Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Time to get to work

Happy Holidays!

Our next board meeting will be Saturday, January 5th at 9am at the Tuolumne Memorial Hall.
Please join us to begin planning our community outreach efforts, fundraising strategy, and more.
If you haven't already joined our Facebook group, you can do so by visiting  This group is a great way to stay connected with activities, events, and project updates.  It is also a great way to communicate with the group if you have any questions.  If you want to email me directly you can do so at

I am pleased to be able to show you a design that was put together for us.  This is not the final park design.  We will be getting another made by a second company prior to making any decisions.  I just wanted to share this with you so you could see a little of what is possible in our proposed park space.

Some of the main elements in this design are obvious and some are not.  The most visible feature is the ramp that leads up to some activity panels, two slides, and a climbing tunnel.  There are many ground level features for children of all ages and abilities to enjoy.  There are also quite a few challenging elements for those who want something a little more physical, such as two different monkey bars, a spinner, a two tall slides, and a climbing wall.  There are a couple different elements here that are more subtle.  The music area and the quite area. 
  The tall tubular structure in the corner of the park is one of three musical elements from a company called Freenotes Harmony Parks.  Please take a moment to explore their site or watch the video at the bottom of the page to see how amazing their products are.  I think they are going to be a great addition to this space. 
On the opposite side of the park are two elements where children can have a quite space.  The pod feature in the corner allows for mild rocking and solitude.  This is a very unique feature that could provide a break for children who may become over stimulated.

UPDATE ON TAX EXEMPT STATUS:  We have been approved by the State of California FTB.  So we are officially state tax exempt.  We are now just waiting to hear back from the IRS.  I got a letter a couple weeks ago stating that it could take 60-90 days to hear back, but with the acceptance of the state application I am hopeful that there will be no problems with our federal application.  I will update the blog once our IRS information is available.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Our First Board Meeting

We had our first board meeting last night. Thank you very much to all who were able to attend. We are on our way for sure.
Our next step is to submit our IRS 501(c)3 application and our State tax exempt application and wait for approval. The waiting is going to be challenging since I am really excited to get started. I will keep you posted.
In the meantime, while we wait for the application to be approved, we can begin our Public Relations campaign. It was suggested at the meeting last night that we begin getting the word out to our community about our project. It is still too early to ask for money, but it is perfect timing to start letting people know what we are doing and why. If you have any suggestions as to how we can begin informing our community about Big Dreams, please let me know. All suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Summer Updates and Position Descriptions

This has been an eventful summer for myself and my family.  I work full time for the Tuolumne County Recreation Department and boy was I busy.  I have worked here for about seven years and I have never experienced such a busy summer.  My husband, Jason has had a very busy fire season, as he is a captain for the US Forest Service and I am sure you have heard about the fires this year.  Needless to say, I have not been able to put as much time into this project as I would have liked.  Unfortunately, much of what needs to be done is being held up by the State of California and the processing time for our Articles of Incorporation which were mailed mid July.  It is about 6 weeks for processing, so I am hoping we will hear back in then next few weeks.  Once we have that filed we can move forward with our federal tax exempt filing, which is MUCH more complicated.  We have to have board members, budgets, and estimated expeditures for the next three years.  For this I am most certainly going to need to meet with a professional who can assist us in this area. 
Two vital roles that have yet to be filled in our group is our Treasurer and our Secretary.  These are very major roles.  For the treasurer I imagine we will need to purchase Quickbooks for non-proftits.  I did some research and have found this software would make that job much easier.
Duties of the secretary:
1. Is a member of the Board
2. Maintains records of the board and ensures effective management of organization's records
3. Manages minutes of board meetings
4. Ensures minutes are distributed to members shortly after each meeting
5.Is sufficiently familiar with legal documents (articles, by-laws, IRS letters, etc.) to note applicability during meetings (understand our by-laws to make sure we are following them)
Duties of the Treasurer:
1. Is a member of the Board
2. Manages finances of the organization
3. Administrates fiscal matters of the organization
4. Provides annual budget to the board for members' approval
5. Ensures development and board review of financial policies and procedures
If you or someone you know would be a good fit for either of these positions, please contact me at

Monday, July 16, 2012

On our way to creating our first accessible playground

It seems like it has already taken years to get to where I am today in the process of building our county's first Universally Accessible playground.  There are still many hurtles to overcome and mountains of paperwork, but step one has been completed.
We have the support of the Tuolumne Parks and Recreation District to build our dream playground in their community.
The next step is the most challenging for me because it is increadably time consuming and also fairly expensive.  It is the filing of the non-profit and tax exempt paperwork with the state and the federal government.  I will just keep plugging along and hope to have the paperwork finalized and submitted by the end of the summer.