November 24, 2014
Â Dear Alumni & Friends,
We hope that you will sign this Declaration – not because it is perfect or you endorse every single word, but because the overall Spirit of the Declaration conveys the essence of what Freddy Jonas was trying to accomplish in his single-sex leadership program for teenagers in an intimate, rustic setting in the Hudson Valley. Â Thank you.
Â “We the undersigned strongly affirm our appreciation for all the work the Board of Directors does in what is the often thankless task of leading the Louis August Jonas Foundation. Still, in light of the current decision to sell the Camp Rising Sun properties and to make program changes, we the undersigned advocate a return to George E. Jonasâ€™s original vision whereby we reaffirm the following fundamental guiding principles:
Â 1. Â Preservation of the Foundation’s financial assets and physical properties.
2. Â Survival of the LAJF Mission to continue the simultaneous operation of a 7-week summer program at both its existing boys and girls camps in their present locations in Dutchess County, New York.
Resolved. Fiduciary Responsibility.Â We call on the LAJF Board not to engage in “deficit financing” beyond the 5.5% of the three-year rolling average of the value of the Endowment. Â A 5.5% limit was the Board’s practice for decades and is common practice in other public charities. Â In order to restore the financial health of LAJF, deficit financing may require spending even less than 5.5% of the Endowment. Â Only an alumni-wide inclusive dialogue will determine if and how to implement this Resolution.
Resolved. Governance.Â This crisis has highlighted the need for a new governance structure. Â At present, membership to the board is by invitation only. Â We call for a system which would provide a measure of accountability and guarantee all alumni of Camp Rising Sun to be automatically enfranchised as â€œMembersâ€ of the governing structure with voting privileges and at no cost. We call for a system under which Directors of the LAJF are elected by the â€œMembersâ€ of the CRS alumni community on aÂ regular cycle and through a process to be decided by an alumni wide inclusive deliberation. Â Only an alumni-wide inclusive dialogue will determine if and how to implement this Resolution.
Resolved. No Asset Sale.Â Â We call on the LAJF Board to reverse the decision to sell the camp sites. Â We request the Board to provide alumni with all the due diligence reports that were the basis of the decision to sell and to end operations at their present locations. These grounds are much more than the current address for some abstract set of principles. These places are intertwined with the people who experienced the program. Â They are Camp Rising Sun itself — the land on which we held our Councils and our Vigils, carved our names and crafted our legacies, as essential to our collective identity as any college quadrangle or town square. Â We shall preserve them above all, and expand beyond them only after they are secured and the alumni body is prepared to move forward collectively. Only an alumni-wide inclusive dialogue will determine if and how to implement this Resolution.
Resolved. Transparency.Â We call on the LAJF Board to post the minutes of its meetings and of its Committee meetings, its budgets & reports routinely and in a timely fashion on the LAJF web site for all CRS alumnae and alumni to see. Board meetings shall be open to any Member who wishes to attend. Only an alumni-wide inclusive dialogue will determine if and how to implement this Resolution.
Resolved. Budget Reduction.Â We call on the LAJF Board to reduce the annual budgetÂ immediatelyÂ to meet the above constraints, including administrative staff cuts, the closing of the NYCÂ office and its relocation to Dutchess County, and restriction of the camp budgets where necessary. Only an alumni-wide inclusive dialogue will determine if and how to implement this Resolution.
Resolved. Pledge to Support.Â The alumni signed hereunder pledge to support (financially and otherwise) the above plan to ensure a Â season of 7 weeks at both camp sites and to subsequently bring the Camp operations back to full strength at 120 campers per year, in rejuvenated facilities, with a single-sex and full summer experience in perpetuity at both camps â€“ not campuses.Â There may come a time when the LAJF is strong enough to consider an exciting “growth story” beyond 120 campers and other changes. That time is not now. Only an alumni-wide inclusive dialogue will determine if and how to implement this Resolution.
As members of the alumni body, we look forward to an open dialogue with the Board of Directors. Â We pledge that as we move forward, we will conduct ourselves in the â€œSpirit of CRS,â€ responsibly and in a constructive manner.â€
To begin this dialogue we respectfully request a meeting with no less than eight BOD members and no less than eight SAVE CRS members prior to the end of year holidays at a mutually convenient time. Â We ask for a public response to this request no later than Friday, December 5, 2014 to be posted on the LAJF website.
We invite all LAJF Committee members and members of the Members Advisory Council (MAC)Â to sign this Declaration.
We especially invite those current LAJF Board members who publicly supported theÂ October 3, 2014Â announcement and perhaps felt compelled to support the decision but have since become increasingly uncomfortable with the process of the decision, the deep ramifications of the decision, and the serious damage done to the relationship between the Foundation and the Alumni.
To the Alumni Body, the above Declaration is our preliminary platform to you endorsed by the alumni noted below. Â The SAVE CRS Group of Concerned Alumni welcomes and honors the experience and knowledge of our alumni base and encourages their participation to resolve our issues.
Please sign this document if you support these Resolutions. Â Let us know if you want to join and help our group. Â In the space below, there is room for you to express your thoughts and concerns along with your signature. Â Please help us share and inform all alumni of this Declaration. Â Thank you.
This Declaration is shared on behalf of the SAVE CRS Group of Concerned Alumni:
|Eli Attie||â€™82, â€˜83, Sundial co-editor 1980s|
|Stephen Bang||’65,’66, ’77-’79 Caretaker, ’80-’82 Construction Counselor and Maintenance Director, a few years on Program Committee & decades on Buildings and Grounds committee|
|Justin Brasch||’80, ’81,LAJF Board Member 1990s|
|Eric Brown||’64, ’65|
|Tonya Buckler||’97 Clinton Health and Wellness Counselor, ’98, ’99, ’00, ’01 Clinton Assistant Camp Director, ’03 Head Chef and ’07 Camp Director|
|John (J.C.) Calderon||’81, ’82, ’84K, Buildings & Grounds Committee Chair 2012-â€˜14, B&G Committee 1980s-2014, Selection Committee 1990s -2000s, Sundial co-editor 1980s|
|Dr. â€‹Andre Campbell||â€™72-73 â€‹LAJF Board Member 1989-2000|
|Laura Cerone||â€™89, â€˜90|
|Dr. Jonathan J. Cole||â€˜68|
|Dr. Tom Corcoran||’79, ’80|
|Dr. Sanat Dixit||’84, ’85|
|Sandi DuBowski||’86, ’87|
|Seth Frank||’48 & ’49, LAJF Board Member 1980’s; Board Member Emeritus|
|Cyrille Hanappe||â€˜85, French Selection Committee|
|Ambassador Ulric (Rick) Haynes, Jr.||’47 and ’48. As a Counselor, Co-Camp Director, and Camp Director in the 1950’s and twice a member of the LAJF Board in the 1960’s and 1970’s|
|Mats Kleivane||’01, ’02, ’11C|
|Theodora Konetsovska||â€™94, â€™95, LAJF Board Member ’11-’13|
|Elizabeth Chun Hye Lee||’95, ’96|
|Steve Lorenz||â€˜79, â€™80, â€˜84C, LAJF Board member 1993-â€™02, Treasure and Chair of the Finance & Investment Committee for 9 years from 1993 to 2002|
|Jay Manzo||’83, ’84|
|Magdalena Musiala||’95, ’96, ’99C, ’01C, ’04C, ’05ACD, ’06CD, ’07CD, ’08CD|
|Dr. Irwin Nydick||â€™39, â€™40, â€™41, â€˜42, counselor, LAJF Board member, MAC member, many years of various committees work|
|Jeff Orlowski||’99, ’00, ’02, ’06|
|Stephen G. Racioppo||’68, â€‹LAJF Board Member ~1997-â€™02|
|Jackie Ramos||’91C, ’92C, Selection Committee 1990s – present, international campers host. 2011-’14|
|David Rosen||â€™96, â€˜97|
|Michael Saratovsky||’98-99 Red Hook, B&G Committee, Selection Committee NYC ’12-14|
|Robert Sarlls||â€™78, â€˜79, LAJF Board member, early 1990s|
|Marcin Sawicki||’93, Polish Selection Committee ’97-’07|
|Noel Selegzi||â€™81, â€˜82|
|Matt Shaw||’04, ’05, ’10-’13C, Program Committee current|
|Dr. Nicholas Skipitaris||â€˜80|
|William Soule||’47,’48, ’49|
|John Tumino||’81, ’82, LAJF Board member ’92-’97|
|Chris Varrone||â€™78, â€™79, ’80K, ’84-’86C, ’91-’05 LAJF Board member, Board President 2000-â€™03, Board Chairman 2003-â€˜05|