The SS Sicamous Restoration Society fears the worst if a healthy public showing doesn’t occur at Wednesday’s board election meeting at 7 p.m. on the ship.
“If they show up great. If they don’t, well it is obvious what is going to happen. This thing is going to go the way of the dodo,” said Jim Cooper, president of the SS Sicamous Restoration Society. “It is make or break Wednesday night and we need some people with some skills to come forward and say I want to help out. That is what we are really after.”
The society is seeking volunteers and committee members and are asking those with financial, organizational and fundraising skills to consider a nomination with the board of directors. After a small showing at the annual general meeting earlier this month, the society started a Facebook campaign to get people out and involved. Cooper said a phone committee has also called all 500 people who hold memberships to remind them of the importance of the meeting.
“I think we are going to get a good turnout and I am hoping it will spill out onto the lawn,” said Cooper.
Cooper said it is not the wish of the society to close the ship for the summer, although the option was presented at the last meeting to allow the society to concentrate on rentals as a way to pay down debt. Currently, the society has drawn on $43,000 of their line of credit, which the bank froze in January.
At the AGM, Jake Kimberley stepped down as board president, citing lack of support from the city and charging the city had requested his resignation before they would release the annual grant funding for the society. Mayor Dan Ashton said council did not request the resignation, rather they asked for a business plan before they are willing to continue the funding.
Cooper said he doesn’t believe any of the board of directors expected the City of Penticton to bail the society out of its present financial predicament. Once the board and volunteer committees are in place, Cooper said it will be a matter of developing a business plan and putting it in action to regain the confidence of city officials and the public at large.
“The last year has been trying, but we need to put the negative energy behind us and look forward to a year of renewal and rejuvenation for the society,” said Cooper. “The society that operates and maintains the ship is asking for help, not from the city, but from the public. If you are not a member, become one. It is only $20.”
Up for election are the positions of president, vice-president, secretary treasurer and up to nine board members. The society will also have a sign up sheet for volunteers and for committees.