The special focus of Howard Bowers Day 2008: education and training needs of new and expanding food co-ops. Co-ops pick a day in October-preferably a busy day-and designate it as Howard Bowers Day. Donate 1 percent of sales on that day to the Howard Bowers Fund, giving its members a chance to practice the 6th co-op principle: co-ops helping co-ops.
Education and training are critical at all stages of co-op development, but they are particularly important for newly organized co-ops and for co-ops facing difficult decisions about expansion. This focus was chosen by the Bowers Fund trustees in 2007 and was extremely successful: Records were set for the number of co-ops participating (49) and for the amount of funds raised ($14,457). The trustees decided to continue this focus in 2008 for the eleventh Howard Bowers Day.
Who was Howard Bowers? Howard was a respected leader of the national cooperative community who dedicated his life to the growth and development of consumer cooperatives. He was responsible for managing consumer cooperatives in the Midwest, and throughout his career he was a mentor to many. He also understood the importance of education and training for managers, staff, and board members of consumer cooperatives. The Howard Bowers Fund was established in his memory.
As part of the October observance of Co-op Month, food co-ops are asked to pick a day to designate as Howard Bowers Day. On that shopping day, 1 percent of total receipts are donated to the Howard Bowers Fund for its scholarship and educational programming. This special focus only applies to funds raised in October from a Howard Bowers Day event. Other fundraising by the Bowers Fund throughout the year will continue to support educational programs and training for staff, managers and board members of all food co-ops.
Please contact Ellen Quinn at the Cooperative Development Foundation (administrator of the Bowers Fund, 202/383-5474, [email protected] ) if you have any questions, would like the press release on the grants given with the funds raised in 2007, or would like a sample flyer to put in your store. The CDF website, www.cdf.coop, has more information on the Howard Bowers Fund in the “CDF Funds” section.