transferred into an earmarked Endowment Fund to provide long-term stability for thrift shop grant program.
What is the Foundation’s financial status going into 2019?
Bentley Village Foundation commenced 2018 with assets of $472,103 and finished the year with $709,348. The additional $237,245 resulted from our development efforts and the addition of the Bentley Village Thrift Shop to our operations. Included in these assets is our long-planned Endowment Fund. Because the Foundation started the year with significant assets, the board determined that the time was right to establish the Endowment Fund. This fund would allow us to meet our long-term commitments to our scholars and programs in leaner years and provide long-term financial stability. The endowment would also provide a vehicle for some of our members wishing to make major donations and create named funds. Mid-year, $300,000 was invested with the Community Foundation of Collier County in a carefully selected balance of investments under professional management. Other funds were added during the year. (Note: Another $100,000 was transferred to Endowments at the beginning of 2019.) With our funding secure, we can increase our scholarship program.
Our success is yours!
The Bentley Village Foundation has no paid staff. Our amazing cadre of volunteers racked up over 11,000 hours last year. It is the efforts of these dedicated people and the amazing support of our members, donors, and sponsoring organizations and businesses that allow us to meet our goals in 2018 – and every year. We also want especially to thank the administration and staff of Vi at Bentley Village for their generosity with their time and resources, their cooperation, and their daily of our support of our goals.