Friends in the MN Patriot Guard,
It has been too long since we posted up all the activities of the year. Time does slip away from us when keeping our lives moving forward and volunteering our time as we do.
A few key items to update you on for the year….
1. Missions and Events Year To Date
This year through September we have listed 453 Missions and Events. That number is an increase of 61 (16%) over last year and almost all of that growth is Honor and Vets Missions. We listed 29 more days of KIA/Active Duty Missions and 28 more Vets missions in 2010.
As a Leadership team we are reviewing our mission scope to make sure we aren’t spreading ourselves to thin with the other types of mission or events. Attending Honor and Vets missions is our core focus and 40% of our calendar is things other than that. We want to make sure we always keep the most important activities in front of us.
In December we will finalize this project and report the final results to you. It won’t be a huge sweeping change but think about it this way…. If our flag line is the background to anything we will step away from doing it. We need to ensure that the flag line, which is what we do, is not used for decoration.
You will see a change in how the calendar is updated as well going into next year. We are going to be putting any MN Patriot Guard Mission or Event all to be listed on one calendar. Things that are of a military support nature but not run by the MNPG will be on a separate calendar. We want to make it easier for you to sort out what you might want to attend.
2. 2010 Patriot Ride
It was a huge success this year!!! We are estimating 2,500 motorcycles and upwards of 4,000 involved as either riding or attending. The move to the Ham Lake City Park worked out better than we could have hoped as far as accommodations and hospitality.
We had an outstanding program highlighted by LtGen Wissler who is the Marine Corps deputy commandant for programs and resources. LtGen Wissler grew up in Brooklyn Park and was amazed by the show of support of the military here in Minnesota!
The money raised was almost exactly what the year before was. Just under $100,000 was raised and split between the MN Patriot Guard and the MMAF. Thank you to our friends at Dennis Kirk and all the volunteers who put so much time into running this.
Next years Patriot Ride is Saturday June 18, 2011 in Ham Lake again. It will be a two day event in which Friday night we will be celebrating the 5th Anniversary of the MN Patriot Guard!
3. Year to Date Financials
We are exactly on our plan for the year of having donated almost every dollar we raised. Our revenue to far this year is $87,288 and our planned expenses are $88,696. Of our total expenses $5,450 goes toward running the MN Patriot Guard which includes accounting fees, liability insurance, and mission expenses such as plaques. That means $83,246 goes to supporting our core causes which is amazing! Thank you to all of you who help make that happen!
Our HOTH Program (Vets Homes/Hospitals, WIA grants, Gold Star family support) is $29,196 this year so far and straight donations will be $54,050 for the year.
Our asset balance at the end of the quarter was $139,315 which includes our store inventory of $16,341.
Our goal is to always have one years worth of funds in place in the event that our ability to raise money goes away. The programs we support in many cases would have no where to go without us so we are careful to ensure we can support them for an additional year so they can find other sources of funding if ours goes away.
4. MN Patriot Guard Store
Last year Dennis Kirk stepped up and volunteered its time to help run our store. Any order placed before 8PM ships the same day and the response time has been great for our customers… YOU! Through the generosity of Dennis Kirk we have a really customer service focused store. We pay for the materials and still own the inventory so there is no conflict of interest.
We will have some new items coming out that are really exciting. Our new long sleeve T Shirt will be powerful in addition to travel coffee mugs, car magnets, and water bottle holders. Keep your eyes out for the new products hitting the store just in time for the Holidays!
5. Leadership changes
When we have Ride Captains and other positions change out it is very often sad. These people became our friends and our voice to the larger organization. Change though is often positive.
A good example is our Fort Snelling National Cemetery team. 8 members have volunteered to help run missions there. They aren’t Ride Captains but people who have time to help out and they have lifted a tremendous burden off the Southeast Metro from having to run missions there. I don’t have an exact number but around 75% of our veteran missions are there. Change is good….
We do have a few open Ride Captain positions open that need to be filled. Southeast Metro and Mankato are open and if you have an interest in either of these positions please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for everything you have done this year. Each year our mission load grows and you respond to it. In 2011 we will see another large Deployment from the MN National Guard and we will need your time and flags once more. As you see the weekly emails come out with the mission and events listed please remember that we are of service to the military members and families. Many of them aren’t “fun” events.. but we have to remember.. “Mission First.”
If I don’t see you personally before the year end I hope the Holiday Season and New Years is awesome for you. Our country has been experiencing some real challenges these last few years and I hope that prosperity finds each and every one of you.
MN Patriot Guard