Friends of Freeman show the community what transparency and accountability are all about. Good on them - will others follow this sterling example?

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

January 11th, 2016


Transparency and accountability are words that flow out of city hall – every organization uses the words – it is often difficult to see any meat on those bones.

There are also a number of organizations that get funding from various sources; grants and donations seem to be the biggest sources.

FoF Mello with stone

John Mello with one of the Whinstone stones that are a part of the history of the station – there is a work day coming up when the things have to be moved.

The Friends of Freeman station have produced a report that sets out what they brought in in terms of funds and how they spent them.

This level of transparency and accountability is a model for all the non-profits in the city – the public has a right to know what you are doing with the funds that you get.

For Friends of Freeman – here is their story.

Consolidated Financials: To date we have raised about $260,000 which represents about 50% of the estimated cost to restore the station and make it a viable asset to our community.
The following is summary of our budget expenditures to date:

Construction materials, including lumber, paint, hardware, tools….. 11%
Preparing building prior to move and the move…. 25%
New Roof ….4%
Hydro Installation……3%
Removal of Hazardous materials….4%
Grading Excavation and back fill …23%
Basement (foundation)….17%
Publicity and public relations, including Web site, email services, postage, bank charges, permits, insurance etc…..3%
Storage rental…..2%
Acquisition of artifacts…..8%

FoF Aasgaard with sample pictures

John Aasgaard with some of the pictures that are in the Freeman Station collection.

FoF station masters office

Grill being fitted into the wicket of the Station Master’s office.

Our organization is 100% unpaid volunteers.

Things slow down a little in the winter – but donations and volunteers are always accepted – the xxx stones are going to get moved soon – strong backs needed for that task.

Set out below are the chores that are waiting to get done along with some meetings. when the Missus wants you out of the house the Station is a pretty good place to scoot over to.

January 13th – 7 PM – FOFS Board meeting – City Hall – all members welcome
(We meet the second Wednesday of each month same place and time)
January 16th – 12 Noon – BDRC team meeting
– the Burlington Diorama Railway Club regular planning meeting
— Frank Rose room, Burlington Public Library
January 23rd – 9 AM – Whinstone moving day –
for this volunteer work day, strong hands needed, gloves,
steel-toed boots if you have them
January 30th-10 am-4 pm Train Show St Johns Church Hwy 5 Burlington
January 31st-10 am-3.30 pm Marritt Hall 630 Trinity Rd S, Jerseyville, ON
February6th Heritage Day Burlington Central Library 10 am-2 pm

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3 comments to Friends of Freeman show the community what transparency and accountability are all about. Good on them – will others follow this sterling example?

  • Karen Dumfey

    There must be a lot of people with a lot of time on their hands. Many of us who sit in traffic in Burlington every day don’t feel that it has evolved in a beautiful city. This City has so many more important issues to remind us of many things…especially, how our council wastes much of hard earned tax dollars!!

  • Mark Gillies

    Thank you for this informative article on the Friends of Freeman Station. These responsible men and women are a proven group of dedicated volunteers who came forward to preserve Burlington’s most historical building, when its future was in imminent peril. To this group, I salute you, and thank you from the bottom of my heart. You have saved Burlington’s most significant building; without question a huge part of our fascinating local heritage. A special thank you should also be directed to all of the many financial supporters from both the private and corporate sectors who unselfishly stepped forward to save this magnificent local historical structure from certain demolition; a heritage building which has now been officially recognized provincially and federally. You should all be so very proud. The other non-participating residents of Burlington should also be extremely proud of the Friends of Freeman Station and what they have accomplished when they consistently faced overwhelming obstacles. Each was met head on. The Friends of Freeman Station were a persistent group, and never gave up. They did it for you, for your children, and your grandchildren. I encourage each resident to now step forward and do your small part. Either volunteer your time to help in the restoration, or give the Friends of Freeman Station a financial donation. They would be most appreciative of either one, or both. This would be a great way to show your support; to help get this remarkable restoration project completed, and on time. Congratulations to the Friends of Freeman Station. So many of us are so proud of your accomplishments. Future generations will now be able to better understand just how Burlington evolved into such a beautiful city. Friends of Freeman Station, you are VERY responsible citizens. You have preserved our past for our future. Thank you.

  • Karen Dumfey

    Another one of Burlington’s atrosities