Following is the Annual Report as required by the By-Laws of the Friends. I trust you will find it interesting and reflective of the success of the activities and programs that we have sponsored over the past year in our mission to support the Landing.
We welcome you to our new and renewed slate of officers for the next three years and look forward to our work in concert with your support and that of the many volunteers and visitors to the Landing.
Thanks very much, and all best wishes,
Gary Nichols, Past President, Board of Directors, Friends of Charles Towne Landing
Friends of Charles Towne Landing – Elected Officers Board of Directors, 2018
Pat Ezell, chair
The current number of members of the Friends of Charles Towne Landing is 64. Pat Ezell and Lynn West pooled their efforts to increase membership through attendance at the Volunteer Fair held at the James Island Senior Center and at an event at the Animal Forest at the Landing. One means of support for the programs and activities of Charles Towne Landing is membership in the Friends. All membership contributions go to these activities.
The categories of membership are:
Lord Proprietor $500
Membership contributions may be mailed to:
Friends of Charles Towne Landing
P.O. Box 31731
Charleston, SC 29417
We are a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization
Caroline Thibault, chair
This past year we have tried to recruit volunteers by using the website. Two members of the board attended a volunteer recruitment fair and managed to enlist several new volunteers.
Most of the volunteer efforts went towards keeping track as well as recruiting the volunteers to work both the New Year’s Race as well as the Race the Landing series of five races in the spring.
We had a volunteer pool of 55 people to help with some or all of the 5K series. Lots of these people worked the majority of the races.
Sarah L. Stuhr, chair
We usually begin our year with the annual meeting in September. Last year, 2017, due to hurricane Matthew our meeting was cancelled and not rescheduled. We sent out the annual reports via email to our Friends membership.
Our committee consists of the following Board members: Pat Caldwell, Par Ezell, Missee Fox, Paige Stowell and Caroline Thibault.
In January the Board provides the food for the New Year’s Day Race the Landing. Our committee coordinates the soups, muffins and kitchen help for this endeavor.
On April 19, 2018, we hosted the annual Volunteer and Staff Appreciation Dinner attended by over 80 people in Founders Hall. Ben Moise again donated his time and cooking expertise of a Lowcountry boil. Our committee never works alone, all board members help in all endeavors the Friends group undertakes whether it be making deserts or soliciting door prizes for the dinner. Twenty-eight local businesses responded to our solicitations this year. This dinner was the final event of the 2017-2018 year for our committee prior to the Race the Landing (RTL) Series beginning in May.
Lisa Deaton, chair
Participation: Over 800 runners, walkers, children and handicapped participated in the six 5K Races, from January through July 2018. Registration fees included awards, medals, and a themed dinner after each race.
All net proceeds of the yearly 5K Race the Landing Series races are dedicated exclusively to the Charles Towne Landing.
Fritz Goulding and Pat Caldwell
Update on Legare Waring House – The Garden Club of Charleston continues to maintain the garden. During the last year, the members have weeded, cleaned the bushes of vines, fertilized and placed pine straw in the beds.
Hurricane Florence dropped a few tree branches and Spanish moss around the house and in the beds. The beds and ground were cleaned on September 18, 2018. A wedding is scheduled this weekend.
The boxwoods continue to be a concern to the members. Some of them have died and been removed. They were fertilized twice this year. The club is hoping they will improve and will continue to monitor.
Approximately 80 bales of pine straw were placed around the house and beds by the lagoon in August. The knock out roses and camellias are large and healthy.
The Garden Club of Charleston held their provisional class of 2018 coffee and orientation at the house on September 5, 2018. Approximately 50 garden club members attended. The provisional members signed up to work on the garden.
Plans are to plant more azaleas and hydrangeas in late fall, continue cleaning out the azaleas of vines, and place pine straw in January.
The garden committee meets the first and third Tuesday of the month in the morning.
The following are members of the Waring garden committee: Beth Burn, Karen Gilson, Nancy Hoffman, Liese Nichols, Jeanne Sabback, Chantal Simpson, and Pam Strange. Provisional members: Whitney Jones and Elizabeth Gray, Chairman – Harriet Brouthers, and Pat Caldwell and Honorary Garden Club member: Fritz Goulding
Fiscal year 2018 was another good year for Charles Towne Landing. The park had its sixth-best bottom line ever posting a self-sufficiency of 88.5% and had its highest retail sales year since 2002 with sales of $144,688. Revenues generated were $1,320,000 and bottom-line expenditures were $1,493,000. While admissions held steady from previous years, there were several factors that affected the bottom-line this year. A couple of events that adversely affected the bottom-line were park closings in September due to Tropical Storm Irma that caused cancellations of several Founders Hall and Legare Waring events and having to issue $15,000 in refunds. The second event was in January due to the snow and ice storm. The park closed for five days with the Animal Forest being closed for six due to damage. While these two events forced closing of the park, there was record rainfall in the second half of the year that caused visitation to plummet in the spring season as well. The Adventure maintenance continues to be a major financial burden on the park each year. We had hoped to perform minimal maintenance for the sum of $69,000 but rot in the stem of the bow was found and that repair added another $44,000 and an extra two weeks to the time the Adventure spent away from the park. We expect next year’s haul-out to exceed $200,000. It is out for bid right now.
Some positives were the Eclipse event on August 21, 2017. This event brought in extra revenue during what would normally be a low visitation time of the year. Another positive was that the Animal Forest added new bison this year and Elks Lodge 252 partnered with us near the end of the year to commit to sponsoring the Elk habitat for the next three years. Donations from the Friends of CTL has enabled us to move forward with secondary containment fencing around the Puma holding cages and around the bear habitat entry gates. The construction plans are currently being finalized by our engineering department. Once I get those back these projects will be put out for bid.
On the human resource side of things, this year was the year of change at the park. I have a new boss and the park service has a new director but at the park level, Administrative assistant, Beth Byrnes, was promoted to Events Coordinator right at the beginning of the year. The Administrative Asst. position was held vacant for the entire year. Trades Specialist, William Warren was hired in August after being held vacant for about 9 months. The Maintenance Supervisor position became vacant in October with the resignation of Jason Walker and was held vacant for the rest of the year. Jessica Johnson was hired into the Asst. Zoo Curator position in May after the departure of Kathy Wilson, and of course, 33-year employee Veronica Robinson retired as of June 30 and she was someone who cannot be replaced. That position has been re-classified to a maintenance position and we are currently in the process of recruiting to fill it. These changes are just the salaried positions, there have been quite a number of changes in the hourly positions as well and also the ending of the sales and marketing contract with the Convention and Visitors Bureau that ended Sales Coordinator Julie Ann Oldham’s time with us. We hope to add another position to our Events team to take care of sales duties, but marketing will be handled by the PRT sales and marketing office out of Columbia. The six-month lull during this changeover had a negative effect on sales and caused a substantial increase in “start-up” costs to take-over the marketing. This caused a decrease in profit from rentals of $114,000 which was the primary cause of the decrease in self-sufficiency.
We have started looking forward to the 350th anniversary of the founding of Charles Towne in 2020 and I have been serving on the City of Charleston Steering Committee for the planning of this event. Rhoda Green has been selected to serve on the Commission for this event. City Councilman Peter Shahid serves as the chair.
As in years past, in large thanks to you, we had another successful year at Charles Towne Landing! The support of the Friends and other groups like the Garden Club of Charleston sponsors like the Elks Lodge, Camp Road Middle School, the Waring descendants Billy Backer, Armand Derfner, and David Moltke-Hansen has been invaluable. I couldn’t do this without your support, the park and staff couldn’t do this without your volunteerism and hard work to provide financial support. We’ve established a maintainable consistency over the last decade and with your continued support, I believe the best years are still to come.
The Animal Forest is a natural habitat zoo with animals indigenous to South Carolina when the settlers arrived. Visitors will see Bears, Shorebirds, Wolves, Otters, Pumas, Bobcats, Turkeys, Vultures, Sheep, Pig, Goats, Skunks, Bald Eagle, Deer, Bison, and Elk (Clark).
The Animal Forest has a brand-new wayside dedicated to Jim Fowler. It can be found at the entrance of the zoo. If you would like more information about the Animal Forest, how you can get involved and donations that are needed please go to the Charles Towne Landing website at friendsofcharlestownelanding.org or visit our Facebook page at Friends-of-Charles-Towne-Landing.
Special Events throughout the year include:
Solar Eclipse, Enrichment Day, Toddler Tuesday, Dream night at the Zoo, Fall Frolic, Bear Awareness Day, Read to the Hog program, Citadel Cadets workday in the Zoo.
The Charleston Elk’s Lodge 242 has named Clark as their mascot. They held a Clark the Elk Benefit July 28th with a Silent Auction and Concert on his behalf.
October 4th – St. John Catholic School is hosting A Blessing of the Animals Ceremony in honor of St. Francis. Park visitors and surrounding Catholic School students, teachers, and families are invited to have their pet blessed by the St. John Catholic priest and then tour the Animal Forest. The students will partake in a field trip of the entire park after the ceremony.
November 3rd – Annual Fall Frolic 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm. Watch as the animals receive fall-themed enrichment that bring out their natural behavior, and even play a few games yourself.
Derek Poston, Treasurer
STATEMENT OF REVENUES AND EXPENSES
FOR THE TWO MONTHS ENDED AUGUST 31, 2018