The Skootamatta and District Ratepayers Association (SDRA) has received the 2017 FOCA (Federation of Ontario Cottagers' Association) Achievement Award for excellence in membership engagement and communication! FOCA represents over 500 cottage associations across Ontario.
Skootamatta Lake, which is located west of Cloyne and South of Bon Echo Park, has a bout 300 dwellings on it, most of them seasonal.
Debbi Awde, who is describing herself these days as the “proud President” of the Association, said that the award is a tribute to “all of the work the SDRA board, current and past, as well as member volunteers. have done to help the SDRA achieve this recognition!
Awde said that an effort to improve communications was initiated by the SDRA doard in 2012, when membership in the association had shrunk to about 175.
“We decided to upgrade our website, by making it more interactive, posting events around the lake and from the community as well. Another thing we did was to develop an email list of members and interested friends and started to send out information and newsletters regularly to the contact list.”
The thirs thing that the SDRA did was to change the format of their July Annual General Meeting.
“We already had a pretty good event with a guest speaker but them we invited outside groups like the historical society, and Quinte Conservation to set up an information booth and that has been well received.
The SDRA now has 206 members, and all time high. Awde said the award, which came about because forner board member Nancuy Kallina submitted a nomination,was indeed a surprise because there were a number of nominations and “there are so man y FOCA members who submitted good nominations.”
“Nancy Kallina VP Paul Lindsay and I were invited onstage to accept the award and provide a presentation about all of the great work the SDRA has done to elevate membership levels through enhanced communication. It was a big audience of over 130 FOCA member attendees. It was pretty exciting”