Since we received our first donation a year has passed. Time for thanks-giving to our donors and a progress report to you all! First of all, of course, is how much we have collected. Please see the spreadsheet for the generous donations we have received. For privacy, the donors' names are removed. A keen-eyed reader will see a couple of unusual patterns in the records:
1. There are only a few online donations. Instead, most of the donations are in the form of personal checks. That seems odd, considering we are in the internet century after all. That is because Cornell has not set up a designated webpage for contributions to the Hu Shih Bench project yet. Because donating online through Cornell's old website is cumbersome and error-prone, we have not started our online fundraising campaign yet. We are working with Cornell Botanic Gardens to set up the much desired webpage as soon as possible so that we can complete our fundraising goal.
2. Most of the funds were collected in the first half of 2019, due to the following two factors: First, the volunteers in our foundation became very busy in the second half of 2019. Second, without the designated donation webpage we could not start the general campaign to collect donations online. But we have achieve 1/3 of our goal with those difficulties. That significant progress gives us confidence that we will reach our goal once the donation page is in place!
Now you might be wondering about the project's timetable. The Hu Shih Bench project is part of the Beebe Lake renovation plan, a grand project designed by the landscape architecture students at Cornell. They completed a master plan in 2019 and will finish the design in the first half of 2020. Hopefully the implementation will start later in 2020. We will keep you posted about our fundraising progress and Cornell's project plans.
During the Thanksgiving break in 2019, one of our members went to Cornell and met with Lynn Swain, Director of Development of Cornell Botanic Gardens. In sleet and icy rain, we stood at the shore of BeeBe Lake, exactly on the site where the Hu Shih Bench will be placed, to discuss Lynn's vision for the lake and the engineering challenges of protecting the future bench from floods and ice dams. We are reassured that, with Lynn's enthusiasm and her support for our project, the Hu Shih Bench will stand on the shore of the lake, where Hu Shih enjoyed his student life more than one hundred years ago.
In 2020 we will collaborate with Cornell to build the designated webpage for the online fundraising drive. We are confident we will reach our goal with your generous support. Now let us conclude with Hu Shih's words: Do not make excuse for failure; make reasons for success!
Thank you very much. Have a wonderful holiday season!
Hu Shin Memorial Foundation Volunteers