May 21, 2021
Here we are in Month 5 of the year and it is e a breakout month for the organization. With the weather improving and Covid restrictions relaxing our members are eager to volunteer for scheduled events. The Social Media program and the revised website are being utilized in an aggressive fashion to promote the AFHM and preparing us for future opportunities. Thanks to everyone for volunteering your effort and time making us a stronger organization.
Marc Iroff is executing his responsibilities as Chairman of the Board vigorously seeking new opportunities and frequently providing recommendations to improve the website and searching for new opportunities to move us forward. Marc has prepared an excellent report to update everyone on his activities.
Roy Plummer continues to seek grant funding to support the organization. We recently accepted a $500.00 donation from Investors Bank. After the presentation we received an excellent briefing on services the Bank offers that could enhance our financial operations. We will be reviewing these options to determine how best to take advantage of this in the future. Roy also made a personal donation in establishing a scholarship opportunity with the Rotary Organization. For future participation we will seek donations to support this initiative. This will provide us another tool to increase our visibility and improve our networking opportunities.
Sandy Conville continues to monitor our Website Development and continues to coordinate all Social Media activities with Caddis Art. The Mail Chimp program is working well, and the monthly Goggle reports are providing an excellent indication on who is interested in our organization. Bob Vonbargen continues to provide serialization episodes for posting on the Facebook page. A special Thank You to Sandy and Bob for their time and efforts.
Don Cammus has completed the Tax Return for 2020 and filed it. He also processed the NJ Charities Registration renewal and paid the $30.00 registration fee. He continues to perform this service in a pro bono status. We are fortunate to have him as a friend and his efforts are deeply appreciated.
Mick Shanklin has resumed the duties of the Treasurer. I returned all the information and the checkbook along with bills to be paid. Everyone will see his report at today’s meeting the bills he has paid, and our bank balance continues to be depleted. We must come up with a plan to begin a fundraising effort and we may have to reach out to our Officers and Board of Directors to consider making a personal donation. The Cares Act allowing a Tax Credit is still in effect for 2021 and can reduce your tax liability.
Matt Wick continues to monitor the scheduling of the Mobile Museum and forwards the information for posting through the Social Media program. He is not to physically participate due to a medical situation but stays engaged. Thanks, Matt, for your time and effort.
On April 27, 2021 we had a very productive meeting with Nick Mellis who is offering his services to promote the AFHM. Bob Vonbargen provided several links of our interviews and video productions. Nick has offered the use of a TV studio in Princeton to prepare and broadcast events for our organization. We have several post meeting action items identified and will be working with Nick soon.
On May 12, 2021, Barbara and I had lunch with seven former commanders of the Air National Guard at Joe’s Maplewood Restaurant in Hammonton, New Jersey. I had an opportunity to present the Mission of the Armed Forces Heritage Museum. There is a significant amount of history to be recorded by these individuals. I asked them to contact me so we can arrange interviews soon. I will keep you advised of any progress that may take place.
Progress at the Lawrence House remains slow. We conducted a Zoom meeting with the President and Executive Director, and they are seeking another plumber to complete the work on the water and sewer line. Dick Isackson has a 4-drawer filing cabinet for the organization and we must plan to pick it up and take it to the Lawrence House.
Oren Carrol recently had another medical procedure accomplished and is presently in a rehab facility. He will be receiving a series of IV treatments. Marvel has been in touch with Bob Vonbargen and me to keep us informed of his progress. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers.
On a sad note, Nora Riley has passed. Roy Plummer will pay respects on behalf of the Armed Forces Heritage Museum on Friday morning. Joanne Tilghman will arrange for a tree in her memory like the one she did for Ernes Kaufman at her own expense. Thank you, Joanne, for your continuing generosity. Please offer you personal condolence or a prayer in her memory.
We are fortunate that we can meet in person at the VFW491 in Hamilton, New Jersey. Bryan Branson has coordinated all the arrangements and we will have lunch available. Thanks, Bryan, for your assistance with this matter. We are hopping to have our next meting at the Deerwood Country Club, in June.
In closing, I wish to recognize the outstanding efforts of all our Officers, Board of Directors and members for continuing to support the mission of the AFHM. Without their attention to detail and input to promote the organization we would not be able to survive. We have many challenges before us, but I am confident we will continue experience success. Be Well and Stay Safe.
Robert S. Dutko, Sr.