FRONT ROYAL, VA- It's the season of giving at the Shenandoah Area Agency on Aging and despite looming legal trouble, they're hoping a new Fundraising Director will bring in more donations."We identified that if a fundraiser could bring in between $600,000 and $700,000, that would be a 100 percent successful fundraising effort," says Board President, John Hudson. "We're looking at about an 18-month window to accomplish it."
To fulfill the lofty goal, the board voted to appoint John Borders, of BDI Consulting, to the position.
"It's probably a much quicker time than most fundraisers like to have," says Hudson. "But we're not in a normal situation right now," he adds. "The quicker the fundraising effort can be successful, the better it will be for the agency."
Although the agency has made significant strides to improve its financial situation, officials say legal fees are still on the books. They hope the new fundraising director will help bring that chapter to a close, and also pay older outstanding bill and fees.
"If we can get that type of fundraising results, then this agency will be in the clear," says Hudson.
But recently, a previous lawsuit was revived in Warren County Courts.
On November 29th, lawyers for former agency official Ann McIntyre filed a second amended complaint, for defamation against the SAAA and its board members. She is asking for $2,350,000 in combined damages, plus legal fees. The SAAA recently settled its counter suit involving former director Helen Cockrell on embezzlement claims.
Meanwhile, the board president says the agency's operating budget is stable.
"The cash-flow in the agency that pays for all the current services, and so on, is in fairly good shape. We're able to meet all of our current obligations, and services continue uninterrupted," says Hudson.
During Friday's board meeting, members thanked Hudson and the SAAA staff for staying Committed through it all.
"I don't know that there is any other staff that has dealt with this type of situation for as long as they have and still remain upbeat and positive and get the work done," says Hudson."They've all taken on several hats, and that's part of the cost- cutting that we're starting to experience, that is benefiting our cash-flow."
The agency will open the new Clarke County Active Living Center in the coming week. All funding for the center was allotted prior to the legal trouble.
The board says it's now hopeful and optimistic that the agency will close out the year on a new path to head into a brighter future for 2013.