Welcome to the VEBF October newsletter!

October is the official beginning of the annual fundraising drive for the Village Employees Benefit Fund. Everything the Board does throughout the year is dedicated to the success of this effort in October and November. Our goal is to have as many donations as possible in the bank by the end of November, so we can distribute your cash appreciation gifts to eligible employees on December 8 (the tentative date for the annual POA employee Christmas luncheon this year).

Here’s what our fundraising campaign consists of: 

  • The donor request letter with return envelope, mailed to every Hot Springs Village address during the first week of October.
  •  Print advertising in the HSV Life magazine in October and November, also mailed to every Village address, and one ad donated by the publisher in the Hot Springs Village Voice.
  •  Radio advertising on KVRE with 60 thirty-second spots (half of which are donated by the management).
  • Remind Villagers (in the letter and media advertising) they can donate through the secure credit card link on our website, www.vebf.org.

When I refer to “eligible employees”, the VEBF defines that as full-time or part-time hourly employees up to wage level 10 on a 22-level pay scale. Starting pay for POA full-time hourly employees is now $14 an hour, just a few dollars higher than Arkansas minimum wage (which is $11 an hour). The vast majority of VEBF gift recipients earn less than $18 an hour.  

The number of full- and part-time employees eligible to receive the cash appreciation gift varies from year to year between 350 and 400. For the past two years, the VEBF has been able to provide gifts of $300 to full-time employees, and $150 to part-time employees, while maintaining reserve accounts for the Emergency Fund, Scholarship Fund, and operating expenses (which average only around 10% of donations). 

For many of these employees, your cash appreciation gift makes the difference between being able to pay all their December bills on time…or not or having a nice Christmas for their children…or not

And I’ve been curious about whether the VEBF should impose an upper limit on the amount of the cash appreciation gift. I know our former president and current vice president, DC Reed, says “No! The more we raise, the more we can give the employees!” Our General Manager, Kelley Hale, told me the same thing a couple of weeks ago. He’d love it if we could give $1000 to each full-time employee, and $500 to part-timers. And he said if everyone in the Village would donate even just $5 a month, that would be an easy goal to achieve. He also sees the cash appreciation gifts as a recruiting and employee retention benefit, even though, as you know, we are not affiliated with the POA. 

In closing for this month, I would ask you to consider saying to your friends and neighbors in the Village, “I hope you’re donating to the Village Employees Benefit Fund, to personally recognize and say thanks to our hourly workers.” 

And remember: “Nothing happens in Hot Springs Village…until a POA employee comes to work.”

Again, thank you for your support (and please consider making your donation soon, by using the secure credit card link on our website. Save a stamp)!

Thank you for your support!

John Chapman - President, VEBF  

Click here to Donate Now by Credit Card

It's Time to Donate to the Year-End Cash Appreciation Fund

How Can You Help?

Join the Village Employees Benefit Fund (VEBF) in thanking the dedicated POA frontline workers who make Hot Springs Village a wonderful place to live while earning just a few dollars above minimum wage. Your donation to the Village Employees Benefit Fund reflects your respect and appreciation of the hard-working hourly employees of the POA—the line staff, the workers who groom our golf courses, collect our trash, maintain our roads and buildings, pump water into our homes, operate our wonderful facilities, patrol our streets, extinguish our fires, and yes, process our sewage. 

While earning just a few dollars above minimum wage, they do a great deal to make the Village run smoothly and to be a beautiful place to live. Your contribution will help grow the Fund ensuring that line employees receive a bonus at the end of the year in recognition of their service.

90% of donations received are used for the benefit of our POA hourly workers, including the year-end cash appreciation gift, the emergency fund, and the Continuing Education Fund. 

Nothing happens in Hot Springs Village until a POA employee comes to work.

With your help the VEBF supports those who support us in Hot Springs Village.

Thank you to each HSV POA Staff Member for all that you do.

We All Appreciate You!

Meet Ben Garrett, Lead Solid Waste Driver in Sanitation


The Hot Springs Village POA Sanitation Department would like to introduce you to Ben Garrett. Ben has been with the HSVPOA for eight years.   

Each year Ben uses the Annual Appreciate Cash Gift provided by you through the VEBF to purchase Christmas gifts for his family and friends.

"Thank you, Ben, for all you do!" - VEBF

Meet Brandon Rocha, DeSoto Golf Course Maintenance

Brandon started working at the POA in December of 2020 at DeSoto Golf Course as a Greenskeeper. He never thought about making HSVPOA a career until he was promoted in June of 2021 to a Golf Maintenance Equipment technician due to his dedication and commitment to improve himself.

Most days, you can see him out on DeSoto Golf Course mowing some of the playable areas, working on the irrigation system, or any of the other projects that need to be done. Brandon has many talents he is now able to showcase, and is one of the go-to guys on the crew. He has helped level the tee surface on #15, and helped widen the tee on #4. He was also able to pitch in on the construction of the new culverts around the course to improve drainage.  

Next time you're playing golf on DeSoto, look for Brandon and say "Hi."

"Thank you, Brandon, for all you do!" - VEBF

NAME: Sue Luerssen    

SPOUSE’S NAME: Bill Luerssen

WE MOVED HERE FROM: Scottsdale, AZ - BECAUSE: Moving to Hot Springs Village allowed us to give my 96-year-old mother-in-law much needed help for the last two years of her life, brought us closer to our kids and grandkids up in the Chicago area and closer to my brother and his family in Dallas.

MY HOBBIES OR INTERESTS ARE: I still work part time for a friend that is a realtor. I love reading (I belong to two book clubs), playing cards and mahjongg, volunteering to give back (I am on the board of AAUW and VEBF right now), and we spend time with wonderful friends.

WHAT WAS YOUR PROFESSIONAL OCCUPATION BEFORE YOU RETIRED? My husband and I had our own consulting company. We concentrated on helping companies with their manufacturing data processing needs.

MY BIGGEST SOURCE OF INSPIRATION CAME FROM: My Mom. We lost her to cancer when she was only 49, but she was, and has always been, my guiding light. 

WHAT APPEALS TO YOU ABOUT THE VEBF, AND SERVING AS A BOARD MEMBER? I love that we are helping the people that help us every day. Hot Springs Village is an amazing place to call home because of the people that work to help us daily.

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO A VILLAGE RESIDENT WHO THINKS A CONTRIBUTION TO THE VEBF IS NOT NECESSARY? Give some thought to who responds to help all of us when we have a problem, when there is bad weather, when there are maintenance issues on property, etc. I know I cannot imagine what our quality of life here would be without these great employees.

When you’re a front-line worker, “Thank You” means a lot. 

The people who work hard every day to make sure everything in Hot Springs Village – from the East Gate to the West Gate – is well-cared for and maintained, are the hard-working hourly employees of the POA. They are the line staff, workers who groom your golf courses, collect your trash, maintain your roads and buildings, pump water into your homes, operate your wonderful facilities, patrol your streets, extinguish your fires, and yes, process your sewage.  

Let’s show our appreciation for a job well done! Your donation will ensure that our POA employees are supported with emergency funds and continuing education all year long plus holiday monies at the end of each year.

You can mail your donation check to Village Employees Benefit Fund, P.O. Box 8503, Hot Springs Village, AR 71910 or donate via secure credit card, CLICK HERE

Help us help those who serve our community!

Donations are appreciated all year long.

Hot Springs Village Employees Benefit Fund was established on September 22, 1999, to receive and disburse appreciation funds contributed by the property owners of Hot Springs Village, Arkansas.

These funds are for the benefit and support of all qualified POA employees (excluding Top Management) as defined in the by-laws.

Our intent is to demonstrate the recognition, appreciation, and respect that our property owners and others have for all those who work to support and maintain Hot Springs Village.

The Village Employees Benefit Fund newsletters are sponsored by

Dannet Botkin, CEO & Owner of

Designs Group Consulting.

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