It was a surprise to hear that the Community Foundation of Oyster Bay had a $3,000 shortfall in their 2003 fund-raising efforts, though with last year's economy, it makes sense.
Still there is another issue in the community to mention. Some time ago Raynham Hall Director Stuart Chase had been offered the LILCO power station near Beekman Beach as a possible museum site. He said he was concerned that having too many museums in Oyster Bay could be a problem. He didn't want to stress the financial resources of the community.
Today, as we progress along, there are quite a few new organizations that are asking for the financial cooperation of the community. As Glinda, the good witch asked Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz: "Are you a good witch or a bad witch?" Our answer is that having more museums/organizations is a good thing not a bad thing. Recently Eve Holberg, the planner for the Long Island North Shore Heritage Area plan asked us if we thought there should be one umbrella group to raise funds for the different local organizations. We didn't like the idea - we think each reaches a specific segment of the community and that each should have an independent voice.
Having an umbrella organization limits the differing opinions in the community as boards often announce their decisions are unanimous and do not add a minority opinion. Diversity is really important for vitality. Let each organization fight for their segment of the community.
As we write in this issue, about the Community Foundation fund-raising kickoff; the Friends of Locomotive #35 dinner dance and capital project appeal; we think we are reaching different communities of people. We think there is a need for the greater public to realize they have to become involved in helping shape the community through the use of organizations they are in favor of supporting.
Each one of us has private pet interests, what we want to see get accomplished. That is what is important - support your passions.
We just hope you have a broad eclectic taste, and that you send in your checks. Joan Mahon, executive director of the Main Street Association mentioned in her talk before the Community Foundation, that they plan to do small changes that overall make a large difference in the community.
So consider sending in your donations - each one may not be enough to solve a problem, but together we can make a difference. The important thing is taking responsibility for living in the kind of community you want to live in. As they say, (and we paraphrase,) it takes a village to make a village succeed.