At the just concluded reunion dinner of the Kingston College Old Boys Association, Mr. Robert Kelly, former president of the New York Chapter was appropriately honoured for his years of sterling service.
In the course of his acceptance address however, Mr. Kelly ventured that the school needed a new bus. He stated that it would cost $7 Million and as he was a man of action not words he wanted the gathering to demonstrate its commitment to the school by pledging the cost of the bus to the school. He thereupon himself pledged $100,000.00 and proceeded to “call out” individuals to that end. The members of the head table were not spared this plea. For completeness I should mention that I was called upon by name to make a commitment.
It seemed to surprise and indeed disturb Mr. Kelly that his attempt to raise the $7 Million was unsuccessful. This indicates that he must either be unaware of the trying economic times in which we all are trying to survive or, he is equally unaware that many old boys are feeling punch drunk from donation requests.
In this latter regard the Kingston College family has many individuals and organizations all seeming to approach the same individuals for differing levels of support. One week it may be a teacher seeking assistance to provide airfare for a team that is going somewhere, another it may be a request for donations to a breakfast programme or a sporting team, or of course it may be a request at a $5,000 per plate dinner for donations to buy a school bus.
It is my view that such ad hoc and disparate “fund raising” is counter productive; it leaves the potential donor feeling he has given far more than he in fact has given, and also perhaps feeling harassed, used and unappreciated.
In this short note, I as a director (and donor) to the Kingston College Development Trust Fund (KCDTF) wish to suggest that, rather than seek $70, $700, $7,000 or $7 Million in these ad hoc solicitations, we as a body should dedicate to raise $100 Million for the school. Let us do this in a structured, dignified manner within a reasonable target period.
I suggest further that the KCDTF has a proven track record of accountability and prudence. The Fund now stands at $50 Million and is the appropriate vehicle through which to channel funds for the school’s development. Funds placed in the KCDTF are not subject to the vagaries of government bureaucracy or of Ministry of Education directives. Donations to it are tax exempt.
A Capital Development Fund of $100 Million will allow the school to acquire buses, improve its infrastructure and most importantly embark on the implementation of its five (5) year Development Plan. It should ensure that our beloved alma mater continues to be the world’s premier institution for the education of boys.
Let us do this gentlemen!!