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Note to AMA EC regarding Model Aviation

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Old 12-05-2004, 12:51 PM
  #1  
Red Scholefield
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Default Note to AMA EC regarding Model Aviation

Input has been requested, here is a start.

Red S.
AMA 951
Leader Member
District V


----- Original Message -----
From: "Red Scholefield" <redscho@bellsouth.net>
To: "Sandy Frank" <VicePres@AMA-Dist-8.org>; "Richard Hanson" <richh@bigplanet.com>; "Doug Holland" <cdh323@aol.com>; "Dave Mathewson" <dmathewson@mindspring.com>; "Dave Brown" <dbrown@dbproducts.com>; "Charlie Bauer" <bauerc@iit.edu>; "Bruce Nelson" <nelsonamavp@cs.com>; "Bob Brown" <amadiii@charter.net>; "Bliss Teague" <bat2@earthhlink.net>; "bill oberdieck" <sgaeroinc@comcast.net>; "Tony Stillman" <tony@radiosouthrc.com>; "Andy Argenio" <imaasanction@aol.com>
Sent: Sunday, December 05, 2004 12:46 PM
Subject: Fw: [D8-L] Seeking input...


> EC members,
>
> It might be time to relook at the Model Aviation issue again. If one
> believes what he sees on the internet forums there are a number of AMA
> members (note I didn't say modelers) that are not interested in getting
> Model Aviation as part of their membership benefits. To this end is there
> any cost benefit for the AMA to make receipt of the magazine optional with
> some modest reduction in dues for those that don't want it? Can we meet our
> obligation as a non-profit organization where I understand a newsletter must
> be published by simply publishing a news letter on the AMA web site? ARF's
> and Park Flyers bring a whole new market to the AMA, while a modeler
> wouldn't consider his hobby complete without his monthly MA magazine we have
> to address the "new" market and not force on them something that they don't
> perceive as worth while. While my gut feel is that few would opt out of
> getting MA, at least we give the impression that we are not forcing anything
> on anyone that doesn't want it. We somehow have got to change the perception
> that AMA membership is being forced on people just so they can fly. Making
> MA optional would be a step, albeit probably a tiny one, in that direction.
> Even if it is a wash cost wise, it would be worth it to give it a try again.
>
> My best regards to the "new and improved" Executive Council for 2005.
>
> C. L. "Red" Scholefield
> AMA 951
> Leader Member
> District V
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Dr.Sandy Frank" <sfrank69@airmail.net>
> To: "AMA D-8 Modeling List" <AMA-Dist-8@eskimo.com>
> Sent: Thursday, December 02, 2004 9:52 PM
> Subject: [D8-L] Seeking input...
>
>
> >
> > Hello, D8 list and others,
>
> > the AMA EC (Board of Directors) will be working on short term as well as
> long term goals...
> > for the organization...along with HOW to accomplish those goals... !!
> >
> > I am seeking YOUR input as to this Long Range/Strategic Planning
> Meeting...
> >
> > Please contact me DIRECTLY and PERSONALLY via email at:
> >
> > VicePres@AMA-Dist-8.org
> >
> > Please do not post your input on this or any other internet lists or
> groups...
> >
> > ( they very well might not be seen.................)
> >
> > I am seeking YOUR INPUT.... not a discussion or arguement or flame WAR
> >>>
> >
> > PLEASE SEND to me YOUR INPUT directly and personally...
> >
> >
> > Best regards.
> >
> > Dr.Sandy Frank
> > VicePres@AMA-Dist-8.org
> > 2004-12-02
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Old 12-05-2004, 05:43 PM
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jayman618
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Default RE: Note to AMA EC regarding Model Aviation

Well your idea has some merit....how about letting those who want to opt out of receiving ma have their annual dues reduced by the amount of the postage. Maybe thats a buck a month. Just a thought.
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Old 12-05-2004, 06:14 PM
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Red Scholefield
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Default RE: Note to AMA EC regarding Model Aviation

ORIGINAL: jayman618

Well your idea has some merit....how about letting those who want to opt out of receiving ma have their annual dues reduced by the amount of the postage. Maybe thats a buck a month. Just a thought.
Let your District AMA VP know what you think. All their addresses are available on the AMA web site.
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Old 12-05-2004, 06:45 PM
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J_R
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Default RE: Note to AMA EC regarding Model Aviation

Hi Red

MA costs AMA members just under $6.50 of thier dues, per year, including postage. How much do you think the AMA could discount the dues if just the AMA News section were mailed to those not wishing to to recieve MA?

JR
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Old 12-05-2004, 07:59 PM
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Default RE: Note to AMA EC regarding Model Aviation

Maybe it's been explained before, but I still don't understand why MA has $4.50 on the cover, but best to my knowledge, it's not sold anywhere but by AMA. One gets the impression that for some unexplainable reason, AMA wishes to keep its light under a deep dark bushel.

CCR
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Old 12-05-2004, 08:06 PM
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Red Scholefield
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Default RE: Note to AMA EC regarding Model Aviation

ORIGINAL: J_R

Hi Red

MA costs AMA members just under $6.50 of thier dues, per year, including postage. How much do you think the AMA could discount the dues if just the AMA News section were mailed to those not wishing to to recieve MA?

JR
Sending each member his copy of Model Aviation costs the AMA a heck of lot more than $6.50/year. The question that has to be asked is how much would it save the AMA and how much of this saving could be passed on to members that don't want the magazine.

Your $6.50 number is probably what it cost each member to subsidize the magazine for a year, taking into consideration printing and mailing costs. Now throw in AMA headquarters salaries and benefits, income from advertising, etc. and what kind of a picture do we really have? It wouldn't take a financial genius to figure this out. It would take a investigative genius to get the actual figures necessary to make a decision however.
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Old 12-05-2004, 08:39 PM
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Jim Thomerson
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Default RE: Note to AMA EC regarding Model Aviation

I know of at least one hobby shop, no longer around, which used to offer Model Aviation for sale. They may have sold a dozen copies per month; don't really recall. Maybe the AMA ought to think about more actively merchandising the magazine to appropriate outlets. Maybe we could sell enough copies to non-members to subsidize the membership with free copies.

Jim
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Old 12-05-2004, 09:16 PM
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J_R
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Default RE: Note to AMA EC regarding Model Aviation

ORIGINAL: Red Scholefield

Sending each member his copy of Model Aviation costs the AMA a heck of lot more than $6.50/year. The question that has to be asked is how much would it save the AMA and how much of this saving could be passed on to members that don't want the magazine.

Your $6.50 number is probably what it cost each member to subsidize the magazine for a year, taking into consideration printing and mailing costs. Now throw in AMA headquarters salaries and benefits, income from advertising, etc. and what kind of a picture do we really have? It wouldn't take a financial genius to figure this out. It would take a investigative genius to get the actual figures necessary to make a decision however.

Source: 2003 Financial Statement posted on the Members Only Section on the AMA page

Page 3
Unrestricted Net Assets Revenue
Model Aviation Advertising $851,032
Model Aviation Subscriptions $ 79,134

Total Revenue from MA (calculated) $930,166

Page 16
SCHEDULES OF MODEL AVIATION MAGAZINE DIRECT COSTS (Broken out so you can see each area of cost)
Total Costs $1,900,641

Net Loss (calculated) $ 970,475

Divide by approximate number of subscriber members of AMA in 2003 (150,000?) gives just under $6.50 per member. Yes, it is the amount subsidized, but, it does include the costs of producing the magazine including editorials and staff.

Also note that the revenue from advertising is $851,032 and the cost of that advertising is $771,740 for a net from advertising of $70,292 or about 9% net revenue on advertising sales. A better question might be how to improve the “profit” margin on advertising sales.

If you reduce the number of issues produced and sent, the fixed costs remain the same and it might well cost more to subsidize MA.

In any case, how much would it cost to send a 15 page newsletter? 50 cents a month, including postage? That includes expensing the costs of writing it to MA, but, what the hay? Where is the savings? Its gonna cost more to keep track of who gets what. The other expenses should not change to any extent.
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Old 12-05-2004, 10:05 PM
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Default RE: Note to AMA EC regarding Model Aviation

I'd love to see the entire magazine 'on-line' and let me opt out of the hard copy....boy that would be some .pdf file wouldn't it

Jerry
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Old 12-05-2004, 10:25 PM
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Default RE: Note to AMA EC regarding Model Aviation

ORIGINAL: Red Scholefield

ORIGINAL: J_R

Hi Red

MA costs AMA members just under $6.50 of thier dues, per year, including postage. How much do you think the AMA could discount the dues if just the AMA News section were mailed to those not wishing to to recieve MA?

JR
Sending each member his copy of Model Aviation costs the AMA a heck of lot more than $6.50/year. The question that has to be asked is how much would it save the AMA and how much of this saving could be passed on to members that don't want the magazine.

Your $6.50 number is probably what it cost each member to subsidize the magazine for a year, taking into consideration printing and mailing costs. Now throw in AMA headquarters salaries and benefits, income from advertising, etc. and what kind of a picture do we really have? It wouldn't take a financial genius to figure this out. It would take a investigative genius to get the actual figures necessary to make a decision however.

IMO, Red you are more correct than the other figure of $6.50. That $6.50 is strictly from comparing Direct Costs of MA to the advertising income which in itself nets out to a measly $80,000 +/- change.
All staff comes under the 6 million ++ "Operating Expense" of the AMA parent organization itself.
Since Model Aviation is a separate corporation owned by AMA yet is considered a non-related business entity, I have to admit that I am rather amazed at the way the distribution works out. It's too bad that the AMA management is so short-sighted in the long-term reality of how their financial actions destroy an opportunity to further promote model aviation.

IMO, AMA management appears totally focused on a commercial magazine, not to promote model aviation, but to protect a good-ol'-boy empire. If the advertising rates were adjusted to make MA a stand-alone item, and was competitively priced for both LHS and newstand distribution, not only would AMA be reaching "outside the choir", but would be extending their hand to all the other media to join AMA in again focusing on model aviation as a sport/hobby/recreational activity. Remember how in those good-ol'-days all the magazines presented articles about the NATs and other big events sanctioned by AMA. Thanks to the non-competitive Model Aviation that common interest of promoting the sport no longer exists.

What is really strange is that the membership believes that the $$ cost of Insurance, $1,230,000, is the real big thing in AMA dues. B-S! The member-dues subsidy of MA costs almost $970,000. No Officer ever brings that to light. That is direct costs only, not to mention the staff including work-at-home types that are subsidized under AMA expense.[:@]

AMA management is satisfied to ram the mag down the member's throats, shy away from distribution outside the conscripted audience, and take care of the chosen few.

The Staff is there. They are paid by the AMA and not accounted to the magazine. I don't see a lot of $$$ saved from allowing non subscriptions by members. Only pennies at best. Actually, the cost of separating the mailing lists may engulf any $$ savings. OTOH the goodwill may well be worth the try.

If we had access to the very penny-to-penny cost of the magazine known only to the chosen few, then perhaps that figure on page 6 of each magazine may be more to the actual $$ figured in those mysterious "Budgets" that the EVP/CFO never reveals to the membership. "When membership in the Academy of Model Aeronautics includes subscription to Model Aviation, $18 of the dues are for the subscription."

Even the good Mr. Mathewson gave a horse-shot answer to that question here on the forum. So I don't expect a big change from the new Council.[&o]
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Old 12-05-2004, 10:54 PM
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Default RE: Note to AMA EC regarding Model Aviation

Yes, it is the amount subsidized, but, it does include the costs of producing the magazine including editorials and staff.
JR

No Staff expense here except some staff travel related to advertising further diluting the adv. profit margin. Also the monthly columnists which ain't no big thing and they are NOT employees.


MA Direct Costs, 2003 AMA Audit report
Advertising costs
Commissions$ 127,803
Printing 434,510
Postage 209,427
771,740
Production costs
Printing 684,842
Art and photo 75 - -
Miscellaneous 3,189
688,106

Editorial costs
Articles, plans and pictures 36,890
Monthly columnist 34,035
Editorial drafting 3,431
74,356

Mailings
Postage and envelopes 348,695

Advertising expense
Telephone and Federal Express 2,368

Staff travel 9,853
Legal and miscellaneous administrative expense 5,523
17,744
$ 1,900,641
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Old 12-05-2004, 11:02 PM
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Default RE: Note to AMA EC regarding Model Aviation

I’d take getting AMA news through an electronic distribution over MA any day even if the cost savings were only $1.00 from my dues. One, maybe somebody that can do something about it would get the message that it’s a POS. Two, I’d be saving 5-10 lbs of material from going to the local landfill every year.

If the AMA’s logic of the whole MA ideal can’t be changed at least they should switch printing methods, publishing the mag in the same style as R/C Report. The “R/C Report” package has got to be more cost effective and more environmentally friendly than how MA is published.
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Old 12-05-2004, 11:11 PM
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Default RE: Note to AMA EC regarding Model Aviation

ORIGINAL: tailskid

I'd love to see the entire magazine 'on-line' and let me opt out of the hard copy....boy that would be some .pdf file wouldn't it

Jerry
Hi Jerry-
Many clubs are doing this to save on copying/mailing costs. An MA issue would perhaps be an unwieldy .pdf if you downloaded it in toto, but why not give you the index so you can decide what parts you want to download and read?
Not reinventing any wheels here - you can do it now for archived issues of MA, so the mechanism is already in place.
Dunno if that reduces membership cost enough to make a difference to the non-members that Red would attempt to make it palatable too, though. I have doubt, based in part on the figures JR supplied. My take, in the very broad brush perspective, is that the park flier guys view AMA as an insurance provider just as do a large majority of current AMA members. The latter pay $58 for that insurance, whatever the actual portion insurance represents in that total. The difference is the park fliers don't perceive a need for the insurance, and they aren't being pressed by need of a fixed-base club site to buy it. If, hypothetically, the magazine and enough other 'bennies' of AMA were made optional to reduce the cost by half for a $29/yr bare bones membership, would that have the modelers (or non-modeling fliers as some would have it) in the "new market" beating the doors down in Muncie?
I wouldn't bet the farm on it.

Abel
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Old 12-05-2004, 11:46 PM
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Default RE: Note to AMA EC regarding Model Aviation

long as that index and PDF files list is in the public section, and needs no password or membership to access, then it is a good idea.
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Old 12-06-2004, 09:01 PM
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Matt Kirsch
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Default RE: Note to AMA EC regarding Model Aviation

Who are you kidding? Nobody would read it because it would require too much effort. I'm FAR more likely to pick up the hardcopy of MA and read it while I'm "taking care of business," before bedtime, or any other time I've got a few minutes. A hardcopy magazine convenient and portable, more likely to be read. A computer is not.
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Old 12-06-2004, 10:07 PM
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Default RE: Note to AMA EC regarding Model Aviation

Horrace and Red

You guys are right and I was wrong. Most staff numbers are not in the direct costs. No numbers available since they represent salaries and no one is going to disclose the income of individual employees. Best guess? Add a couple of bucks to the $6.50 figure.
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Old 12-06-2004, 10:53 PM
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Default RE: Note to AMA EC regarding Model Aviation

ORIGINAL: Matt Kirsch

Who are you kidding? Nobody would read it because it would require too much effort. I'm FAR more likely to pick up the hardcopy of MA and read it while I'm "taking care of business," before bedtime, or any other time I've got a few minutes. A hardcopy magazine convenient and portable, more likely to be read. A computer is not.
RC Report is better in that venue. The newsprint stock is softer and more absorbent. OTOH, MA is much better for mixing epoxy.

Abel
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Old 12-06-2004, 11:01 PM
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Default RE: Note to AMA EC regarding Model Aviation

Do away with the AMA magizine. The AMA could pay other RC magizines to print only event data and other data that Most of the RC fans want to read. Put the rest on a website that only members can log on. I know some fat cats would hve to be laid off....but thats life. Been there!
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Old 12-07-2004, 10:27 AM
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Default RE: Note to AMA EC regarding Model Aviation

Now here is a deal for all those that don't want Model Aviation and get a reduction in their dues.

Posted by Dr. Sandy Frank, AMA VP D-VIII on the D-VIII e-mail group. NOTE, THIS OFFER IS GOOD ONLY FOR THOSE MEMBERS RESIDING IN DISTRICT VIII.

Dr. Sandy Frank has posted this most generous offer on the D-VIII e-mail list:

Hello, All,

With RED and some others that he has stirred up on the internet
contacting many on the AMA EC &
begging them to CANCEL their subscription to MA..
and give them a DISCOUNT !!!

I am prepaired to DO JUST THAT !!!

As District VIII VP I purchase at regular library discount rates

(and pay out of district funds)

several subscriptions to MA each year to donate to schools and libraries...

MY cost that I pay to AMA is $ 12.00 per year... (that is the library rate that
any library or school can request)

so what a better time than 1/1/2005

to institute REDS proposal...

I am willing to offer to repurchase the rights ((to any member who lives

in AMA DISTRICT VIII ( TX, NM, OK, AR or LA)) for their MODEL AVIATION SUBSCRIPTION for 2005.

Please contact ME directly and personally about this... ( VicePres@AMA-Dist-8.org )

I will need your permission in writing and once that the address is changed for the magizine

to a location of my choosing...I will send to that person a CHECK for $ 9.00 USA funds...

I will retain any and all tax deductions for any and all repurchased donations to libraries and/or schools..

( the seller will give up all of their rights to their 2005 MA subscription...and deductions )

If you are serious I am serious also !!!

Best regards.

Dr.Sandy Frank
VicePres@AMA-Dist-8.org
2004-12-06

For the record: I suggested that the AMA EC look into making the receipt of MA optional since there appear to be a number of members that don't want it and would rather have a decrease in their dues. I have no intention of giving up MY MODEL AVIATION for ANY reduction in my dues. So to those that have been shooting off your mouths about the crappy magazine you are "forced" to take here is your chance to put your money where your mouth is. DR. FRANK'S OFFER IS GOOD ONLY FOR THOSE LIVING IN HIS DISTRICT!

Red S.
AMA 951
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Old 12-07-2004, 11:50 AM
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Default RE: Note to AMA EC regarding Model Aviation

Would it be possible to continue receiving the mag AND getting a dues reduction?

Jerry
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Old 12-07-2004, 11:58 AM
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Red Scholefield
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Default RE: Note to AMA EC regarding Model Aviation

ORIGINAL: tailskid

Would it be possible to continue receiving the mag AND getting a dues reduction?

Jerry
Most probably, but you will have to take the same action that was taken in District I, V and IX in the recent election.
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Old 12-07-2004, 05:12 PM
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Default RE: Note to AMA EC regarding Model Aviation

this maybe a little out of context, BUT lets try. are you saying that a reduction in Model Aviation costs would let me buy 2 more six (6) packs to guzzle instead of spending at least an hour (total) reading MA ??. don't think its a good trade. there shud be another better way to control expenditures. my stack of MA get read over more than a couple of time, all the way back to the 60's and some the 40's (when I can find them). dick stamm
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Old 12-07-2004, 07:45 PM
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Default RE: Note to AMA EC regarding Model Aviation

Ok Dr. Sandy Frank gave me an idea. How can I change the address where my MA is sent without changing where the rest of my AMA stuff goes? I would like to have my issues sent to a service person in Iraq or Afghanistan.
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Old 12-07-2004, 08:02 PM
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Default RE: Note to AMA EC regarding Model Aviation

ORIGINAL: Red Scholefield

Now here is a deal for all those that don't want Model Aviation and get a reduction in their dues.

<snip>
As District VIII VP I purchase at regular library discount rates

(and pay out of district funds)

several subscriptions to MA each year to donate to schools and libraries...

MY cost that I pay to AMA is $ 12.00 per year... (that is the library rate that
any library or school can request)

<snip>

I am willing to offer to repurchase the rights ((to any member who lives

in AMA DISTRICT VIII ( TX, NM, OK, AR or LA)) for their MODEL AVIATION SUBSCRIPTION for 2005.

Please contact ME directly and personally about this... ( VicePres@AMA-Dist-8.org )

I will need your permission in writing and once that the address is changed for the magizine

to a location of my choosing...I will send to that person a CHECK for $ 9.00 USA funds...
Red-
Sounds like the Doc has come up with a win/win proposition.

- Guys that don't want MA save 9 bucks
- Doc gets mags to donate at a further discounted price, $9 vs. $12 he currently pays
- AMA gains by saving the incremental cost of not printing/mailing some TBD number of copies

Now this interesting condition:

I will retain any and all tax deductions for any and all repurchased donations to libraries and/or schools..

( the seller will give up all of their rights to their 2005 MA subscription...and deductions )

If you are serious I am serious also !!!

Best regards.

Dr.Sandy Frank
VicePres@AMA-Dist-8.org
2004-12-06
<snip>
As AMA doesn't pay taxes the deductions are of no value to them.
Does the good Doc take tax deductions for donations made from his D-8 expense account as he seems to be saying?
I don't have D Holland's accounting credentials, but it looks like a helluva good deal for the Doc, too.

Abel
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Old 12-07-2004, 08:21 PM
  #25  
Red Scholefield
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Default RE: Note to AMA EC regarding Model Aviation

As Dr. Frank requests,

Please contact ME directly and personally about this... ( VicePres@AMA-Dist-8.org )

Ask him if you are in his District.
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