MESSAGE FROM FOGI PRESIDENT SHARON O'NEILL
This past spring we implemented an annual membership drive. Thanks to all who have renewed their membership. The key to continued success for the Friends of Grand Isle depends upon the strength of our members. Our membership drive is going well. As of June 7th, we have had 155 renewals. If you would like to be listed in our new directory, you still have time to renew your membership in the next couple of weeks. Old members may mail in their card from our mail-out or you can renew or join through our website under “membership” through the Pay- Pal system with your credit card. We plan to have the new directory out later this summer.
If the old members have discarded their renewal information, we are planning to send you another letter. We are asking for home phone numbers, cell numbers and email addresses. We plan to include home phone numbers in the new directory, unless you indicate otherwise. Cell numbers and email information will only be used for our purpose to communicate directly with our membership and will not be given to any third parties.
Those of you who have updated your membership and emails with us, you should be receiving emails from Bob Stewart concerning issues regarding Grand Isle. During this latest disaster with the oil spill, I know we have appreciated getting this up to date information. Know that we cannot continue indefinitely, sending information to our older members, so we urge you to renew, to keep your membership current.
As you can see, we are now updating our website more frequently. This has been one of our top priorities for the year. We were able to purchase new software in order to update the site by board members, which can be done more efficiently and it is much more cost effective. Continue to check out this site for updates concerning the oil spill.
We are looking into grant options regarding how we can give assistance to Grand Isle during this latest disaster. We are still waiting to hear from some agencies. We have spoken to some of the businesses on the island and they are encouraging us to come to the island. They are open for business. As individuals, we can help by visiting the island. We know we can’t fish or swim, but we encourage people to go to the island, and visit the restaurants, hotels, and stores. The beaches are open for sunbathing and walks. For those of us who are camp owners, take this time to do that project you need to do on your camp. With our presence on the island this summer, we can help and give hope to residents of the island.
We held our third annual FOGI DAY on May 1st. It was well attended. Mayor Camardelle made an address focussing on the oil spill. Bob Stewart spoke on FOGI’s latest ventures regarding the island. As president, I conducted a general meeting of membership. We voted on new board members. We would like to welcome our new board members who are doing an outstanding job for our organization. They are as follows: Adam Unger, Larry Fremin, Cathy Funk, Al Kovatch, Horace and Jane Myers. After the general meeting we all enjoyed boiled crawfish and music by Wayne Keller. A good time had by all!
Thanks for your continued interest in Grand Isle, the “Jewel of the Louisiana Coast”. Hopefully, working together, we can keep it that way. Respectfully, SharonO’Neill
Hello FOGI Members!
The summer is upon us and the board has been hard at work. This past December we elected new officers and these last few months have been a transition period for the new board. Wayne St. Pierre, our founding president stepped down in December. Wayne’s enthusiasm was contagious as he worked tirelessly for FOGI. We are forever grateful for his vision and leadership. During his tenure, FOGI grew to over 300 members and that number continues to grow today.
Our newly elected officers and board members are:
Sharon O’Neill – President
Wayne St. Pierre - Past President
Ann Smith – First Vice President
Bob Stewart-Second Vice President
Joyce Sevin – Secretary
Norma Stewart – Treasurer
Bill Barrios (membership)
George A. Huye
Luke St. Pierre
MARK YOUR CALENDARS!
FOGI DAY is June 6th and we will be meeting at the Grand Isle Community Center. Doors will open at 4:30. We will have speakers and a general meeting with food and drinks to follow. We will have a seafood boil for general membership, additional meal tickets for non- members may be purchased for $5.00 at the door. Please RSVP with the attached form by Friday, May 29th.
The FOGI GULF CUP RODEO will be held July 17th and 18th at Bridgeside Marina. Please see enclosed information for details and sponsorship opportunities.
- FOGI NEWS:
- This past spring we have updated our membership roster and will be publishing a new directory. Please update your information and return it with your FOGI DAY RSVP.
- Through grant monies we were able to acquire a digital sign for the Port Commission/ Butterfly Dome and have recently donated a laptop computer to the tourist commission staff so that they can update the sign.
- We continue our efforts to communicate with Grand Isle Officials concerning disaster plans for the island.
- We are in the process of updating the Friends of Grand Isle website, and we are looking for members who are interested in submitting articles of interest to membership.
Hope to see you on FOGI DAY!
THE MARCH 19TH REGIONAL FOGI MEETING HELD IN HOUMA WAS A GREAT SUCCESS. MANY CAMP OWNERS ATTENDED AND A GOOD QUESTION AND ANSWER DIALOGUE RESULTED. IN SUMMARY, NEW FOGI MEMBERS CAN BE ANTICIPATED, THE WORK FOGI HAS DONE TO DATE FOR GRAND ISLE WAS SALUTED, KEEPING THE ISLAND IN ITS NATURAL STATE WAS HAILED BY MANY TO BE A PRIORITY, AND NETWORKING WITH FELLOW CAMP OWNERS AND FOGI MEMBER WAS SEEN AS A POSITIVE MOVEMENT.
THANKS TO NEW FOGI MEMBER DAVID BAUGHMAN OF HOUMA FOR HELPING US ORGANIZE THIS EVENT!
INFORMATION FLYERS AND RSVP CARDS WILL BE MAILED THIS WEEK TO ALL FRIENDS OF GRAND ISLE MEMBERS CONCERNING THE UPCOMING FOGI DAY SEMINAR AND SOCIAL WHICH WILL BE HELD ON SATURDAY, MAY 3, 2008. GUEST SPEAKERS WILL PRESENT FROM 1:00 TO 3:30 P.M. TO BE FOLLOWED BY A MEMBERSHIP MEETING AND A CRAWFISH BOIL, .
- THE ISLAND BEAUTIFICATION COMMITTEE IS PRESENTLY WORKING ON A PLAN INVOLVING THE BUTTERFLY DOME, TOURIST COMMISSION, AND PORT COMMISSION. THE PROJECT WILL BE ANNOUNCED AT THE MAY 3RD MEETING. THANKS TO LECTA BOURGEOIS, ANN SMITH, SHARON ONEIL, AND JAMES BROUSSARD FOR THEIR EFFORTS.
- THE FOGI GULF CUP FISHING RODEO IS IN THE PLANNING STAGE AND COMMITTEE MEMBERS ARE EXCITED ABOUT THIS YEARS RODEO WHICH WILL BE HELD ON JULY 4TH AND 5TH AT BRIDGE SIDE MARINA. THANKS TO COMMITTEE HEAD LUKE ST. PIERRE FOR HIS EFFORTS.
MORE THAN FIFTY APPLICATIONS WERE SUBMITTED FOR THE SECOND GRANT AID PROGRAM TO ISLAND BUSINESSES. FOGI WILL DISTRIBUTE SOME $150,000.00 OF KATRINA AID FOUNDATION MONIES SHORTLY. THANKS TO COMMITTEE HEAD BOB STEWART FOR HIS EFFORTS.
OUR MEMBERSHIP STANDS A 25O, SOME 500 TO 600 INDIVIDUALS. WE ARE GROWING AND THANKS TO MEMBERSHIP DRIVE CHAIRMAN BILL BARRIOS FOR HIS EFFORTS.
WAYNE ST. PIERRE.
Business Grant Funds Available
You may recall that last year FOGI obtained $150,000 from the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation for grants and technical assistance exclusively for Grand Isle businesses. We are pleased to announce that due to the generosity of the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation, FOGI has obtained an additional $150,000 for small businesses on Grand Isle recovering from Hurricane Katrina. The purpose of the funds is to help these businesses continue to recover from the effects of Hurricane Katrina, to strengthen their ability to deal with future storms, and generally improve their business situation.
Grand Isle businesses that had an occupational license from the town of Grand Isle and a business presence on the island prior to Hurricane Katrina, and still expect to have business presence on the island are eligible to participate and apply for these funds.
Representatives from FOGI and two Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) were in Grand Isle on Thursday, and Friday (February 28 and 29) to meet with Grand Isle businesses interested in disaster recovery grants. Our trip to Grand Isle was to gather information from needed for determining grant eligibility and to make decisions on grant distributions. We were very pleased with the response to our grant program from local businesses. During this two day event, over 60 businesses applied for grants.
We had marvelous help from the SBDC’s from the Greater New Orleans Area and the SBDC from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. These professionals had agreed to help FOGI in this venture at no cost to FOGI beyond travel and per diem. We owe them a great debt of gratitude for their assistance. With help from the SBDC’s, we are moving forward with a review of applications for these grant funds and hope to have the review process completed by the end of March.