What Is An 'All Volunteer' Organization Worth?
BY: John Parker, Parker PR | Posted: Tuesday, August 12, 2014 11:10 PM
The Saint Louis Ambassadors is an all-volunteer organization that was launched on October 28, 1965 by then St. Louis Mayor, A.J. Cervantes, which also happens to be the same day the construction of the new Jefferson National Expansion Memorial was completed.
The 'St. Louis Gateway Arch' had finally arrived and our metropolitan area was ordained with a new nickname…the "Gateway to the West". The Mayor gathered support from a very diverse group of individuals that were staunch supporters of the City of St. Louis and commissioned them to "promote the city as a great place to live, work and start a new business, plus give recognition to individuals and organizations in the city that deserved to be saluted." Two local businessmen, Cicardi Bruce and Ralph Turney, were among the first to become founding charter members of the new effort and helped Mayor Cervantes build a very diverse, talented and energized team of men and women from all walks of life that gave untiring support to the new community service campaign. Please visit their website at http://saintlouisambassadors.com for details on how you can volunteer your time to ‘help us help others’ in our St. Louis community.
On March 14, 2002, the Saint Louis Ambassadors decided to expand its volunteer services beyond the St. Louis City limits. They began to reach out and provide volunteers and recognition to the entire bi-state region. The St. Louis Region is now the 19th largest economic engine in the U.S. with 2.8M residents and 193K businesses that support over one thousand charities in the sixteen counties that surround the city and its spellbinding monument - the St. Louis Arch. That evening they launched the 1904 World's Fair Charitable Foundation at the 'Top of the Chase Hotel' as a new all-volunteer group that was established to host events in Forest Park for families and their children throughout the year 2004 to celebrate the '100 Year Anniversary' of the 1904 World's Fair & III Olympics.
The Saint Louis Ambassadors President Frank Ferrara and MO Governor Bob Holden read a Missouri Proclamation that appointed Cicardi Bruce as Chairman and Rich Pisani as President of the brand new 501 (c)(3) public charity. Nearly one thousand attendees were present at the event when emcees Julius Hunter & Vicki Newton, then local news anchors from KMOV TV-4, introduced a host of VIP's that were there to support the new regional effort. This group included St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, St. Louis County Executive the late 'Buzz' Westfall, Archbishop Justin Rigali, and a variety of VIP's from other media sources, the business world and civic arena from the St. Louis metropolitan area. Local officials from clubs that represented Rotary, Lions, Kiwanis, Optimist, plus affiliates from the Regional Commerce& Growth Association and local Chambers of Commerce where on hand to take part in the launch ceremony.
Once the organization successfully ended their variety of events throughout 2004 the new group decided to continue in 2005 with a new goal, which is to continually 'raise funds for the Forest Park 'beautification program', the St. Louis Zoo 'special projects' and - most importantly - other local charities. Please visit their website at http://www.1904stl.com for details. New volunteers are always welcome to join the organization and the annual dues are a mere $19.04 per person, plus you will be invited to all events!
Effective August 18, 2014 the 1904 World's Fair Charitable Foundation, which celebrates its ‘13th Anniversary’ in 2015, will again help the Saint Louis Ambassadors by forming a new '50th Anniversary' leadership team. A new set of officers and advisory board members for the Saint Louis Ambassadors will be installed to help plan and execute a variety of events throughout the entire St. Louis Region and to celebrate the '50th Anniversary' of the Saint Louis Ambassadors and the accomplishments of their 1904 World’s Fair Charitable Foundation.
In honor of then St. Louis City Mayor A.J. Cervantes, who was the Founder & First Honorary Chairman of the Saint Louis Ambassadors, the new leadership will include his son, Barry Cervantes - Honorary Chairman, Ralph Turney - Vice Chairman, Cicardi Bruce - Chairman, Rich Pisani - President, Sean Clancy - Legal Counsel and Joan Bengston - Secretary/Treasurer. The Advisory Board & Committee Chairs will be Judy Bentley - Healthcare, Susan Bruce - Entertainment, Mark Johnson - Newsletter, Wayne Kaufman - Veterans Affairs, Sean Keough - Videography, Joel Kirk - Social Media, Dr. Jim Logan - Community Affairs, Ann Morrison – Documentarian, Cheri Otzenberger - Member Services, Tom Ousley - Scholarships, - John Parker - Marketing & Public Relations, Vicki Schneider - Political Affairs and Sam Solomon - Sister Cities. The Young Ambassadors will be led by local entrepreneur, Rachel Boone, who will build a team of individuals from age 21 to 40 to ensure that the organization will continue to move forward in the future towards their '75 Year Anniversary.'
The U.S. Small Business Institute, which is an all-volunteer group serving small businesses and charitable foundations since 1985, has its ‘30th Birthday’ in 2015 also. SBI has agreed to lend volunteer support from its base of business owners and their upper-level managers to assist both the Saint Louis Ambassadors and the 1904 World’s Fair Charitable Foundation in their quest to help others who need assistance in the metropolitan area. For more information on how entrepreneurs and top-tier executives can ‘help us help others’ please visit their site at http://www.us-smallbusinessinstitute.com.
So, what’s the bottom line? Donating money is one way to help others, but sharing your time as a volunteer to assist those in need is good for the soul. As you can see, you have three local all-volunteer groups working hand-in-hand promoting community service, raising funds for local worthy causes and helping small businesses – at no charge - in the entire St. Louis Region. And, because of the internet and social media, the three groups have the ability to communicate with forty one LinkedIn groups and with the push of the SEND button they reach over 13,000 digital contacts in cyberspace to get the word out, educate the public, and ask for volunteers to help!
If you would like to join their team of volunteers in any one of the three organizations outlined, you can contact Richard T. Pisani at 314-952-2640 (c) or send him an email at [email protected] The three groups work together to "Promote community service and goodwill in the entire St. Louis Region." To review the main sponsor of the three all-volunteer organizations above you can go to American Marketing Group, Inc. and visit their newly remodeled website at http://www.americanmarketinggroupinc.com.