Riviera looking to boost membership


January 12, 2001|By Peg Adamarczyk | Peg Adamarczyk,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

WITH HOPES OF a better year and a turnaround in declining membership, the Riviera Community Improvement Association will have its first meeting of 2001 at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the community room at Jenkins Memorial Church.

The first order of business will be installation of officers, with the Rev. John Douglas, pastor of the church, officiating.

Taking office will be: Lee Archibald, president; Don Meyett, vice president; Cass Gorski, corresponding secretary; Brenda Meyett, recording secretary; and Lee Espregren, treasurer.

"Lee will be presenting an overview of what happened last year, where we are now, and new proposals for this year," said Brenda Meyett, a longtime Riviera Beach resident and new board member.

According to Meyett, the number of dues-paying members has seriously declined in recent years. "We have 1,500 plus homes in the community, but for some reason, being a dues-paying RCIA member is not a priority," she said.

Less than 10 percent of the community holds membership, and with the decline, the association has had to take drastic steps to tighten an already lean budget.

The first cost-cutting measure is to suspend publication of the monthly newsletter. "It's sad not to publish our newsletter, but we don't have the money to spare," Meyett said.

The newsletter joins other RCIA neighborhood programs that have been suspended due to lack of interest, money or both.

For several years, the community had a volunteer patrol that focused on security problems, including vandalism. But when the number of volunteers declined, the patrols ceased about a year ago. "It was a shame, but we just couldn't get volunteers," Meyett said.

Plans to improve the community waterfront area, including the fishing pier, have been put on hold. And more cost-cutting measures loom unless membership increases.

"Our dues are still $15 per year," Meyett said. "That's a lot less than some of the surrounding communities charge."

In addition to dues-paying members, RCIA is looking for volunteers. "If we could just get people in the community to volunteer 30 minutes once a month or so to participate in projects, it would be a big help," she said.

"Our board has a vision for the community. Riviera Beach and Rock Creek are nice places to live. We're water-privileged without the big price tag; convenient to Baltimore, Columbia and Annapolis; plus we have generations of families living here. We want to maintain and move forward to keep the community a great place to live."

For information on the community association, call 410-255-0158 or 410-360-7317.

Visionary gift

Raising funds for the Wilmer Eye Institute's Low Vision Research Center at Johns Hopkins Hospital has been a longtime effort of Pasadena's East Anne Arundel Lions Club, one of 180 member clubs supporting the cause through the Maryland District 22 Lions Vision Research Foundation.

East Anne Arundel member Louise McCauley said the foundation has an annual goal of at least $300,000 to support the center at Hopkins.

In its part of the effort, the local club has sold tons of fruit, held numerous flea markets and peddled hundreds of car raffle tickets. Last week, it received an unexpected helping hand from a Glen Burnie Wal-Mart store.

Paul Kram, manager of the store at Chesapeake Center off Ordnance Road, presented a check from Wal-Mart for $3,300.

"The foundation is an important part of the Lions Clubs' focus for our fund-raising efforts," McCauley said. "We are happy that Wal-Mart decided to give us a helping hand."

"I've gone to Wilmer and met patients that were being treated there," McCauley said. "It was a moving experience."

Information: 410-255-0076.

Another gift sought

A Red Cross blood drive sponsored by the health and welfare committee of Pasadena United Methodist Church will be held from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday in the fellowship hall of the church, at 61 Ritchie Highway.

Donors must be 17 years old and weigh more than 110 pounds. Appointments to give blood can be made in advance, but walk-in donors are also welcome.

Information: 410-760-0637 or 410-760-2021.

Baseball whiff of spring

A sure sign that spring is around the corner is registration for the Lake Shore Youth Baseball group, which will begin next week at Lake Shore Elementary School on Mountain Road.

Hours are 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesdays through Feb. 7, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays from Jan. 20 to Feb. 3.

The cost is $55 for the first child in a family and $35 for each additional family member.

Each family also will be required to purchase $20 in raffle tickets at registration, and birth certificates are required for new members.

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