(below is the address from Rev. Jason Butterick, President of the Dove Board of Directors given to the Delegates at the Fall Meeting)
Dove Fall Delegates
Monday, October 26,
2015 7 pm
Christian Church – Decatur, Illinois
Good evening. As pastor of Prairie Avenue Christian Church,
I welcome you to our fellowship hall, and warmly invite you to feel free to
explore our space following my presentation. You might need my assistance in
figuring out exactly which staircase takes you to your vehicle.
Tonight, I also am privileged to welcome you as president of
the board of directors of Dove, Inc. My work as president is made easier by the
dutiful work of the other board officers as well as those who volunteer their
time and talents faithfully through our regular meetings and Dove’s many
To say this year has been unusual is perhaps an
understatement. In June issues involving the professionalism of our executive
director Jim Walters required the board to act quickly in termination. For the first time in Illinois history, we
stand exactly 4 months into a new fiscal year without an approved budget. 2015
also marks the 45th anniversary of this fine organization and its
Following the termination of Jim Walters, the board elected
Tami Wilcox, finance director as interim executive director. Board officers and
as well as program directors and Dove’s staff have also step forward to assist
Tami as needed. We certainly appreciate Tami’s willingness and her skills in
being able to sustain Dove in the midst of these difficult times.
Some of our difficult times were not of our own making. The
lack of compromise and consideration between the executive branch and
legislative branch of Illinois government has introduced considerable
uncertainty in our own annual budget. Dove, Inc. is fortunate in having more
than one egg and one basket in this unnecessary crisis. One egg we did have to
crack was the position of Community Services program director Francie Johnson.
Neither the legislative nor executive proposed budgets for FY 2016 included any
funding for both Chicago & statewide area project programs. Anticipating other
state funding cuts also resulted in our elimination of a position at Homeward
Bound and the position of shelter cook in the Domestic Violence Shelter.
About 30% of Dove’s annual budget comes from state sources.
We just received notice from the state that we have received all FY 2016
federal funding for Domestic Violence. If Illinois continues to be ran by
politicians and not statesmen through December, more staff cuts will be
inevitable for Domestic Violence, Homeless housing, and seniors programming in
Since the termination of Jim Walters, the board has been
reviewing the job description of the executive director and addressing the
professional issues that were raised, as well as clarifying role and
responsibilities of the position. A search committee consisting of board
officers, Dove, Inc. staff and community members at large has been formed, a
final job description approved, and the position will begin to be posted next
month for qualified applicants. We anticipate reviewing applicant submissions
in December-January, and hopefully a short list of interviews next Spring.
On July 7, 1970, Ray Batman began working as a coordinator
for a new community ministry movement, called Disciples on Volunteer
Enlistment, or DOVE. His office was the furnace room of First Christian Church
on North Church Street. The budget for that first year of Disciples on
Volunteer Enlistment is set at $6,380.
45 years later, its budget is over $2 million.
Working in social services is not for the faint-of-heart.
Nor is it probably the best move to feather your retirement nest or increase
your pay. Dove, Inc. has been blessed over the years by devotion of its staff
regardless of their compensation, which is always barely adequate for the
important work done by so few willing people.
This past month at Dove staff meeting, two individuals were
recognized for their extraordinary years of service. Teri Ducy began as a legal
advocate for the domestic violence program in 1990, just one year after Back to
the Future II was released. We recognize tonight again 25 years of devoted
service on the behalf of others.
We also recognize Patty Plato, who began her years of
service in 1985, the year Back to the Future was released. Thank you Patty for
your 30 years of devoted service on the behalf of others.
We also want to say thank you to you and your representative
congregations for your many years of faithful volunteers, financial
contributions, and assistance provided to benefit Dove and its programs. You
are partners in an extraordinary way; you meet the unmet needs of our
surrounding community. Our work is made easier by many hands helping. Our sixty
religious member organizations often make the impossible possible within our