by Larry Kane
To all AAAP members,
In mid January, I sent an email to the entire AAAP membership, announcing the establishment of the Gene Ramsey Memorial Observatory Reconstruction Fund in order to raise money that will go to the repairs needed by the observatory Gene spent so much of his time and love to maintain. If you did not receive this email, please let me know and I will forward it to you.
After this initial email, I sent a follow-up announcement which pointed out that donations by check should be made to the AAAP, not the fund. Doing so will help our Treasurer keep track of the donations if they are designated as a donation being made for the repair fund. To do this, write a three or four word description on the “memo line” of your check. You can also donate electronically using the ‘Donate’ button at the end of my appeal or via the ‘Donate’ button on the website. Remember that the AAAP is a 501 (c) 3 organization. This means that any donation you make is deductible from your federal income taxes.
Before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, the AAAP Board and membership voted to spend up to $10,000 for the repairs to the columns that support the structure’s roll-off roof. Repairs cannot be made at present, but this provides a unique time period in which we can raise the needed funds. As I am writing this article, we have pledges to the fund of $2,200. Therefore, I am urging all of the members of the AAAP, to make a donation in any amount that you are comfortable making. Doing so will both honor the memory of Gene and his positive impact on the observatory, and insure that once the repairs are completed, the club will be able to continue its invaluable program of public outreach and education.
Another fundraising avenue we will follow is a direct approach to the vendors that AAAP members support with their purchases of astronomy equipment. If you look back at the last year or so, it is probably a considerable amount of money spent in pursuit of your hobby. Therefore, I am requesting that each AAAP member send to me an estimate of your expenses for the last twelve months, the vendors that supplied your equipment, wherever they are, and your zip code. This information will be used, without your name, to compile a list of the economic impact the AAAP has had on each vendor that our membership has supported. Hopefully, this support will translate to financial support for our observatory.
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or concerns.