2018!! It is hard to believe that KBIA is preparing to open in less than five months! Five months until we are able to enjoy that wonderful spot – KBIA. I think of that “spot” often. I will be ending my 15th year on the Board of Directors in August of this summer. Sadly, but understandably, our bylaws require that I step down. Upon some reflection, I have realized that KBIA is not just a location or a group of buildings. Although, a new pool, a new playground and significantly improved facilities do contribute to the KBIA experience, I believe KBIA is an attitude. It is a way of life. When I pass Sea Fields Condos and the backside of Webhannet Golf Club and I round the turn to pass KBIA, I smile and anxiously look to my right to see who may be at KBIA that day. I hope I see my granddaughter Sammie coming out of the pool or from under the tent. My thoughts go back to 1994 when my wife Jayne and I built our home on Beach Avenue. Our daughters Katie and Kelley were 9 and 7 years old. KBIA was described in magical, transformational terms. I cannot imagine what our 24 years in Kennebunk would look like without KBIA. It was the center of our children’s social world and soon became the center of Jayne’s and my social world. We made as many friends as our children. Friendships that still hold strong today.
I know I am making this personal. We all have these wonderful stories. KBIA creates that personal bond with each and every one of us. It is the fact that our relationships are so personal that makes the KBIA bond so strong. As I mentioned, KBIA is an attitude, a way of life, and that rings true. The community spirit, the values that we encourage and support in our mission is all built around the positive development of each and every child. Even the activities created for adult members, parents and grandparents are done so with the focus on strengthening the community spirit for the benefit of the children. As Hartley Lord, a long-time supporter of KBIA, famously said when asking for support of KBIA, “It is for the little children”. Of course, we also need to focus on the facilities, the equipment and the programming. Without our terrific staff and team members, we will not thrive. KBIA has been and is blessed with wonderful benefactors and competent volunteers. We are most fortunate.
We have done a lot to improve KBIA but it is the culture, the people, and our values that endure time and again. When, a camper’s family came upon difficult times and money was not available for KBIA, we were able to assist with scholarship money so that the child could continue their summer experience. When, money was needed for a disabled motor for one of our boats, donations were sought and raised to pay for the replacement. When, a physically challenged camper needed more personal attention, our staff answered the need quickly and completely for the entire summer. These are the things I have been thinking about and why I am so proud of KBIA. Serving KBIA for 15 years has been an honor.
Yes, it is for the children. So, I encourage current Board members, future Board members and the KBIA community at large, please, keep building upon the spirit of KBIA. Please, participate with KBIA. Whether you volunteer your time, your abilities or your financial support – your participation is needed. At a time when some of your interests get crowded out, please, continue to be a part of KBIA. Preserve this special “spot” in the hearts and minds of the children for generations to come.
With this in mind, I invite you to join KBIA as a member. Our 2018 membership form can be found on our website here.
Membership fees support KBIA in the year they are given and remain crucial to the financial health and stability of our nonprofit organization. Please also consider a donation to your choice of our scholarship fund, facilities fund, and/or our general fund in addition to your membership. Please visit the “How to Donate
” section of our website for more details on each fund. Thank you.
President of the KBIA Board of Directors