The Cattaraugus Women's Civic League held their October meeting at St. Mary's Church.
The program featured a talk by Mrs. Lynn LeFeber, who was invited to discuss the workings of a school-related organization, known as the Timberwolves Community Alliance.
Mrs. LeFeber brought her audience up to date with the "Alliance's" formation just a little more than a year ago, and its gradually evolving goals. In mid-2011, she said, a number of Cattaraugus-Little Valley Central School District residents responded to an invitation from the district school board and Jon Peterson, district superintendent, to discuss what school authorities then-visualized as a school foundation. Peterson told those assembled that there were many circumstances where student needs couldn't be answered directly by the school itself - often due to legal restrictions.
At that initial meeting, LeFeber recalled, it quickly became apparent that several of those present were, indeed, interested in the idea of a student-oriented foundation. However, they also felt the idea could and should extend beyond that to address concerns of the encompassing community and its relationship to the school. This notion manifested itself in the final wording of the alliance's mission statement, and was also reflected in the choice of its name: Timberwolves Community Alliance.
In its final version, the mission statement reads: "To encourage and provide social, cultural, civic and educational support for and by the community as a whole." From that point on, the word, "community," was assumed to apply equally to the school and its surrounding population and environs as one inseparable entity.
Next, the following tenets were drawn up in support of the mission statement:
Create and/or enhance communication and collaboration between residents, organizations, municipalities and the school and school alumni.
Create and/or enhance educational, experiential, social, civic and cultural opportunities by providing leadership and resources.
Provide an avenue for receipt and management of bequests, gifts and donations for enhancing the quality of life in the community.
Provide opportunities for volunteer service to answer needs and desires of the community.
Actively pursue resources to fulfill the organization's mission.
Mrs. LeFeber said the Alliance used their first few meetings to work out these and other organizational concerns. "Also, we wanted to quickly apply for our not-for-profit status," she said.
Since these operations involved certain fees, the group soon undertook their first fundraising efforts. From numerous ideas advanced, several presented themselves as eminently doable by the fledgling organization. As a consequence, during the past year, the Alliance has hosted several events, including an appearance by the Jamestown Junior Guilders, a humorous two-act play presented by the Springville Center for the Arts, and a highly successful golf tournament held in Ellicottville, as well as a Chili Cook-Off at the school's homecoming football game. After expenses, the Alliance has raised some $4,000, a portion of which has been used to pay organizational fees and other set-up costs.
Mrs. LeFeber said that it appears the Alliance will soon be growing, as some other school-related organizations (such as the All Sports Boosters Club) have expressed interest in coming "under our wing."
While answering questions, Le Feber stated the TLA's Board of Directors consists solely of community members, with Principal Jon Peterson and Pastor Mike Jones sitting in an ex-officio capacity. "I guess, since I'd had experience working with not-for-profits, I ended up president," she noted.
Mrs. LeFeber's presentation was warmly-received, and league President Cyndi Eaton then moved through a brief business meeting. Refreshments, in the form of cookies, and assorted beverages, were served by the October committee: Mrs. Pat Illig, Mrs. Phyllis Rogan and Mrs. Cheryl Hill.