■ BY SUE ERWIN
The Boca Grande Historical Society held its 21st annual meeting at the Boca Grande Community Center on Thursday, April 21.
President Patricia Agles called the meeting to order. She announced that Jim Blaha recently joined the board.
Co-treasurer Bob Vanden Bosch gave an update on the organization’s fiscal year.
“The financial position of this society is sound. We are debt free and we have a very liquid account. The position outcome can be attributed to a very successful home tour this season,” he said.
Vanden Bosch recommended that Pat Agles and Mary Bess be nominated for another three-year term. The motion passed.
Other fundraisers this year included the very successful “Legends Luncheon” that was held last fall and the recent boat trip and luncheon at Useppa Island.
Membership is also up 20 percent. There are currently 383 members.
“Beyond quantitative measures, the board feels that the society is better known throughout the island, with an enhanced image. We are so thrilled to see our membership grow,” Vanden Bosch said.
Agles added that the “History Bytes” events had record attendance this season. She said the organization has also put together some programs at The Island School and is planning to do presentations for the children next season.
“It’s something we’ve always wanted to do, and now it has happened,” Agles said.
Two major exhibits are planned for next season. One will be about the bridge, documenting the history, changes and progress from its inception until now. The other will be a fishing exhibit that is planned to be set up in a museum in Tampa.
“We’re excited about it. If we can throw our name into the hat in the Tampa market, that would really be amazing,” Agles said.
There is also another home tour planned for February. 2017. Watch for updates in the Boca Beacon.
Agles thanked the attendees at the meeting for their continuous support of the programs, saying the organization is always looking for more financial assistance.
“We’ve been doing this work for 21 years. A lot of what we do goes unnoticed, but it is still very important. There are a lot of historical moments that are happening on the island this year. We make sure it gets documented for future generations,” Agles said.
Suggestions from attendees included creating more programs for kids and getting The Island School students more involved in some of the projects.
“We are always open to suggestions and we love volunteers. We encourage everyone who would like to get involved to contact us and possibly consider joining a committee,” Agles said.
A reception including appetizers and beverages followed the meeting.
New members and volunteers are always welcome. For more details on how you can get involved, visit bocagrandehistoricalsociety.com.