Newsletter

Star Island Newsletter

Star Island Newsletter

Winter 2008

Volume XXXIV, Issue 1

    Inside this Issue:

  • The “FAB” Team
  • From the Development Office
  • From the President
  • Introducing Our New CEO, Vicky Hardy
  • 1988: Twenty Years Ago in the Star Island Newsletter
  • Our Neighbors in the Shoals: An Island Kingdom
  • Passages
  • The Passing of a Star of Star: Albert W. Doolittle
  • Poetry: A Walk on Star Island

On the Island

Star Island’s 2008 Conferences: On Solid Ground

Note: This letter from Brad Greeley was on the front page of the website from January 23rd, 2008, until February 28th, 2008. It is now being archived here in the News area.

Dear Friends of Star Island,

I’m writing to update you on the exciting progress made at Star Island over the past eight months as we prepare to open for our Summer 2008 season.

We apologize for the extremely unfortunate closing last summer due to fire code violations. We have taken stock and we are stronger than ever. Since June we have invested more than $270,000 in electrical and other improvements in addition to the more than $1 million invested solely in fire and other safety upgrades over the last six years. All of last year’s electrical problems are fixed and we are working with fire officials and other regulators on developing approved plans to meet all existing codes. We are already ahead on $200,000 of scheduled 2008 safety work.

Excellent, skilled staff are being recruited and the best qualities of our beloved buildings, we are happy to say, have been retained while making them much safer and more secure. If you want to know more about the other steps we’ve taken to sustain Star and to give you a great summer, contact us at office@starisland.org any time.

As we prepare for next summer, we are more excited than ever at the anticipation of our time on Star Island, a place for renewal, personal growth, connection and the sheer joy of our Island home.

The conference calendar is now available online and the Blue Book will be in your mailbox soon. If you aren’t a “regular” at your special conference, there are so many choices to pick from, you’re sure to find a conference that interests you. Come alone, with a loved one or the entire family and reconnect with the magic of Star.

See you this summer.

In Star Spirit,
Brad Greeley, President

On the Island

Chief Executive Officer Search

Note: This message posted on behalf of Brad Greeley, President.

Star Island Corporation is embarking on a search for a new Chief Executive Officer (we have changed the title of the Executive Director position). We seek an individual who will bring his or her unique abilities and skills to address the current and long-term strategic challenges and opportunities faced by the Star Island Corporation.

The search committee has begun its work and is striving to present candidates to the Board as early as January, 2008. I am pleased to let you know that Bruce Parsons is the chair of the committee. Bruce has been a member and Vice President of the Board of Directors, member and past chair of the Facilities Committee, member and current chair of the Property Standards committee, and a Pelican Reunion conferee for years after working as a Pelican.

The Board and search committee have integrated the recommendations of the Island Opening Late Committee into the job description for the new CEO. The search committee welcomes your ideas, feedback and your recommendations. If you know of a potential candidate please encourage him/her to read the search information and job description and get in touch with the committee at office@starisland.org.

Please note that the deadline for applications for this position is November 19, 2007. This is a full-time position; compensation and benefits are commensurate with experience.

The Board of Directors of the Star Island Corporation looks forward to a future that holds much promise for the Corporation and its constituents. A dynamic, experienced executive is very much a part of that picture.

On the Island

Call to Special Meeting of the Corporation

This message posted on behalf of Karen Mathiasen, Clerk.

Pursuant to Article IV, Section 2 of the bylaws, notice is hereby given that a Special Meeting of the Star Island Corporation will be held at the First Unitarian Church of Worcester, Massachusetts, (Directions) on Saturday, October 13, 2007, at 9:00 AM for the transaction of the following business:

1. To hear reports regarding the Island opening late, financial matters, and other issues concerning the 2007 conference season and their potential impact on future conference seasons, and in particular to hear the report of the Island Opening Late Committee.

2. To have an opportunity for discussion regarding the aforementioned issues.

Karen Mathiasen, Clerk

Note on RSVPing: Corporation members will receive special RSVP information by first class mail shortly. Non-members are welcome to attend this meeting; an RSVP to office@starisland.org is required as demand may outpace available space. Carpooling is recommended!

PDF copies of the agenda and driving directions are available.

Please feel free to forward this annoucement to any interested parties.

Addendum, Friday, September 21: A meeting of the Council of Conferences will follow the Corporation meeting at 1:30 p.m.; an agenda is forthcoming.

On the Island

Recent articles of interest

Island Haven

Hotel, cottages and shoreline make for a memorable spot—Chelsea Conroy, Concord Monitor, August 23, 2007 (posted with permission of the Monitor)

(Photo: Lori Duff) “Tradition is king on Star Island, and a day trip there offers a peek into a time when sprawling wooden hotels were common vacation spots, the staff put on weekly variety shows (think Dirty Dancing – the original) and guests played Bocce ball on the grass. Day visitors can lunch with conference attendees who fill the hotel, take a tour of the 46-acre island with a pelican or retreat to the solitude of the rocks on the back of the island, looking out to the open ocean.”

Serene Star Island

Tradition continues for families who make Shoals visit—Karen Dandurant, Portsmouth Herald, August 20, 2007 (posted with permission of the Herald)

(Photo: Karen Dandurant) “Some are drawn back to the island for its serene setting and old-time feel encouraged by the presence of historic buildings and the absence of modern-day appliances. One of Star Island’s most prominent features is the chapel, a simple stone meetinghouse built in 1800 on the highest point of land. Others are attracted to the companionship of friends and family who return each year, and the time-honored lobster dinners and weekly softball games featuring a cemetery in left field and a newly constructed green monster.”

On the Island

The Gift Shop is Now Online!

Exciting news from the ISAUU—the Gift Shop has opened an online store with CafePress. This is the only official place to buy Star Island cards, calendars, and more when you’re back on the mainland—all proceeds from the ISAUU support Star Island in a myriad of ways, including conference scholarships, building renovations, and large construction projects. The Isles of Shoals Assocation (Unitarian Universalist) has been working behind the scenes on Star Island since 1897, fostering community, comfort, safety and fun.

P.S. Take a look at the 2008 Calendar—you can preview each of Connie Lentz’s photos and they’re all fantastic!

On the Island

August 17th Conference Availability Update

Our thanks go out to everyone who came to Star for a Personal Retreat or attended any of the UCC Conferences. We are very lucky to have such a committed community of Shoalers.

“For me, it’s the pull of the island,” said Debbie Redding-Sampson, 51, a conferee from Kennebunk, Maine, who returns each year with her 16-year-old son, Michael. “Everyone has a different sense of what the island means for them. It transcends religion. It’s just a spiritual place.”*

Now that life on Star Island has settled a bit back into our planned conference schedule, it’s time for another availability update—check out the calendar page for the latest details.

Notably, Dover Yoga is now on a waitlist and Midweek II, Star Hampshire Music & Dance, and ISHRA’s September Conference are filling up quickly.

* If you attended UCC I or II, please feel free to send a post-conference wrap-up for the website to bwinters@starisland.org. Debbie was quoted for a press release from Star, letting everyone know that we are back on our normal conference schedule and welcoming conferees and day visitors.

On the Island

Pel Banquet Raises nearly $9,000 for Star Island

Star Island’s sense of community was evident on the eve of the Island’s opening as nearly two dozen Pels volunteered their time to put on the first ever off-island banquet to raise money for the Annual Fund. And when it was over, the Annual Fund had nearly $9,000 more.

The event at South Church in Portsmouth on July 21 was as close to the traditional Friday night Star Island banquet as you could get without being on the island. There was social hour—with wonderful hot and cold hors d’oeuvres and festive sparkling cider—the traditional family style steak dinner with a vegetarian option and an unforgettable Pel Show.

And for over 100 guests and volunteers, it was a time of celebration because the first of the Island’s 2007 guests were to arrive the next day.

Like others in the Star community, the Pels wanted to do something to help the Island. And in just two weeks, they put together a banquet that will live in the memory of the Shoalers who attended.

A family from the International Affairs Conference was so inspired that they offered to match banquet donations of $100 or more up to $2,500. And a youngster who attended sold magnets with Star Island photographs she had taken. The nearly $9,000 that was raised included the banquet donations, the matching gift and the money from the sale of the magnets (that went for $3 each).

“I think this event was great and the enthusiasm shown by the Pelicans and the attendees was very uplifting in this turbulent period,” said Ben Kunz, Pelican Club Development Officer and one of the event organizers.

Pennants on the banquet tables proclaimed “U will come back!” With this sense of community, how can it be otherwise!

On the Island

Search for New Star Island Executive Begins

This message posted on behalf of Brad Greeley, President.

I am sorry to let you know that our Executive Director, Amy Lockwood, has resigned her position as of August 3rd for personal reasons. We are saddened at her leaving but the Board was pleased to accept her offer of continuing to consult with us during the transition to new leadership. Dave Boynton has agreed to become acting Executive Director while we search for an Interim ED.

The Island Staff have been informed and are saddened by the news but are committed to making the rest of the season an excellent experience for conferees.

The Board is strong in its praise for the work Amy has done for us and admiring of how she lead us through the last month to where we were able to open and welcome conferees.

This press release was sent to the media late yesterday afternoon.

We hope you will share your appreciation of the hard work Amy has done on our behalf and join with us as we move towards a sounder and safer Island home.

In the spirit,
Brad Greeley, Pres,
SIC Board of Directors

On the Island

Boston Globe visits Star Island

Reporter Sarah Schweitzer and photographer Jason Johns visited Star Island last week and the result is a front tramadol online delivery page article in today’s Boston Globe!

Island back in business: Repairs finished, N.H. retreat reopens to relief of regulars

“This placid island 7 miles off the coast is a place of deep attachments for visitors. Hundreds return each summer, like their parents and grandparents before them, to attend religious retreats and educational seminars on the island, with its candlelit stone chapel, rows of line-drying laundry, arranged according to the colors of the rainbow, and preferred pastimes of reflection and meditation.”