Residents and businesses can make tax-deductible donations for the construction of a proposed community park through the partnership of three entities.
Guy Martin, Bullard Rotary Club member, said the club is classified as a 501(c)4, or a social club, and any donations made to them are not tax-deductible. He said the legal paperwork to become a certified 501(c)3 would be too much for the small organization to afford, and instead they contracted with East Texas Communities Foundation.
The Foundation will act as a liaison between the Rotary Club and the city of Bullard to ensure all funds collected go toward their intended purpose.
“We've got all the infrastructure to receive those (funds) and to give out the proper tax receipts, and to ensure those monies are spent on a charitable purpose,” said Kyle Penney, president and CEO of the East Texas Communities Foundation.
Penney said the foundation will enter into a contract with the Rotary Club and hold its donations. As the project progresses and money needs to be spent, the foundation will issue grants to the city with specific instructions on how the funding can be used. For its services, the foundation will receive 1 percent of the total amount deposited.
Martin said it makes sense that the city should receive the funds because it will eventually take over the maintenance of the park.
“When you start putting money into a political entity (such as a city), strange things can happen,” he said. “This way, the funds go from the Rotary to the foundation, and the Rotary Club gives written instruction on where and when to send the money. The city has entered into a contract with the foundation for that purpose. Everything is contractually governed, so there can be no mischief.”
Lisa Williams, principal of Bullard Elementary School, said the school has already started to help with fundraising efforts. The school held a “change challenge” between boy and girl students. She said in three days, about $701 was raised. The boys won by almost $11, and will receive popsicles as prizes.
Williams said the Rotary Club will begin selling pickets soon which will be engraved with names and businesses. Forms for the pickets and donations can be made at the elementary school, but she said the project is spearheaded by the Rotary Club.
“The elementary school is involved as volunteers, but it's a community-based project promoted by the Rotary Club,” she said.
Martin said the park will be constructed in five days using about 80 volunteers working between eight and 12 hours each day. Construction is tentatively set for late fall or early winter, and inal numbers are not set, but Martin estimates the price tag will be about $250,000.
Funds may also be mailed directly to the club at P.O. Box 913 Bullard, Texas 75757.
Martin said any leftover funds may be saved for a park expansion or to help the city pay for its maintenance.
“This will be a great park,” Martin said. “It will be very popular for the people in Jacksonville too, to bring their kids and grandkids.”
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