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Update, May 1, 2005

Dear Friends,

It has been quite a while since I sent my last Lingap Center Update. There have been many recent developments, so I will do my best to bring you up to speed.

As you know, we reached our financial goal of $300,000 in late December. This was enough money to build the Center and run it for a year, which was wonderful news. World Vision will continue to oversee the project through the construction phase. Once the Center is completed, they have asked to withdraw as an active participant, since as an organization, they typically are not involved with day-to-day operational issues or funding. Since all of the funding has been received for construction, the World Vision Lingap Center account has been closed and can no longer accept any new money which would be designated for operations.

Because of this transition, I have successfully established The Lingap Children's Foundation. This organization will handle operational funding. I received the letters of incorporation last week and have applied for a 501(c)(3) tax designation. This designation may take some time to be processed, but I understand from my legal advisors, that as long as the designation is pending, the Foundation can accept donations. We are no longer able to accept donations assigned to this project via World Vision. All future donations should be made payable to The Lingap Children's Foundation, and mailed to me at:

John F. Drake
The Lingap Children's Foundation
P.O. Box 1553
Jackson, MI 49204

This is the same address as before. After receiving, I will send a letter of acknowledgment which will also serve as your tax receipt.

Our vision and steadfast commitment continues to be strong. To help preserve our commitment to the Lingap Children, I am delighted to tell you that our new Foundation Board of Directors shares this vision. They include: Bill Knott, Executive Director Midwest Region for World Vision in Holland, MI; Kim Klaft, Client Manager for Hewitt Associates in Troy, MI, and of course, myself. Bill will be invaluable to the Foundation as he will continue the World Vision continuity as we move into the operational phase. Kim's passion for children will provide the impetus that will move us to the next level.

With regard to construction, we continue to be besieged by delays, including the horrific mud slides that hit the Philippines in December. While the mud slides were not in the Toledo City area, they did divert attention away from the project temporarily. Also, we found that the building needed some design modifications. This meant that the previous bids had to be canceled and started over. The re-engineering is now complete. The City published the request for bids in the Cebu newspapers on April 28. They will print the notice a second time on May 11. The deadline for submission of letters of intent is on May 16. May 23 is the pre-bid conference, with the opening of the bids on May 27. I expect that the winning contractor will be announced at that time and that construction will begin very soon thereafter. I have been advised by Mayor Zambo that they are still hopeful that construction will be complete by the end of the year.

Yesterday, Jeff (my son) and I worked on updating the website which can be found at . We added some photos of this year's grade school graduating class. I am very proud to announce that we had several academic award winners!! I am also very happy to announce that all of the children attended school and church!


I will be going back to Cebu in a few weeks, to meet with Mayor Zambo on some operational issues, to meet with the local Rotary Club and to ensure that appropriate financial safeguards are in place to ensure the security of donations on behalf of the Foundation and you, the donors. I am looking forward to the trip, but of course the highlight will be seeing the kids. I am anxious to hear them tell me about their achievements and progress during the past school year. They are pretty special kids!

In the meantime, please check the updated website and tell your friends and family about us. Even though we have the money for construction, ongoing operations remain a concern. Should you wish to send a donation, remember to make the check payable to The Lingap Children's Foundation. I would also be happy to make a presentation to any organization that might be interested in learning more. If you have any questions or need additional infomation, please feel free to contact me.

I will close with a favorite poem:

I expect to pass this world but once.
Any good therefore that I can do
or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature,
let me do it now.
Let me not defer or neglect it,
For I shall not pass this way again.

Etienne DeGrellet (19th Century)

John Drake