During a time when many academies face financial difficulties, the administration of Gulf States Conference is looking for ways to reinforce the ongoing operations of Bass Memorial Academy, Lumberton, Miss. Brian Danese, vice president of finance for Gulf States and alumnus of Bass, recently shared how important the Academy is to the Conference: “Having recently attended the alumni weekend at Bass, it was a blessing to see over 80 young people up front, united in song.” Having a place like Bass allows the young people to grow intellectually and spiritually. The future of the local churches, the Conference, and beyond, are trained there.
Danese was inspired by the history of getting Bass off the ground, things like penny campaigns where hundreds of pounds of pennies were collected throughout the Conference by lay people. When he joined the Conference administration as treasurer, he discovered an endowment fund for Bass that was underperforming. Just recently, he was able to gain access to that fund to grow and reinvest it.
During the Bass alumni weekend, March 29-31, 2019, Danese relaunched the fund intending to raise it to $10M. Since its inception, the fund had already increased to $800K, a healthy start to the new campaign.The idea behind the endowment is to utilize the earnings of the fund’s investments to support the institution. In this way, gifts that are given to the fund continue to give to the institution year after year. Several businesses recognized the value in the endowment campaign, including Adventist HealthCare, Richardson Trucking, and others, and committed to regularly contribute until the goal is reached. Two alumni of Bass approached Danese following his presentation, and offered a combined $100K as matching money to grow the fund.
With these new commitments and continued support from Bass alumni, and Gulf States with its members, the Conference expects to close 2019 with $1.5M in the endowment fund. See the video presentation at www.gscsda.org/gsc-today/bassendowment.
Gulf States | June 2019