The Marina Dock Newsletter January
Dear Marina Dock members
and patrons alike,
For those of us who
can think about think about statistics without falling asleep
or going into apoplectic shock, here is one to ruminate on. Since
we opened in February of 1986 we have on average had 400 people
a day come through our doors. If you multiply 400 x 365 days a
year x 18 years it equals 2,628,000 (i.e., two
million, six hundred and twenty eight thousand) individuals seeking
a spiritual way of life. Incidentally, and I probably don't need
to tell you this it's obvious, the doors are the same ones we
had the day we opened. Already I can see the statistician among
us challenging our methodology. For example, if a person attends
more than one meeting a day should that person be counted as two
instead of one? Why not? Politicians do it all the time. Remember
"Landslide Lyndon's" big win in Texas in '48? JFK's
razor thin majority of the popular vote in 1960, with the help
of Sam Giancanno. Mayor Daly (Richard not Chris) and his old man's
money. I liked JFK's response when asked about his narrow victory
over Nixon. He said "I told my father not to pay for one
vote more than we needed". More recently, of course, we had
"the dangling chads" in Florida. And of course, closer
to home, a few years ago, we had the last minute surge for "the
ballpark initiative" when the count came in from the
residents of Colma. I stand by my figures.
A last minute pitch
If you are still considering a final donation for this year we
could really use your help. We have end of the year Federal and
State Taxes due in January along with liability insurance. In
order to keep this place afloat we have to ask for donations monthly,
unless we ask, we do not receive. Our slogan this month is "In
order to keep it we must give it away". We are trying to
give back as much as we can, the more we receive the more we will
try to give back. A lot of people have the impression that as
a nonprofit we pay little or no taxes. We basically pay the same
taxes as "for profit" corporations pay. The 501 (c)
(3) exemption is to encourage donations from individuals and corporations
who can then claim it as a tax deductible contribution or write
off. Right now, the competition for these tax deductible dollars
is fierce with so many non profits in the Bay Area on life support.
We would not have survived over the last couple of years without
this support. This month we decided to make the whole idea of
giving, more convenient and less painful. You can now donate on
a monthly basis through (a) an automatic deduction from your credit
card or (b) an electronic transfer of funds from your checking
account. If you consider this option it would really make a difference.
We are enclosing the necessary form to make this possible. It's
pretty self-explanatory. Just mail it back to us with the pertinent
information and we will take it from there. If you are some one
who contributes on a regular basis and you are wondering how many
people you have helped the answer is, at least two million six
hundred and twenty eight thousand that we know of, and probably
more. That's pretty impressive. If we ever start doubting ourselves
and feel we are not doing enough to help others, think again.
Short and sweet like
an asses gallop
This month I want to keep it short for a variety of reasons. It's
a really busy time of the year. We seem to have a lot of stuff
happening simultaneously. We are having the buffet on Christmas
Eve and also on New Year's Eve followed by a midnight meeting.
We decided to keep the place open on those two nights round the
clock. It makes perfect sense, given the fact that I don't leave
there some nights until around 3:30 to 4:00 AM, and Bernice usually
shows up around that time anyway. By the way, if anyone wants
to have meetings throughout the night the rooms are available.
For some reason, this year I feel we need to be open pretty much
round the clock from Christmas Eve through New Year's Eve.
I really miss the man
It was about this time
three years ago that Frank B went to the Hospital. Around the
holidays he would appear to be everywhere at once. In and out
of meetings, shaking people's hands, saying goodbye to everyone
for the umpteen time, putting the bag back behind the counter
again, because someone just arrived that he had not seen for a
while, changing his mind about leaving and going to another meeting.
Then he would come out of the meeting and reintroduce you to the
same person again. "Irish Tony. You know Irish Tony! Yeah!
Yeah! He's from Ireland you know". If he was telling you
some big story about someone he knew for years and how much they
had helped out one of his many charitable projects he would be
grinning like a Cheshire cat. "Yeah, he gave us $25,000 to
help open Brennan House and $20,000 to Vincent De Paul".
Of course, by then I would be all ears. I would ask him "do
I know this guy Frank? "Yeah! Yeah!", the hands would
be going, "I introduced him to you here several times."
One time he came out of a meeting and tore into some fella at
the counter with such ferocity I thought the guy was a goner.
Then, a few days later he walks straight up to the same guy and
with great humility apologized profusely for his outburst. "Just
because I am sober fifty years doesn't mean I can't be an a**
h***. Now I'm a sober a** h***." He would shuffle off, slightly
stooped hands behind his back to the next one with greetings and
Eileen L passed away in early December after a long illness. Eileen
was one of our staunchest supporters. A quite an unassuming lady
of great courage and dignity, Eileen never faltered in her commitment
to reaching out and being there when needed. She thought of others
first, last, and always. Right up to the end she came to the Marina
Dock to be with her friends and family. Thank you Eileen for making
a difference in the lives of so many people. At least two and
a half million. The Marina Dock wishes to extend our deepest sympathies
to family and friends.
Anthony T. Murray