Center finances hold steady in March

Center summer camp
Board member Mike Thrasher shows a mock-up of the advertising graphics for The Center of Anna Maria Island’s summer camp. - Kristin Swain | Sun

ANNA MARIA – Finances at The Center of Anna Maria Island continue to improve, but the nonprofit still has a long way to go to reach board members’ hopes for the future.

In March, the Center’s finances ended with a $2,300 positive balance bringing the total to $11,308 in the black fiscal year to date. This puts the nonprofit $199,439 over this time last year.

“We are still performing much better than last year in expenses and revenue,” Treasurer Christine Hicks said.

Despite closing the month once again in the black, the Center’s finances remain $36,202 below expected budget projections of $47,510 fiscal year to date. Board Chair David Zaccagnino attributed part of the shortfall to a lack of financial support from the three Island cities. He said he would soon be approaching each city commission to ask for reconsideration of funding the Center before the fiscal year ends.

Hicks said two other reasons for the shortfall include a lack of fundraising and $100,000 in unbudgeted capital expenditures. Board members agreed they were all hopeful that upcoming summer camp programming and this year’s Giving Challenge will help strengthen the Center’s financial position through the summer months.

“It’s an exciting time for the Center,” interim Executive Director Carl Weeks said.

Weeks announced that he hired grant writer Yvette Little to join the Center’s team to help seek out grant opportunities.

With just under a month to go before Weeks bids the Center goodbye, board member Karen Harllee said final interviews are underway to select a new permanent executive director. Out of 172 applicants, the pool was narrowed down to three candidates who made it to in-person interviews with board members and the Center’s hiring committee. Final interviews are scheduled for this week.

Also beginning this week is registration for the Center’s summer camp programs. Each week has a different theme and features a weekly field trip for children up to sixth grade and two weekly trips for teens in seventh to 10th grade.

In the kindergarten to sixth-grade camp, children will be able to choose between a sports or crafts elective in the morning and participate in group activities in the afternoon. Camp runs from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Registration is required by the Tuesday prior to the week of camp the child is attending. The cost is $165 per week or $140 per week for Center annual family members. A $25 registration fee is applied to new campers. The cost for the teens camp is $100 per week.

Returning specialty camps are drama and sailing camps. Drama camp is a nine-day camp held at the Island Players Theater July 9-12 and July 16-20. Two public performances will be held July 20. The cost is $240 for both weeks. Children ages 6 to 13 are invited to attend.

Sailing camp takes to the waters of Bimini Bay in two sessions, June 11-14 and June 18-21. Campers sail the high seas daily from 9 a.m. to noon. The cost is $175 and ages 8 to 14 are welcome to attend.

For more information on summer camps call the Center at 941-778-1908.

Zaccagnino said he anticipates this year to be the busiest summer ever at the Center. “It’s going to be an exciting summer at the Center,” he said.