Each new year brings the promise of a do over. You know, you wish you had done something differently and want to do it over. Maybe you would do it differently or just do it again because it was well worth the effort. I know I wish I could do some things over, or maybe more to the point, I really just wish I had an easy button. Now wouldn’t that be wonderful! But I’m reminded of an old saying. Anything that’s worth doing, is worth doing well. So I’m sitting here having meetings, planning the future and making sure all my T’s are crossed and all my I’s are dotted, and impatiently waiting…… and waiting. Sometimes telling the little voice in my head to shut up and sometimes just rolling with it and day dreaming of a time that the Museum will be a successful entity and contributor to the island. Now that’s something to look forward too! And I am still very optimistic that this dream will become reality soon.
In case you started this journey with me a little late, let me bring you up to speed. We have been at this since April 24th, 2014. On that glorious day I had in my hot little hands a signed agreement to purchase the Sweeting House. Barbara was there with me and we were so happy and hopeful that I think we both cried a little. What big wonderful dreams we have! And they will happen, just maybe not on our timeline. Not only do we want this for the community, we want it to belong to the community. Something that everyone can be proud of. And in order for that to happen, there are a few steps that I over looked. Yes I take full blame, but in my defense, I just didn’t know.
First and foremost, we need to set up the Man O War Heritage Museum as a Charitable Non-Profit foundation. The legality of it and the benefits are significant enough to warrant this step. Had I known it would take so long to achieve, I would have done this years ago. But hindsight is 20/20 as you know, so let’s deal with it and move along, right! We have been through 2 lawyers, 1 CPA, Government summer holidays, Christmas holidays and most recently VAT. But I’m confident it’s all down hill from here. To paraphrase our Prime Minister in his New Years address, it can only get better from here. And because I’m a hopeless optimist, I believe just that!
I have been told that the paperwork is exactly where it needs to be and is waiting on a signature. Actually it’s been sitting there for over a month now and if we don’t get some kind of word soon, I’m calling in favors. It’s nice to have friends in high places. But in all fairness, I will always exhaust all options before I resort to that. And in the spirit of full disclosure, the gentleman that compiled our paperwork suggested it might be time for a “push”….. If you know what I mean.
The other obvious hurdle is funds. It’s a big project and we have had fundraisers and several donations but we are still quite a bit away from our $200,000.00 goal. And I am so very proud to say that the community has hugely supported each and every fundraiser. We have had so much positive feedback from our little island, it truly is heart warming. And because of that, I know we are doing the right thing by growing the Museum.
I think there has been some hesitance with donations because we have been in limbo for so long. So I want to assure you that we are still moving forward, just not at the speed we had hoped for in the beginning. We have had the initial purchase price funds loaned to us, but my thought is I would rather not go into this project with a huge debt. I’m not the person in the group with the money background, but even I know the more you can put down in the beginning, the better off you are all around. So having said that I want everyone to know that we are set up in The States with the 501.(c)(3) status. Which means that all donations over $250.00 can be claimed on your taxes. It may sound a wee bit tacky to insert that information here, but I have had enough people ask me about this, that I thought it was worth mentioning.
As far as our timeline goes, we are forming committees, making phone calls and moving forward with everything we can while we wait on our Bahamian Government to get back into the swing of a new year. Something that takes us all a little while to adjust to. So say a little prayer, do a little dance or just think positive thoughts toward a speedy resolution to the purchase of the new and improved Man O War Heritage Museum!
Stay tuned, the best is yet to come!!
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