Years ago, the Jekyll Island Lions Club decided to publish a telephone directory just for Jekyll Island, a small community of residents and businesses living within a Georgia state park. The Lions sold the book for a modest sum and since then it has become an important fundraiser for the club. The directory is updated and published every other year, the current edition covers 2016-2017 and is sold for $7.00.
How is the book put together and what does it contain? Months before the projected publication date, Lions take the previous edition and attempt to re-verify all the names, addresses, and telephone numbers by contacting each part-time and full-time resident on the island. The realty companies are also contacted to identify who has sold a house and moved away and who has purchased a house and moved in. Then there is a door-to-door verification stage to confirm all the information gathered. While it would be impossible to reach 100% accuracy, the Lions try to come close. The residential database has two different sorts for final publication: one by resident’s name and one by street address.
The Lions also sell advertisements for the directory, both from businesses on the island and from surrounding communities. Ads can be purchased at a quarter, half and full page size. The back cover and inside front cover sell at an additional premium. In the 2016-2017 book, there are over 135 paid advertisements. In the back of the directory, there is an advertisers’ index broken out by category so that readers can find specific businesses.
Since the Lions Club is a service organization, the telephone book has a page about hurricane preparedness, Jekyll Island being on the Atlantic coast. There are street maps as well. A business index towards the front of the book rounds out the directory.
Once all the data and advertisements are collected, the information goes to a layout firm who puts it together for publication. The publisher receives a digital version of the layout and prints the books. In 2016, the Lions requested about 800 copies and began selling them in April. Sales have been done door-to-door, through some retailers on the island, and at civic meetings. There will be some special sales events in the future, too. Thus far, enough advertising and inventory has been sold to cover the production cost and generate a profit that can be put into the charity fund.
The telephone book project is probably the most complex and labor intensive fundraising effort done by the Jekyll Island Lions Club; it is also the most profitable.