An Update on ACB’s Annual Giving Programs and a Thank-You to Some Very Special Donors by Melanie Brunson

Earlier this year, we told you about a new program to honor those individuals, families, and affiliates who contribute to ACB by enrolling them in annual giving societies.  The first members of these new annual giving societies will be determined in January of 2015 based upon the amount contributed by an individual, a household, or an affiliate during this calendar year.  Since this program has been very well received, I thought it might be good to give you an update on how memberships look at this point in the year. 
 
As of mid-August, 63 people have contributed between $250 and $999 to ACB, which will qualify them as the first members of ACB’s Leaders Society.  Eleven people have qualified to be members of the Advocates Society by contributing between $1,000 and $2,499.  Our Champions Society currently has two members, each of whom has contributed between $2,500 and $4,999.  At this point, our Presidents Society, for those who contribute a minimum of $5,000 during a calendar year to ACB, has no members.  However, we are pretty certain that some of our current Champions may become Presidents by the end of the year, when the final memberships for this year are determined.  Since any donations that are tax-deductible are counted, including such contributions as those made to the Monthly Monetary Support (MMS) program, there is still plenty of time for donors to contribute and join any of these annual giving societies.  If you have any questions, please e-mail Lane Waters in the Minnesota office at lanewaters@acbes.org, or call 1-800-866-3242.  We will be publicizing the names of each annual giving society’s members early next year, and I encourage anyone who is interested in joining one of them to contact the Minnesota office.  You will have some fun, and assist ACB at the same time.
 
Several years ago, ACB established another society, which we called the Patrons Society, in order to honor individuals or organizations who have contributed $100,000 or more to our organization.  There is a plaque hanging on the wall of the ACB national office that lists the names of our current Patrons Society members.  I am very pleased to tell you that we have the privilege of adding two new names to this plaque.  Earlier this year, we received a contribution from the estate of Anneen Laub of New Mexico that qualifies her for membership in the Patrons Society.  For several years now, ACB has been the beneficiary of proceeds raised each January by a group of Ferrari owners who gather in Palm Beach, Fla.  Their annual event is known as the Cavallino Classic.  Since Paul Edwards first introduced this group to ACB in 1998, their event has brought ACB over $100,000.  In addition, one of the individuals who participated in this event recently, but who wished to remain anonymous, has donated another $100,000 to ACB’s scholarship fund.  We are incredibly appreciative of the very generous support we have received from participants in the Cavallino Classic over the past several years.  I could not pass up an opportunity to publicly acknowledge and thank them for their support of ACB.  I also want to thank Paul Edwards for reaching out to them while he was president of ACB, and for attending their event every year since to bring the group up to date on what ACB is doing.
 
ACB is fortunate to have many generous supporters.  Many of you are reading this article.  In closing, let me say to each of you a heartfelt thank you.  We cannot continue our efforts to improve the lives of people who are blind without you.  Whether you contribute at a level that enables you to become part of one of our annual giving societies or not, all that you do for and give to ACB is very much appreciated.  We hope to add to the rolls of our annual giving societies and we invite those who can join them to do so. But every contribution, no matter its size or shape, makes a difference as we consider how to reach our goals.  No one should think their efforts are too small.  Every contribution is, in fact, priceless!