Dear Club members, Is it too soon..can I say it? Oh well, (although it used to be later) I think it’s now the start…”Happy Holidays”!
Starting the fall season last month, our club had a wonderful annual pot luck and meeting. Befitting of the season, this yearly event has moved from December to November during the past few years, a time of thanks for our harvests and all we have. The meal was illuminated by Carol MacDonald’s decorations and Jill Weiss’s gourmet mycophagy creations – both were exquisite. Our meeting was greatly enhanced by the wonderful table that our Vice President, Barbara Plume, put together. The table, with a display of fungi that Barbara identified for us, and Barbara’s on-going work to educate, exemplify our club’s mission to share our knowledge of mycology. Awards for finding the first of a species were given at our meeting. Congratulations to Sandra Schelhorn who was recognized for finding the first Chanterelles of the season. Many other hands, too many to mention here, helped to bring this event together, from set-up to door prize donations, and of course the comradely of a friendly, like-minded group of people. It was an amazing event. As Henry Halama put it, the dinner was a “100 course gourmet meal”. I heard one person say of the event, “It was the best ever”. Thank you all for your ideas and input at the meeting as well .
For those of you who were not present, or aware of previous letters, I have been emphasizing the need for people to contribute to the club in whatever way they can; this can be done by taking on an existing club post or office, to giving a workshop, to leading or hosting a walk or in smaller ways of assisting where help is needed. Just ask club officers how they can use help. In addition to decorating our tables, to encourage new people to try leading a walk, Carol generously put together packets to simplify doing this . The packet contains needed forms for leading the walk such as sign-in sheets.
Normally we have had one president’s award, given to someone who’s contributions to the club have been outstanding. I did something different this year. The president’s award was given to two individual’s. Both stepped up to help and exemplified the spirit of making on-going contributions, facilitating on-going club activities. The award was given to Ted Shemella who volunteered to be web master with our new website; an on-going task. The other award recipient was Robert Senk. During the year, I repeatedly heard Robert’s name mentioned – always in some capacity of contributing to help facilitate our walks. Thank you both again.
Thank you, Connie Lettow, new to our club, who stepped up at the meeting offering to help wherever help is needed. Connie will be our new Volunteer Coordinator. She will be working on collecting info on how you can help and coordinating the efforts.
With regard to filling a post, please know that none of the club posts are permanent positions. According to our by-laws, most were not intended to be filled by one person for more than two years. We need volunteers to help and take on each of these positions. The position of walks coordinator remains open. Secretary and treasurer have been open although the current officers have selflessly continued to fill in until a replacement is found. I also welcome anybody to consider being President, as does Barbara, for Vice President. While I accepted the office of president, sharing the sense of responsibility to give back to the club, and remain dedicated to leading the club, I also recognize that the club would benefit having someone who has more time to devote to it. I am now working long hours, which limits how much time and how quickly I can attend to club business.
Now is a time that everybody can continue to contribute and help the club to best serve all of us. If you have not responded to letting us know what educational activities you are interested in learning more about, please do so right away. I have received input from a handful of people. We are putting our yearly talks and walks agenda together now-to start in the next few months, and need your input to successfully plan talks and activities that you would like to see. We can’t do this without your input.
So far, from your feedback, there are several requests for a tree identification workshop (before the leaves pop out) and I am working on this. We have several other great ideas that I will work to integrate in programs. Other workshops will be based upon the greatest interest expressed by club members and finding facilitators for those programs.
In summation of the above:
1- We had a great dinner and are looking forward to more interesting meetings.
2- Volunteer, volunteer, volunteer, consider being a club officer or walk’s coordinator, and thank you to all who do volunteer!
3- Send your suggestions for workshops and lectures immediately-to help us find workshops based upon popular interest.
4- Let us know if you can lead or facilitate a workshop/event
4- See the wonderful Fall Report that Bill sent at the time of our meeting below. I am sorry that I could not get this out sooner. However, it remains important information about fungi, and observations about seasonal trends, that you can continue to reflect upon and call upon in the future. Thanks, Bill