The future looked bleak. The club had only about $12,000 in the bank. What could anyone do with such little money? One board member suggested that maybe the club could meet on Patricia Beach a few times a year. Many around that table seemed resigned to the idea that the club would never again have a permanent home.
But not everyone shared that view. Where most saw doom and gloom, there were those with business skills who saw opportunity. To them, that $12,000 was not all that we had, but was actually seed money to grow something new. Where others saw limitation, they saw opportunity. I remember that John [Kundert] and I started to toss around some pretty grand ideas that night. People around that table must have thought that we had both just cracked. I am sure I saw Rita [CGSC's president] slowly reaching for her cell phone to call the nice men in white coats! Eventually they began to catch on to what we were talking about, everyone started to catch the fever that John and I were suffering, and a new enthusiasm was born. Even though some around that table may not have fully understood what we were talking about, and even though some were not fully convinced that it would work, hope began to rise in peoples' hearts. People began to learn from what we offered, and with that, they began to find their input and experiences to share. Before the meeting was over, the basic core of the Legacy Project had been born, and we were on our way back from the brink of disaster.
With that Board's support and encouragement, John and I brainstormed through all hours of the night, for days and weeks on end. From endless hours of research and debate we gradually honed our plan. We continued to bring plans and ideas and concepts back to the Board, and from them seek support and input. In the end, only a small portion of that original $12,000 in seed money was needed to generate more than $200,000 worth of investment in our new home — Naturist Legacy Park. That's what people with business backgrounds can do in action. We saw opportunity and potential where most others would have seen limitations or the end of the road. It's those business skills that have brought us back from the abyss, and that have established our new home. It's those business skills that have earned the trust of the membership to properly care for their investments — large and small — and to use them to utmost advantage in order to ensure our immediate and long-term success
What we have carved out of the forest, and what we have managed to create is a marvel in itself, and I hope will be a haven for naturists for generations to come. Without the overwhelming support and generous financial contributions from the membership, and the implicit trust in our ability and skills to make this all work, none of what we see at Naturist Legacy Park would be there today. We have come a long way out of the abyss of exile from our old home, and now have a Park to fully enjoy that will never be taken away from us by others again. If you really look hard at what we have today, the only people that can stop this great venture and kill social nudism in Manitoba is ourselves. We alone will either make it, or break it, so it is all completely in our hands now, and our responsibility to make it a success. We must operate our new home to the highest standard possible. We must find and groom the best of the best, those with strong identifiable business skills, to manage what for us now is no longer a social club, but a true standing corporation, with assets and liabilities, tax issues, and legal issues, and the list goes on. If we fail this time, there will be no one else to blame but ourselves. Nothing is ever permanent. If you take your eyes off the prize, if you rest when you should work, if you stop taking all this seriously, we are destined to fail.
We were fortunate that the winds of those days brought the right people in place, and we were fortunate that members were there with understanding and trust, and you turned that trust over in hopes of a better tomorrow. Well, that tomorrow came. But it did not come easy. The do or die mantra, the "failure is not an option" mentality, coupled with the support of the people around that Board table, gave birth to the Legacy Project, and now Naturist Legacy Park. But all of this comes with a clear warning: if you tamper with the model that helped us arrive, you risk it all. We have a formula that works, it is proven every time you drive in that Park gate. You can ignore the advice from those who made that gate happen, but to what end? Why would any one person risk it? Have we already forgotten 2010?
SOURCE: This is an abridged version of the Naturist Legacy Fundraising Report for 2012 (PDF). It was written by Mark B. (treasurer) and presented at the Naturist Legacy Inc. Annual General Meeting held on October 13, 2012. The report is well worth reading in its entirety.