United Community Partners P.O. BOX 545 Halfway, Oregon 97834 president@unitedcommunitypartners.org 541-742-4065

Minutes – September 4th, 2012


Halfway Library

Present: Ruai Gregory, Bill Schuhle, Steve White, Larry Miller, Celinda Miller, Bill Johnson, Bill Shields

Last meeting’s minutes; read by Ruai and approved.

Treasurer’s report: Bill Schuhle gave the report (insert link)


Pine Eagle Community Preschool: Ruai updated: school began today with 17 children.  They are planning a fundraiser to coincide with the Hells Cyn. Relay Race.

Pine Eagle Education Foundation (PEEF): Chairity was a success; still planning to write grants under UCP until they achieve nonprofit status.

Pine Valley Museum: Plough exhibit is up; next is manure spreader.

Seed Sharing Station: (at Jacob’s Dream). Bill Schuhle made a temporary sign about it to advertise location and service before it is built.

Community Resource Book: Ruai will follow up with Kay Young.

Potential Projects:

Senior Lunch (Bill Johnson): spoke with Mary Jo Carpenter at Community Connection in Baker City.  She told him she would speak with Margaret and Joe (higher ups in the organization) about what it would take to keep the Senior Lunch in Halfway going.  It costs $6,000.00 per year to run it as it is currently run.  Margaret returned his call and summarized the situation: they can continue to deliver meals on wheels and pick up Halfway seniors for the Thursday New Bridge lunch.  The logic is to combine the two groups.

Louise Rasmussen spoke with Bill Johnson about using the school for a senior lunch! The school would charge $3.00 per meal, and provide the current art room as a place to eat, meat, congregate, play games, etc.  Louise followed up with Mike Corley and Lisa Butler, who were very supportive. They checked in with the state school meal association, who said it was fine, as long as the food is not taken off campus.  Louise said she could check in with the seniors to see what food they’d like prepared.  Bill said the school could maybe provide some student volunteers to serve food to the seniors.

The group unanimously agreed about the importance of supporting and collaborating on new projects that provide senior services.

Pat’s Park Bandstand (Bill Shields): Bill gave his rationale for the creation of a bandstand, as a way to promote arts performances, ideally weekly from Memorial Day until Labor Day.  Pat and Tony Sowers, the owners, are supportive, but don’t want to be the owners of it.  They suggest that an arts group should own the bandstand, and that it be possible to disassemble it in case the park ever sells.  Bill proposed that UCP own it and Cornucopia Arts Council do the scheduling and booking.  This way, a stream of rental monies could flow back to UCP.  Bill Schuhle asked why not use the bandstand at the fairgrounds.  Bill Shields responded that the Pat’s Park location would promote more downtown attendance and revenue-building for local businesses.  It could generate a fulltime job in the future, which would be funded by Cornucopia Arts Council.  He pointed out that the role of the arts in our community has grown markedly over the past few years, with Halfway Whimsical’s business ($100,000.00 back to the community over five years), the Clear Creek Music Festival ($15,000.00 back to the community over two years)and PEEF’s role in the school.

He thought it would cost $5,000.00 for materials, $8,000.00 total, and would need to be handled by volunteers at first.  The minimum size is 16’ by 12’, and Bill feels it would be best to have an add – on stage for larger performances. His goal is that it would be completed by next Memorial Day.  Ruai pointed out that it would be a good candidate for a Ford Family Foundation grant, as they like to target new buildings that will promote community activities.  Bill Shields said the Oregon Arts Commission’s community vitality score would qualify us for support funds. Steve felt this is an excellent project that deserves our attention. Bill Shields will meet with the Cornucopia Arts Council on Sept. 21, and will report back to us at our next meeting.  He said he would be glad to represent the Hells Canyon Chamber of Commerce at UCP meetings, providing a bridge between the two groups.  Ruai plans to ask for US Bank and City representation at meetings too.

“Silly Ideas Machine”: Celinda presented an idea for the “Silly Ideas Machine” a la The Book Loft’s in Enterprise, which promotes creativity.  Bill Shields said Ann Ingalls has a similar “Do Nothing Machine”.  Celinda will look into this! Ruai suggested that the HCJ could feature one of the ideas each week.

Volunteer Recognition: Celinda felt the answer to volunteer burnout is to provide some financial stipends for them.  Discussion ensued about ways that volunteers are recognized here, primarily through annual luncheons.  Bill Shields mentioned workshops such as “The Care and Feeding of Volunteers”. Ruai mentioned Ford Family Foundation’s Leadership training that includes a unit on promoting and nurturing volunteers.  She also shared that Bill Schuhle and Maureen McMahon are attending the current Ford Leadership Institute in Baker City.  Ruai is one of the trainers for it.

Note (added Nov 10th, 2012) from Liz – I have built a timebank which is ready to go. Any organization interested in using timebanking to reward volunteers or anyone else interested in getting a group together to make the timebank an ongoing project please contact me. lizmclellan1@gmail.com or 5490

The timebank project is not a UCP project at this time.

See Northeast Oregon Timebank here

Timebank FAQ


Next meeting: Oct. 1, 1:00pm.