The LEAP Center recently hosted a non-profit roundtable with representatives from eleven local non-profits. The event featured Nancy Bocskor, who has vast experience working with fundraising and leading non-profits.
The directors discussed the major issues facing non-profits in this community, including:
Limited resources, particularly funds
The challenge of working with volunteers
How to construct a community board of directors
Working within a limited media market
Bocskor helped facilitate possible solutions, and the directors discussed their own strategies. Particularly useful were discussions of new technologies such as mobile payment processing systems (e.g., Square) to help people encourage to give on the spot.
Perhaps most important, the event brought people together, with a promise to meet again over the summer.
The Junior Fellows and LEAP Center have held a film festival every fall since 2009. This year, we squeezed in an extra film presentation in the spring. In honor of having both Dr. Carl Rollyson and Nancy Bocskor in town, we showed Sabrina, starring Humphrey Bogart, William Holden, and Audrey Hepburn.
William Holden is Nancy Bocskor’s favorite actor (more on Holden here). In fact, he is her “most handsome and reliable boyfriend, albeit dead.” Other than being dead, he is reliably on TCM every week or so, showing up at 3am in the morning when Bocskor cannot sleep.
Bocskor is an international political consultant and a movie buff, and Sabrina not only stars William Holden, but also has a social class subtext. Dr. Rollyson is an expert on the Golden Age of Hollywood, so Sabrina seemed to be a good match for the two and fun entertainment for all.
The entertainment took place at the beautiful Wynne Home, where two of the LEAP Center students and many of the Junior Fellows have interned.
Guests included Mayor Mac Woodward and his wonderful wife, Leanne, as well as Ralph and Linda Pease. We were also happy to have Margaret Gulledge, Charles Forbus, and Karl Mahaffey on hand for the viewing.
Bocskor and Rollyson introduced the film, offering different takes on the film (Bocskor focused more on Holden…)
The film was wonderful, combining top-notch talent with humor and romance.
The general consensus among us students was that it was better than “Some Like it Hot,” which we screened with Rollyson last year.
The company was also wonderful, with a reception followed by dinner. It was a fun night, capping a wonderful week with Bocskor and Rollyson as guests in Huntsville, TX.
We’ll be doing a Walter Brennan film festival in the fall, in honor of Rollyson’s new biography of the character-actor legend.
The LEAP Center has enjoyed having Ms. Nancy Bocksor in Huntsville for the week to encourage students to become engaged in politics and take action to make a change. During her Paths to Public Service lecture, Ms. Bocksor stressed the importance of gaining a sphere of influence before deciding to run for office. For students, this tip prompted many to think about their current sphere of influence, and what steps they could take to help position themselves for a career in public service.
Ms. Bocksor also discussed the importance of brand management when pursuing a path to public service. She defined brand management by calling on a definition offered by the founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos: “Your brand is what people say about you when you leave the room.” To underscore this point, Ms. Bocskor encouraged students to act professional, be engaged, and clean up social media accounts–all of which can constitute a personal brand. Generously, Ms. Bocksor was extremely helpful to students by giving ample advice on a variety of topics ranging from thank you notes to tips for internships.
To the students’ delight, Ms. Bocksor discussed some of her successes and her many experiences traveling the world to help women become engaged in politics. Students were amazed by the amount of traveling Ms. Bocksor gets to do and how unique her career is. However, the majority of the lecture Ms. Bocksor opened up for questions, giving students the opportunity to interact directly. Ms. Bocksor’s energy appeared contagious to the students and many thought her stories were inspirational, driving them to pursue a career in public service.
Students enjoyed getting to learn from Ms. Bocksor this week. For many, she helped instill a zealous attitude and helped give students a sense of direction in pursuing a career in public service. After enjoying some refreshments, Ms. Bocksor hurried over to the Wynne Home (with students in tow) to co-host a Film Festival with Dr. Carl Rollyson, a continuation of the learning process for students of the LEAP Center.
Part of the LEAP Center’s mission is to assist non-profits, government agencies, and other public-minded organizations serve the community. One of the LEAP Center’s regular partners is the HEARTS Museum, which recently hosted a Valentine’s Day “Volunteer Appreciation” dinner. More than 130 people showed up, and it was a perfect event for a Museum named “HEARTS.”
It was a wonderful event, with most of the Museum’s regular volunteers on hand (many will recognize Tom Oleinik and Citizen of the Year Bette Nelson in the picture above).
The HEARTS Museum preserves artifacts related to those who have served their country in the armed services, and the Museum is host to more than 13,000 visitors each year. In addition, the Museum hosts many community-themed events–including the Valentines Day Appreciation Dinner–educational events, and other service activities.
The LEAP Center is hosting a non-profit roundtable on March 20, with Nancy Bocskor as a featured guest. Ms. Bocskor is an expert in fundraising, and representatives from a dozen or so local non-profits will be on hand to share experiences with the challenges of fundraising in a small community. Among those attending are Letty Clark and Carolyn Wells from the HEARTS Museum.
LEAP Center Ambassadors Karla Rosales and Megan Chapa met with KSAM‘s Larry Crippen for an “Around Town” session. This is the seventh time the Junior Fellows/LEAP Center have been featured on Around Town, a six-minute radio program that highlights local happenings on 101.7 and 104.9 FM.
The program, which covers their recent experiences at the Texas Governor’s Inauguration, as well as upcoming events such as the Michael Morton appearance, Nancy Bocskor’s appearance, and the Citizenship Program, aired Saturday (March 14) and Sunday (March 15).
The HEARTS Veterans Museum held their 15th Annual Veteran’s Day Banquet, appropriately, on Veterans Day, November 11, 2014. A silent auction, catered dinner, and a short but moving program rounded out the evening. We were fortunate to be asked to help in greeting attendees as they arrived, assisting with the silent auction, and meeting community members and leaders, and learning more about veterans and their sacrifice.
It was heartening to see soldiers, former and current, old and young, men and women, from all walks of life, stand while the Huntsville Community Men’s Choir performed a rendition of the Armed Forces Medley. All five branches of our nation’s armed forces were represented by local veterans. Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Navy veterans and current soldiers stood during their service’s song. You didn’t have to look far to see that not all eyes were dry.
There was a short presentation on putting the various services for Texas veterans in the palm of their hands – à la the new “Texas Veterans App” (free, available on iPhone and Android devices) by former TX Representative Suzanna Hupp. We were also able to meet several elected officials who took the time to honor those who have served to defend and protect our freedoms, including Congressman Kevin Brady.
The Sam Houston Memorial Museum hosted its 4th Annual Amateur Photography Contest last week, attracting approximately 200 visitors to the Walker Educator Center. The record number of guests were able to peruse a record number of submissions—more than 300 in all—while also enjoying the opportunity to win prizes offered by Museum staff.
The event was the brainchild of Museum Curator of Exhibits Casey Roon, who initiated the contest in 2010. The goal was to showcase community talent, while bringing the community together.
Among the many individuals brought together included students from the Center for Law, Engagement, And Politics (LEAP), who volunteered to help at this wonderful community-building project. “The Museum hosts various exhibits throughout the year, but my favorite is the Amateur Photo Contest,” observed Ariel Traub, “and the photographs were stunning!”
As with previous years, the photographs were grouped into multiple categories but, as Marketing Coordinator Megan Buro notes, “Casey has done a great job of keeping the contest fresh and different. This year included new categories and the photographs were fantastic.” In all, there were eight categories: (1) Faces, (2) B&W, (3) Old, (4) Action, (5) Flora & Fauna, (6) Travel, (7) New, and (8) Food. There were also the “Curator’s Choice” selections and, of course, the big prize: “Best in Show.”
The winners included:
Denise Camp Kya
Cari McGown Whatcha Sayin?
Sarah Lane Jane
Ashley Dobos American Poverty
Scott McCarley School Dance
Cari McGown I See the Moon, the Moon Sees Me
Steven Mateo V8 Soft
Sam Beard In Eliza’s Kitchen
Ramses Leon Cuban Butterfly
Erin Rogers Nature’s Grace
Keenan Jones Untitled
Sam Beard Going for the Steer
Flora & Fauna
Anne King Green
(tie) Cari Mc Gown Good Morning Lady
(tie) Sarah Lane Lone
(tie) Elisabeth Williams Frog’s New Home
(tie) David Knuth Low Tide
Beth Gray Tickets Please
Lori Sanders Stone Soldiers
Scott McCarley Train to Bandra
Anne King Charlotte
Mike Whatley New Day
Sam Beard Spring Flowers
Denise Camp Yellow Peppers
Lori Sanders Sweet Tea
Jacqueline Davis For the Love of Caffeine
Selected for the top two photographs in the exhibit were:
Reserve: Beth Gray Tickets Please Best in Show: Denise Camp Kya
Among the many submissions—and winners!—was the Chair of the Friends of the SHMM, Scott McCarley. His “Train to Bandra” and “School Dance” both placed in the top three in the “Travel” and “B&W” categories.
“It’s great to be able to participate in one of the Museum’s many fine exhibits and programs that are open to the public,” noted McCarley. “We hope that the Museum gets this level of support for all of its exhibits.”