West Mt. Airy Neighbors counting on fundraisers to eliminate operating deficit

Efforts to save are finally paying off for the West Mt. Airy Neighbors (WMAN) and the organization might actually end up with a profit, which they’d like to use to expand services to the area.

WMAN is about to launch its efforts to recruit neighbors into the group this spring due to tapering off of membership over the past few years. Executive director Marilyn Cohen said membership dues, in addition to fundraising, are one of the sole methods the group funds itself.

And after an $8,500 loss last year, the neighborhood group made some changes—they hired Cohen, switched from a physical space to a virtual one and those who actually do get paid for their services took a cut.

Tuesday night at the public board meeting, vice president of finance Martin Schmeig presented WMAN’s balance sheet that he said shows an improvement.

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Even though WMAN had a net operating loss of $20,000 as of last mont, Schmeig said that’ll soon change for the better. Why the optiism? Schmeig said the neighborhood association’s two upcoming fundraising event should eliminate that deficit.

“I think if we have an equally successful Eat Your Heart Out! [and Mt. Airy Day] we’re going to be in a good position,” he said. “It just has to meet what it has done historically.”

Schmeig said if the organization matches funds raised form last year, the organization will actually show a profit.

“This is a great place to be in this time of financial uncertainty,” he said.

But Cohen said she expects WMAN’s Eat Your Hearts Out! fundraiser on April 21 to do better than it has historically.

“It’s quite a popular event,” she said. “We’re expanding it.”

Cohen said the dinners for the event, which are held after a cocktail party, split off into neighbors’ homes. Traditionally the dinners are at 12 households, but this year there will be 16 hosts.

About 200 people have already sent in their RSVP, but Cohen said there’s plenty of room left for more.

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