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The American French Genealogical Society needs your help. Our  goal is to raise at least $500,000 in donations and pledges by June 30, 2007. The owners of our current home in Woonsocket, Rhode Island will vote this spring on whether to sell the building. If they vote yes, AFGS has the right of first refusal of the purchase. We must have sufficient funds available to create a fully accessible French-Canadian cultural and research center.
About AFGS
During the nearly 30 years since the founding of AFGS, the Society has helped thousands of individuals find their ancestors and learn about the important contributions to their community not only in the United States, but also in Canada and elsewhere. From the humble beginnings in 1978, with a handful of repertoires stored in milk crates at the LeFoyer Club in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, the AFGS library has grown to over 10,000 volumes. This is one of the largest collections of French and French-Canadian research material in North America.
In addition to publishing more that 100 books, the AFGS regularly conducts workshops on research and French-Canadian history, publishes a bi-annual journal, Je Me Souviens, and a bi-monthly newsletter. The Society is a founding member of the New England Regional Genealogical Conference and plays a key role in the planning of genealogical conferences throughout New England. AFGS is also a member of Federation Quebecoise des Societes de Genealogie, a group consisting of the majority of genealogical and historical societies in the province of Quebec.
In 2003, the AFGS founded the French-Canadian Hall of Fame to recognize individuals of French-Canadian ancestry who have made significant contributions to their community, state and nation through either distinguished career accomplishments, or dedicated public service.
Campaign Overview
The board of directors established the building fund in 2000 with the dream of purchasing a home of our own in order to provide ample space for the expansion of cultural and historical activities.
During Phase 1 of the campaign, we asked members to make a commitment of our society through pledges and donations over time. It soon became clear that there was strong support for the AFGS and its mission, and the value placed on our rich French-Canadian heritage.
Through the generosity of our members and friends, we raised nearly $120,000. Real estate values have increased considerably over the past several years. The costs of labor and construction materials also have skyrocketed. It is obvious that we must raise substantially more in order to keep our dream alive.
Photos (from top): Volunteer researcher and author Bob Pelland; our current home; library volunteer Sylvia Bartholomy assists a new member' The Most Reverend Louis E. Gelineau, Bishop Emeritus of Providence. Facing Page: Pawtucket Red Sox Chairman and owner Ben Mondor is among the first inductees in the AFGS French-Canadian Hall of Fame; members enjoy an AFGS sponsored tour of Old Quebec City.
  
  
 
The board of directors has developed a vision plan that outlines how the AFGS will expand and improve its activities not only for members, but also for those of French-Canadian and Franco-American ancestry. We urge you to read the summary of the vision plan on the back page of this brochure. The complete plan is located on our Web site, www.afgs.org.
The goal for Phase II is ambitious. There are several ways that you can help us reach our goal. The campaign theme, Preserving our Past...Building our Future, is exactly what we will do with a successful campaign. The Society will use every avenue at its disposal to attain it, including grant opportunities, corporate donations, and in-kind services.
How you Can Help
Here are a few ways that giving to the AFGS Building Fund might be right for you:
Current Gifts
* Make an outright gift of cash or securities
* You may choose to make your donation in memory of a loved one
* Make a one-to-three year pledge of cash or securities that spreads your giving over time
* Use a distribution from a qualified retirement plan to tap into sheltered resources and minimize tax consequences
* Take advantage of a matching gift program from your employer or your spouse's employer
Deferred Gifts
* Retain total control of your assets during your lifetime but include a charitable bequest to the American French Genealogical Society Building Fund in your will or trust
* Bypass potential estate and income taxes by designating the American French Genealogical Society Building Fund as beneficiary of a retirement plan, pension benefits, or an IRA
Every contribution-no matter what size or giving method-will work to preserve our past and built our future.
Whether you choose to give a one-time contribution, make a pledge over time, donate stock, or arrange to support the AFGS through your estate plans, remember that your gift is going to make a difference.
Please keep in mind that purchasing a building is just the start. Much like owning a home, maintaining and renovation a structure is an ongoing process.
The building fund will continue after the purchase and initial renovations and repairs arer completed. We hope that you will consider including AFGS in your estate planning.
Please visit the AFGS Web site at www.afgs.org and select the building fund link to read more about the many avenues available to support the AFGS Building Fund. Remember, AFGS is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. All donations are tax deductible as allowed by law.
To donate, complete the enclosed pledge card and return it in the pre-addressed envelope. You may also donate online by visiting our secure building fund Web page, www.afgs.org, and select the building fund link.
 
 
Research Center
The Research Center will house the Society's extensive holdings and feature:
* Modern library furniture.
* A security system to protect the center's valuable holdings and a secure special collections room.
* Computerized catalog system
* A secure coat room and locker area for personal items
* Coin operated printers and copiers
* Special fire suppression system in designated areas for the most valuable holdings and collections
* Technology area with state-of-the-art networked computer work stations and an area for laptop use
* Reading room with comfortable chairs and tables
Education and Conference Center
Located outside the research area for workshops, lectures, video presentations, and meetings. It will feature a state-of-the-art media center including:
* Surround sound audio
* Video and audio recording equipment and digital audio and video editing suite
* Large screen projection and LCD projection for presentations
* High speed Internet access and teleconferencing
* Chairs and folding tables for classroom or auditorium seating
* Adjacent kitchenette for member/visitors featuring tables and chairs, sink, refrigerator and microwave oven.
Exhibition Center
Housed in a secure setting:
* AFGS French-Canadian Hall of Fame
* Permanent exhibits highlighting French-Canadian culture and history
* Visiting exhibitions
AFGS
Vision Plan
The AFGS Vision Plan's basic concepts would be applicable to a building of approximately 20,000 square feet. The Society presently occupies about 3,300 square feet.
Renovations and repairs will be phased-in, with priority given to health, welfare and safety issues. The building will comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and the state fire code. The new home will feature three centers.

 

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American-French Genealogical Society
BUILDING FUND
American-French Genealogical Society
Building Fund Committee
P.O. Box 830
Woonsocket, RI
02895-0870

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Updated 08 July 2007

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